Business Tips

The Top 19 Phone Answering Services for Businesses in 2024

A pink phone in a sea of blue phones that will be used by a telephone answering service.
A man who works for a phone answering services company sitting at his desk and taking calls.

A phone answering service can provide a reliable and professional method for all types of businesses to ensure calls are answered promptly, recorded accurately, and managed with the utmost care. Not only does this free up your time, allowing you to focus on running your business more efficiently, but it also helps you build trust and goodwill among your customers who know they will always be able to reach you. Additionally, these services often offer added features such as appointment scheduling and order taking to further streamline operations.

If you’re interested in a telephone answering service for your business, you’re in the right place! In this article, we list the top 19 phone answering service options for those already running established operations or simply thinking about starting a business. We explore each company’s services, price, and specific features, giving you all the necessary details to make an informed decision when choosing your phone answering service partner!

Top 19 Answering Services for Small Business 

1. Ruby Receptionists

Ruby Receptionists is a phone answering service that helps businesses keep in touch with their customers. Their service is 100% tailored to your business, meaning they work to help you close sales and keep your customers happy. The company prides itself on its friendly and professional customer service and has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality results.


  • Appointment scheduling
  • 24/7 virtual receptionists
  • Hold messages & voicemails 
  • Live chat
  • Order taking
  • Customer support

Plans available 

  • Call Ruby 50: $230 per month for 50 minutes.
  • Call Ruby 100: $365 per month for 100 minutes.
  • Call Ruby 200: $660 per month for 200 minutes.
  • Call Ruby 500: $1,595 per month for 500 minutes.

2. MAP Communications

MAP Communications is a telephone reception company that provides live answering services for businesses. The company has a team of trained virtual receptionists who are available 24/7 to answer calls and take messages. MAP Communications offers a money-back guarantee if customers are not satisfied with the service, which makes it a low-risk option for businesses interested in telephone answering services.


  • Bilingual receptionists for English or Spanish calls
  • Call center services for large businesses
  • CRM tools
  • Custom messages to your customers/clients
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Call routing

Plans available 

There is a 7-day free trial, after which paid plans are as follows:

  • Pay-as-you-go: $43 per month and $1.37 per additional minute.
  • Business: $177 per month for 125 minutes and $1.30 per additional minute.
  • Executive: $296 per month for 225 minutes and $1.28 per additional minute.

3. Davinci Virtual

Davinci is a modern virtual phone answering service offering options designed for those running or launching an online business. If you run a small home-based business, Davinci Virtual can offer you a tailored answering service package.


  • Virtual receptionists are available 24/7
  • Cutting-edge call routing systems
  • Voicemail service integration
  • A virtual business address
  • Bilingual receptionists for live calls
  • Meetings or conference rooms at an additional charge

Plans available

  • Business 50: $129 per month for 50 minutes and basic features.
  • Business 100: $239 per month for 100 minutes and basic features.
  • Premium 50: $249 per month for 50 minutes and premium features.
  • Premium 100: $319 per month for 100 minutes and premium features.

4. VoiceNation

VoiceNation is another premium small business telephone answering service with a great reputation. This company is known for its services, reporting, and customer experience.


  • Free setup in as fast as 24 hours
  • Custom answering scripts
  • Smart app available to manage calls
  • US-based receptionists
  • Detailed reporting and forecasting

Plans available

  • Basic: $59 per month for 20 minutes.
  • Business: $115 per month for 50 minutes.
  • Pro: $279 per month for 150 minutes.
  • Executive: $499 per month for 300 minutes.
  • Enterprise: $889 per month for 600 minutes.

5. Specialty Answering Service (Saso)

Specialty Answering Service (SASO) is useful for small businesses unable to afford staffing for their own 24/7 customer support line. For data security and peace of mind, Specialty Answering Services is another great option. There is a free 14-day trial to give SASO a try, so it’s worth considering for your business.


  • 24/7 services
  • Lead generation services
  • Bilingual receptionists
  • ISO27001 certified, ensuring data security
  • Offers services to international companies
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Dispatch services where calls are answered in three rings or less

Plans available

  • Economy: $34 per month and $1.29 per minute.
  • 100 minutes: $128 per month and $1.19 per additional minute.
  • 220 minutes: $219 per month and $1.19 per additional minute.
  • 500 minutes: $539 per month and $1.09 per additional minute.
  • 1,000 minutes: $999 per month and $1.05 per additional minute.
  • 2,500 minutes: $2,400 per month and $0.99 per additional minute.
  • 5,000 minutes: $4,599 per month and $0.99 per additional minute.
  • 10,000 minutes: $8,599 per month and $0.89 per additional minute.

6. Pat Live

Since 1990, PATLive has established itself to help businesses with customer support needs. You can easily track calls and other services straight from its mobile application.


  • 24/7 live answering services
  • Mobile app to keep track of calls
  • Message taking features
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Billing and payment support
  • Bilingual receptionists

Plans available

  • Basic $59 per month and $2.25 per minute.
  • Starter: $199 per month for 75 minutes and $1.75 per additional minute.
  • Standard: $349 per month for 200 minutes and $1.50 per additional minute.
  • Pro: $799 per month for 600 minutes and $1.25 per additional minute.
  • Pro+: $1279+ per month for 1,000 minutes and $1.05 per additional minute.

7. Abby Connect

Abby Connect is a virtual receptionist service offering a whole host of features to help your business grow and thrive. It’s the self-proclaimed “#1 rated virtual receptionist”.


  • Custom answering hours
  • Dedicated account representative
  • Bilingual support
  • Voicemail and text message support
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Bilingual receptionists

Plans available

  • 100 Receptionist Minutes: $299 per month and $2.99 per additional minute.
  • 200 Receptionist Minutes: $549 per month and $2.75 per additional minute.
  • 500 Receptionist Minutes: $1,199 per month and $2.40 per additional minute.

8. RingCentral

RingCentral is a great solution for businesses with employees working from home or otherwise remotely. They offer varied services for messages, videos, and phones. If you need a phone answering service that works with your existing hybrid or remote team, RingCentral may be the best option for you.


  • Call and message monitoring
  • Call routing
  • API integration
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Data reporting
  • Option to communicate with clients through instant messages, calls, or video conferences

Plans available

  • Essentials: $32.99/monthly per user.
  • Standard: $40.99/monthly per user.
  • Premium: $47.99/monthly per user.
  • Ultimate: $62.99/monthly per user.

9. AnswerConnect

AnswerConnect prides itself on using real people to answer the phones in real time—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It can be customized to fit your needs and gives you the most customer-first services.


  • Live call answering
  • Live chat support
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Video chat support
  • Toll-free number
  • Bilingual services
  • Call routing, forwarding, and transferring

Plans available

For pricing and plans, contact AnswerConnect directly.

10. Ansafone

Ansafone is a call center and phone answering service offering both fixed plans and custom packages. They are a reputable company with a variety of services to fit your business needs.


  • Social media customer service
  • Interactive voice response
  • Outbound sales
  • Inbound customer service calls and emails
  • Online live chat

Plans available

There are no pricing plans listed on their website. You’ll need to contact Ansafone for a quote.

11. AnswerFirst

AnswerFirst is a pay-as-you-go service for telephone answering that supports varied customer service-oriented services. As a leading provider of answering services, AnswerFirst is a great choice for your business if you need an inbound call center solution. 


  • 100% US-based customer service professionals
  • Auto-adjusted billing based on usage
  • Detailed reporting
  • Secure web portal

Plans available

AnswerFirst is a pay-as-you-go plan and can expect to pay $30 per month and $1.10 to $1.55 per minute, depending on your usage. As your usage increases, your rate automatically lowers.

12. Answering Service Care

Answering Service Care offers live answering services and automated services (such as call recording, spam blockers, and fax-to-email). If you’re looking for a less-frills and more affordable option, Answering Service Care may be the right choice for you.


  • 24/7 phone coverage
  • Call, SMS, and email transfers
  • Bilingual operators
  • Online client portal

Plans available

  • Starter $49 per month for 30 minutes and $1.25 per additional minute.
  • Small Business: $149 per month for 100 minutes and $1.23 per additional minute.
  • Pro: $249 per month for 250 minutes and $1.15 per additional minute.
  • Enterprise: $529 per month for 500 minutes and $1.05 per additional minute.


Professional Communications Messaging Services, Inc. (PCMSI) is an answering service that has been around since 1962. It has several tools to help your business stay in touch with customers whenever they need you.


  • 24/7 answering service
  • Hardware and power backups
  • 100% US-based operators

Plans available

Prices are not listed on PCMSI’s website, you must contact them for a quote.

14. MoneyPenny

MoneyPenny is a small-business-focused answering service with tools to keep your customers in contact with your business and keep internal communication alive for remote teams. They are a great choice for business owners looking for a simple solution to contact-related problems.


  • Telephone answering service
  • Live chat
  • Business phone number (local, national, or toll-free)
  • 24/7 support

Plans available

Prices are not listed on MoneyPenny’s website, you must contact them for a quote.

15. GoAnswer

GoAnswer allows you to outsource to an answering service, a contact center service, or a legal intake service. If you run a medical, finance, or legal business with nuanced laws and norms, you may find GoAnswer’s telephone answering service is your best option.


  • 24/7 phone support
  • Online chat
  • SMS and email support
  • Order entry
  • Appointment scheduling
  • HIPAA trained
  • Dashboard and app for easy account management

Plans available

Prices are not listed on GoAnswer’s website, you must contact them for a quote.

16. NovusCall

NovusCall offers live receptionist services billed on a per-call basis with a set monthly fee. They offer affordable rates through their unique pricing plans on a per-call basis instead of a per-minute basis.


  • Outbound calling
  • Order processing
  • Appointment scheduling
  • CRM maintenance
  • Toll-free numbers

Plans available

  • Starter: $199.95 per month for up to 75 calls.
  • Entrepreneur: $389.95 per month for up to 150 calls.
  • Business: $579.95 per month for up to 250 calls.

17. Vonage

Vonage offers a virtual receptionist service that helps you create call routing pathways to better manage your calls. Unlike the rest of the services listed, Vonage isn’t really an answering service. It’s more of a virtual assistant that helps you better answer calls yourself. If a bit of organizational help is all you need, this may be the right provider for you.


  • Custom scheduling
  • Call trees and scheduling features
  • Call management system
  • Business phone numbers

Plans available

  • Mobile: $19.99 per employee/monthly.
  • Premium: $29.99 per employee/monthly.
  • Advanced: $39.99 per employee/monthly.

18. P.T.A.S.

Personal Telephone Answering Service (P.T.A.S.) is a Santa Clara Valley-based provider that has been around since 1961. They appear to focus on providing their services more locally, but they do offer a variety of services for different business types.


  • SSL Certificate and HIPAA-compliant messages
  • Independent backup power
  • Alpha/numeric paging
  • Wake-up calls and welfare checks
  • Call screening

Plans available

Prices are not listed on P.T.A.S.’s website, you must contact them for a quote.

19. BPO American

BPO American offers six main answering service plans, with custom packages also available. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable solution for phone answering, BPO American may just fit the bill for you. 


  • Call answering services
  • Inbound and outbound call support
  • Chat and email support
  • 24/7 support
  • Instant activation
  • Phone, text, and email support

Plans available

  • Plan A: $29 per month for up to 25 minutes and $1.09 per additional minute.
  • Plan B: $89 per month for up to 75 minutes and $0.95 per additional minute.
  • Plan C: $109 per month for up to 100 minutes and $0.90 per additional minute.
  • Plan D: $139 per month for up to 125 minutes and $0.85 per additional minute.
  • Plan E: $229 per month for up to 250 minutes and $0.80 per additional minute.
  • Plan F: $369 per month for up to 425 minutes and $0.75 per additional minute.

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Call Answering Services Features to Consider

Blue telephone with orange message bubble.

Live answering services

Live answering services ensure a real live person is always available to answer your phone, even outside of regular office hours. This level of accessibility is essential for ensuring the type of customer satisfaction that maintains strong customer relationships.

Customer support representative providing phone answering services.

Virtual answering services

Virtual answering services are a valuable resource for businesses looking to provide top-quality customer care around the clock. For this service, the company is typically staffed by experienced customer service representatives who are familiar with the products and services offered by the business. As a result, they can provide a more personalized level of service to customers.

Blue telephone with 24 above it for 24/7 availability.


Answering services can help improve the level of access to your business offered to customers by handling after-hours calls. This is especially important for handling urgent or time-sensitive issues, as customers are more likely to call outside of regular business hours when they are in need of immediate assistance. And oftentimes, it’s more expensive to keep someone on call 24/7 internally than it is to outsource a professional answering service.

Mobile phone with a green checkmark on the screen.

Mobile app for service updates

In addition to traditional answering services, many companies also offer a convenient mobile app to help customers manage their accounts and stay informed about their services. These apps typically provide a range of useful features, such as the ability to track calls, manage bills, and receive real-time updates.

eCommerce website page with a shopping cart integration.

Order processing

Many telephone answering companies offer order processing as part of their overall package of services. They usually provide a toll-free number customers can use to place their orders, which are then routed to the appropriate department within your business for processing. This streamlines your business processes and ensures all orders are handled in a professional, timely manner.

Answering Service Costs and Billing

Answering services typically charge for their services on a per-minute basis, with rates ranging from around $0.50-$2 per minute, depending on the complexity of the services. Some companies have a minimum monthly fee, while others only charge for the time spent on calls. Most answering services bill in increments of 60 seconds, rounding up to the nearest minute for calls that last longer. For example, a call lasts for 2 minutes and 30 seconds will be billed for 3 minutes.

When comparing companies, it’s important to know the cost per minute, minimum fees, and billing increment, in order to get an accurate estimate of the total cost of service.

The future of phone answering services beyond 2024 will likely depend on a variety of factors, though looking at current trends can help you get a handle on where these services are heading. Let’s examine the 2024 trends to help you make informed decisions about which phone answering services and features will be most beneficial to your operations today, tomorrow, and even the day after.

Blue lightbulb with a blue lightning bolt inside.

Live calling will remain in high demand

Live calling remains essential to business operations, as it provides a personal touch that cannot be replicated through digital channels. From customer service to sales, live calling is a valuable tool for building and maintaining relationships with customers. And as businesses continue to expand globally, the demand for live calling is likely to grow. 

Green lightbulb with a green lightning bolt inside.

Artificial intelligence and automation

As technology continues to advance, businesses will likely look to AI and automation to help streamline customer service operations and improve efficiency. AI-powered chatbots on your website can be used to handle simple inquiries and provide quick and accurate responses to customers, freeing up live operators to handle more complex issues. Additionally, automation tools may be used to handle routine tasks such as appointment scheduling and call routing, which also frees up human operators to focus on more high-level customer service responsibilities.

Orange lightbulb with an orange lightning bolt inside.

Easily accessible data portals

As the call-answering industry continues to grow, expect a number of portals to be developed. These portals provide a centralized location where companies outsourcing their calls can access their real-time call center data. By leveraging the power of data, businesses can gain valuable insights into the needs of their customers and make informed decisions about how to best serve them.

Blue lightbulb with a blue lightning bolt inside.

Increased importance of cybersecurity

With the increasing reliance on technology, businesses must take steps to protect consumer data from cyber attacks in order to prevent financial and reputational damage. While there are many different types of cybersecurity measures, some of the most effective include data encryption, firewalls, and malware detection—all of which may be obtained via the right phone answering service provider.

Green lightbulb with a green lightning bolt inside.

Speech analytics will become a must

In simple terms, speech analytics is the process of converting spoken words into text for analysis. It has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its cost of storage and minimal computing power, as well as improved accuracy in speech-to-text conversion.

Orange lightbulb with an orange lightning bolt inside.

Omnichannel communications 

Omnichannel communication refers to sending and receiving messages through multiple channels simultaneously. This process utilizes email, text, social media, and chatbots to provide a seamless customer experience.

Final Thoughts on the Best Answering Service for Businesses

If you’re still trying to decide which option is the best fit for your business, it may be helpful to take advantage of free trials by various providers. This will allow you to test out different options and evaluate which one works best for your specific needs. It’s important to choose a provider that is reliable in helping you answer calls, process orders, and manage inquiries.

To further automate your operations, consider partnering with a merchant service provider specialized in MOTO payment processing. These services can help you securely and efficiently process payments over the phone, freeing up even more of your time. The question isn’t whether you need a phone answering service or merchant service provider, but rather what you will do with all your extra time!

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Telephone Answering Service: FAQ

How does the answering service work?

A phone answering service works by taking calls on your business’s behalf. Each vendor has different features, applications, and services customizable to your business operations.

Based on the package you choose, you’ll pay monthly for a remote service that will help your business stay connected with customers.

What is a virtual receptionist?

A virtual receptionist is an automated software that answers or routes calls on behalf of your business. Essentially, a virtual receptionist simulates an actual conversation and helps get customer information. Some are available around the clock, ensuring your business is always available for customers.

Features of virtual receptionists include providing account information, taking messages, directing calls, and scheduling appointments.

What types of things will an answering service do?

An answering service helps build trust between your business and its clients. Here is a list of things a call answering service will do on your business’s behalf:

  • Answer calls when you are not available
  • Make outbound calls
  • Send you updates via a mobile app
  • Collect data and make reports
  • Record calls
  • Allow you to make custom scripts 
  • Scheduling assistance
  • Call routing
  • Bill customers, accept payments, and place orders.

What should a business owner look for in an answering service?

A telephone answering service represents your business. Therefore, you want to make sure you choose the company best suited for representing your business’s culture. Here are some of the most important offerings to look for in a phone answering service:

How hard is it to set up a call answering service?

To get started with a call answering service, look over your options, choose the best company for your business needs, and contact them. It’s that simple!

While most call-answering services can be set up in a handful of days, there are a few on this list that can set you up on the very day you sign up. The actual effort you’ll need to put in varies depending on things like your budget, utilized features, and contractual obligations.

Is there a difference between a phone answering service and a virtual receptionist?

Yes, there is a difference. A phone answering service is when a real person answers a phone on behalf of your business. Meanwhile, a virtual receptionist is a software or automated message that forwards phone calls to you. 

Why would I want to outsource my customer service calls?

There are many benefits to outsourcing customer calls, including:

  • 24/7 Support: You may not have the resources to hire 24/7 employees, so this is a cheaper alternative for making sure you’re there for your customers. 
  • No Training Required: Hiring a phone answering service gives you access to employees who are already trained in customer service and administration.
  • Relieve Pressure from Your Staff: A phone service allows your staff to work on higher-priority duties.
  • More Control: By setting up a personalized script, you will have full control over the direction of the call.

How can an answering service help my business?

An answering service can help your business in several ways, as it increases time management, customer service, and employee bandwidth. It can also help with your business’s budget by decreasing the number of employees you must have on the clock. 

What types of businesses benefit from an answering service?

An answering service is beneficial for a variety of businesses, particularly those with a high volume of incoming calls or extended business hours. Some examples include:

  1. Medical Offices: Answering services can handle after-hours calls and assist with routing urgent calls to medical professionals.
  2. Legal Offices: Phone answering companies can provide legal intake services.
  3. eCommerce Businesses: Answering services can provide customer service and support for online stores, especially if the business has an international customer base located in various time zones.
  4. Marketing & Advertising Agencies: Answering services can handle calls from potential clients and provide them support.

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