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Virtual Receptionist Service For Small Businesses In 2024 – How It Works & Benefits

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Supriya Bajaj

Senior Writer:

green tickDate: June 12, 2024

Technologies never sleep, and you shouldn’t, too. Missing out on unique opportunities technologies deliver to different industries is something inexcusable. If people can do much more than just answer calls and this part of customer service can be automated or even delegated to AI, then this article is the right place for a headstart.

As many of you might already understand, the virtual receptionist is the key character here. So, in this article, you will learn everything about them, how they make one’s life easier, the benefits, drawbacks, and consideration points when first starting to use such an answering service, and of course, a short guide on the virtual receptionist service providers.

What Is A Virtual Receptionist Service?

A virtual receptionist is software that helps handle customer phone calls and answer basic questions. A virtual receptionist is also called a live receptionist that performs additional tasks in addition to taking phone calls.

Companies that provide virtual receptionist service offers a range of solutions that can enhance the company’s capacity to handle incoming calls from clients and lend a touch of professionalism to customer-oriented communications.

What Is A Virtual Receptionist?

When no one is available to take the call, AI-powered virtual receptionist services are real saviors to handle tasks such as call routing, appointment scheduling, message taking, and more additional services that virtual receptionists manage.

AI-powered virtual receptionists can do most of the routine call handling and perform simple tasks: navigate users, schedule appointments, share the needed phone numbers, etc. So live virtual receptionists can increase the company’s productivity by decreasing the calls that staff members must take.

Highly trained workers will have more time to focus on critical tasks, such as making outbound calls, converting potential clients, and handling important aspects since the auto-attendant will filter incoming calls and answer simple questions through supervised learning and similar technological advancements.

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Expert Advice

"To choose the best virtual receptionist service, look for 24/7 availability, well-trained receptionists, transparent pricing, advanced technology, and positive reviews from other businesses."

Why Do You Need A Virtual Receptionist Service?

For a solid presence and continuous client intake, businesses should have a live answering service, meaning a professional team that’s consistently available to answer questions without missing opportunities. Because of this, receptionists are now an essential component of many fields.

It is more than an answering service; a virtual receptionist gives the companies the power to let people solve real questions, keeping the automation to technologies.

How Does A Virtual Receptionist Service Work?

When dialing the main business number, a virtual receptionist welcomes callers and plays a prerecorded message outlining the department options. The virtual receptionist will then transfer the call to the department or person the caller is trying to reach after the caller enters the number associated with that department or person.

How Does A Virtual Receptionist Service Work?

However, to give callers the best service possible and make their life easier, the business must conduct in-depth research on its product or service. The company will need to provide some information for call center services.

Benefits Of Using A Virtual Receptionist Service

A virtual receptionist can actually do much more than just answer calls. Other routine jobs like data entry, project management, and email management can be delegated to them.

There are also bilingual receptionists that provide a bilingual service. Below are some of the significant benefits that virtual receptionists can deliver to business practices.

1. Increased Productivity

When a virtual receptionist handles your daily calls and emails, you have more time and resources. Instead of dealing with endless phone calls every day or doing other tedious tasks, you can save time creating business strategies, meeting suppliers, and focusing on your business growth.

Therefore, don’t be surprised by those efficient ways of helping you save money or accomplish more with less – whether through inexpensive or free software tools, streamlining processes, or the creation of reports that help you find opportunities to cut costs.

2. Cost-Effective Solution

The good news about virtual receptionists is that they are really cost-effective. Because you don’t have to pay your virtual receptionist a set salary, fees are much lower. With the help of a virtual receptionist, the high cost of a dedicated resource is avoided.

Also, another feature that virtual receptionists have is that you can only pay for the hours you use; there are no paid holidays or additional benefits. You also understand how much further your business can advance due to the money saved.

You May Also Read : Virtual PBX Phone System: Definition & Benefits

3. Efficient Management

Due to technological advancement and data, virtual receptionists are able to know about businesses and how they run. So this enables them to quickly and expertly respond to customer inquiries and refer complaints to the appropriate division.

For instance, a trained virtual receptionist can assist with client relationship management and phone answering service in accordance with the norms of your industry.

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Virtual Receptionist Service Provider

With all this information, it’s a sure thing that now you wonder how you should choose one. What qualities should a virtual receptionist have? No need to worry; we also have those answers.

There are countless suppliers, so look for one that can offer the service you require and top-notch customer service. Of course, knowing what a virtual receptionist is and isn’t is a great place to start. Here are some factors to consider while choosing a virtual receptionist service provider:

1. Smart Handling and Smooth Operation

When considering incorporating a live virtual receptionist service in your company, you should always keep in mind the business needs the technology would address and the specific uses you would have for it. More than simply providing the technology is required; effective technology seamlessly integrates with how people work.

The call-handling capabilities of the provider’s virtual receptionist services are one practical feature to consider. Is it simple to integrate the service with your existing cloud phone system? Will your setup require any additional telecom hardware? You can get comprehensive guidance on integrating the virtual receptionist service with your current telecoms from a reputable supplier. They will also be able to demonstrate the features that can be used for call handling.

2. 24/7 Service Availability

Hiring several people and having them cover different responsibilities would be very costly and necessitate staff members working irregular hours. Instead of putting your staff in those situations, you can give your customers around-the-clock service through a virtual receptionist. After business hours, when there may be fewer calls for your company, the receptionist will be able to handle the work.

Additionally, it helps because no one will be working when they might not have much opportunity to accomplish anything. Instead, you’ll quickly finish the workload without spending any extra money because your virtual assistant will address these queries as they come up. So, that’s why choosing a service that offers 24/7 availability is a key point.

3. Data Security

Another important point to consider before making a decision is security and data privacy. The virtual assistant knows much about you, so data security must be crucial. Try to understand how a particular platform protects your data. In most cases, complete data encryption and secure access techniques are required.

To understand how they intend to use your data, you should also carefully read their terms and conditions, especially their privacy policy. Most likely, the software would only use your information anonymously—without including any details that could be used to personally identify you—to enhance their virtual assistant’s algorithm.

How We Select & List Softwares?

After extensive research and analysis, we have curated a list of virtual receptionist service. These services are carefully selected based on usability and satisfaction scores, including features, ease of use, customer support, ratings, and reviews from SoftwareSuggest, G2, and Capterra. Our aim is to assist businesses in identifying the most suitable software to streamline their operations.

Top 7 Best Virtual Receptionist Services

Now it is time to take a close look at several popular and quality brand names offering virtual receptionist services and their features. Let’s have a look and see what makes a good virtual receptionist service.

Brand NameRatingKey FeaturesPricing
Call forwarding
Call recording
Text messaging
Basic: $0
Bronze: $16
Silver: $24
Platinum: $40
Unlimited free calls
Offers vanity numbers
Custom greetings
Call forwarding
Solo: $26
Partner: $44
Small Business: $80
Ruby Receptionists
Live call answering
Customized greeting
Message forwarding
Appointment scheduling
Call screening
Call Ruby 100: $319
Call Ruby 200: $599
Call Ruby 350: $999
Call Ruby 500: $1399
Text, audio, and video calling
Speech analytics
Caller ID
Mobile app
IVR systems
Standard: $15
Pro: $25
Enterprise: Contact sales
Live call answering
Chat services
Lead qualification
Appointment scheduling
Call screening
Starter: $140
Basic: $300
Pro: $600

1. CallHippo

CallHippo Dashboard

CallHippo is a next-generation phone system for small businesses and startups that facilitates customer communication. It is user-friendly yet has powerful capabilities such as Power Dialer and Automatic Call Distribution. It can be accessed through a web application or a mobile app, allowing sales, marketing, and support teams to make and receive international calls.

With CallHippo, companies can purchase virtual phone numbers in over 50 countries, add multiple users to the same number, and place calls to recipients around the globe.


  • Automatic call distribution
  • AI-assisted speech analytics
  • Call recording
  • Voice broadcasting
  • Whatsapp business

CallHippo Pros and Cons

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  • International calls
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  • Call summary
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  • United platform for call tracking
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  • Charging/refunding issues
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  • Customer support


  • Starter – $18 Per user/Month
  • Professional – $30 Per user/Month
  • Ultimate – $42 Per user/Month

*Pricing as of 11-06-2024.

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2. Grasshopper

Grasshopper Virtual Receptionist Services

Grasshopper is a cloud-based virtual phone system for small businesses. They provide a business phone number and the option to forward calls to your home phone so you can take them. It is a popular service provider due to its innovative features, apex customer support, and user-friendly interface.


  • Auto-answering customer calls
  • A mobile app that enables you to receive calls and messages from clients on your personal smartphone
  • A desktop application to receive VoIP calls, texts, and voicemails and respond to your clients as necessary
  • Call forwarding and phone call transfer feature
  • Multiple phone extensions that ensure no call goes unanswered by using the call blasting feature

Grasshopper Pros and Cons

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  • No additional devices needed
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  • The admin dashboard is easy to use
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  • Free trial
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  • Currently, Grasshopper is available only in the USA and Canada
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  • Schedules for extensions cannot be set up to adjust automatically based on dates or times
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  • The same message cannot be sent to multiple recipients without creating a group text


  • Solo: $29 per month
  • Partner: $49 per month
  • Small business: $89 per month

You May Also Read : What’s a PBX System? Types, Features, Benefits

3. Ruby Receptionists

Ruby Receptionist dashboard

Ruby provides virtual receptionist solutions, such as live chat and live virtual receptionist service, available 24/7 during all days of the year, and a mobile application that instantly directs when to answer your customers’ calls. The receptionists at Ruby are trained to provide each caller with a unique experience.


  • Virtual receptionists available 24/7/365
  • Hire virtual receptionists as needed, whether you need them for a short time or 24/7
  • This mobile Ruby application connects you to the virtual receptionists who work for you
  • Making cold calls as part of effective marketing strategies and more

Ruby Receptionists Pros and Cons

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  • The Ruby Receptionist app is user-friendly
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  • Quick set up
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  • Continuous customer support
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  • There are no 24-hour bilingual receptionists on staff
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  • Expensive compared to other platforms


  • Call Ruby 100: $319 per month
  • Call Ruby 200: $599 per month
  • Call Ruby 350: $999 per month
  • Call Ruby 500: $1399 per month

4. Dialpad

Dialpad Dashboard

All of Dialpad’s ground-breaking, wholly unified product designs are powered by robust communications AI. With built-in tools and live agent coaching, Dialpad’s AI Contact Center helps resolve customer requests up to 23% faster. It is one omnichannel space for managing your voice and digital customer interactions.


  • Your phone, messaging, video meetings, and contact centers are all combined by Dialpad
  • The teams are kept up and running day and night by the carrier-grade infrastructure, which guarantees a 100% uptime SLA
  • All popular apps, including Salesforce, Zendesk, and Google Workspace, work flawlessly with Dialpad
  • You will have full access to usage and adoption data across your offices, even globally

Dialpad Pros and Cons

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  • Multiple devices on one extension
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  • Installation process is easy
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  • All of the contact details are available at once
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  • Limited external connections
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  • Low scalability
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  • More accessible through live chat or their support hotline and has no email support


  • Standard: $20/user/month
  • Pro: $35/user/month
  • Enterprise: Tailored


Smith AI Dashboard, one of the leading providers of virtual receptionist services, provides artificial intelligence-powered solutions for round-the-clock phone answering, website chat, SMS text answering, appointment scheduling, and other CRM features.


  • 24/7 live chat options and bilingual live virtual receptionist services
  • Quick response to a text messages
  • CRM integration features automatically log calls, chats, appointments, and payments into your systems
  • The chat feature uses artificial intelligence-based technology Pros and Cons

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  • Instant email with specific contact info for visitor
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  • Instruction on how and when visitors want to be contacted
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  • Tracking of visitor location
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  • No call-recording
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  • The dashboard is not user-friendly.


  • Starter: $140 per month for 20 chats, $7 per additional chat.
  • Basic: $300 per month for 50 chats, $6 per additional chat.
  • Pro: $600 per month for 120 chats, $5 per additional chat.

You May Also Read : What is Cloud PBX? A complete guide for businesses

6. DialerHQ

dialerHQ dashboard

DialerHQ is a software platform or application that provides advanced calling and dialing capabilities for businesses and organizations. It serves as a centralized hub for managing and automating outbound calls, improving productivity and efficiency for sales, customer service, and teams.

DialerHQ streamlines the calling process by offering features such as IVR, call scheduling, call recording, and call monitoring. It enables businesses to make a large volume of calls quickly and efficiently, saving time and effort for the users.

Key Features:

  • Call Barging
  • Route to External Number
  • Forward to Multiple Device
  • IVR
  • DID Group


  • Real-time analytics are available on DialerHQ to monitor performance and make data-driven decisions.
  • There are affordable subscription plans on DialerHQ that cater to different budget requirements.
  • DialerHQ provides an integrated communication solution enabling users to connect with contacts globally through phone calls and messaging at low costs.
  • Before committing, users can try DialerHQ through a free trial to test the service.


  • The mobile app of DialerHQ could benefit from improvements to enhance user experience.
  • Properly configuring DialerHQ and staying updated on legal requirements is crucial to avoid compliance issues.
  • DialerHQ operates in a cloud-based environment, depending on stable internet connectivity.


  • Basic – $0 per user/ month
  • Bronze – $7.99 per user/ month
  • Silver plan- $11.99 per user/ month
  • Platinum plan – $19.99 per user/ month

7. AnswerConnect 

AnswerConnect Dashboard

Thanks to round-the-clock support from a team of knowledgeable, live virtual receptionists, you won’t ever miss a call again. By using customized call scripts and call routing, you can ensure that the most important opportunities reach you as soon as possible and that every caller hears a friendly voice, regardless of the time.


  • 20 years of experience
  • Round-the-clock call answering, help with live chat, appointment setting and lead qualification
  • Easy integration with the CRM platforms of your choice, including Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho
  • The best mobile app available for managing communications with customers and prospects

AnswerConnect Pros and Cons

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  • Bilingual services
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  • Apex call quality
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  • Round-the-clock customer support
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  • There are no outgoing call services offered by them


  • 100 minutes per month for $149
  • 200 minutes per month for $269
  • 290 minutes per month for $299
  • 600 minutes per month for $599
  • 900 minutes per month for $899
  • 1,200 minutes per month $1,199


1) What do virtual receptionists look for?

When choosing virtual receptionist service providers, you should consider the integration options and operational capabilities to see if the cloud phone system or the telecom provider matches yours.

2) What is the difference between a virtual receptionist and an answering service?

With live answering services, messages are actually taken by real people rather than being routed to an automated answering machine. In contrast, a virtual receptionist uses knowledgeable customer service specialists to answer calls and manage complex tasks on behalf of another business.

3) What is the cost of virtual receptionist services?

Depending on the service you select and its pricing structure, you can determine the exact cost of a virtual receptionist. The most typical pricing structures are per-minute rate (determined by the services you choose and the volume of your calls), monthly subscription, and pricing tiers.

4) Can a virtual receptionist handle calls 24/7?

Yes, virtual receptionists can handle calls 24/7, supporting businesses to cut costs and time spent, along with many other benefits.

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