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8 Best AI Answering Services for Startups

Last Updated on June 28, 2024 by Adriaan

The quality of customer experience can make or break your brand. Not just because today’s consumers expect next-level service when investing their hard-earned money. But more so because buyers have almost unlimited choice, making it essential that your business stands out amongst the competition.

The issue with this reality — at least for startups — is that delivering a consistently positive CX can be challenging, especially if you’re working with a small team or doing everything yourself.

For this reason, you must employ the best possible tools to help you handle customer demands while saving time and energy to focus on high-value tasks and activities.

A well-made, reliable AI answering system is one such tool. With the ability to handle customer phone calls, book appointments, and escalate to a human customer service representative when needed, these virtual assistants can be a lifesaver during peak times or after-hours.

We set out to find the best AI answering services for startups in 2024. Here are our top contenders.

#1 Rosie

Our top choice, Rosie, is a hyper-realistic, 24/7 AI phone answering service ideal for handling phone calls and setting appointments.

Designed to manage customer interactions and prevent leads from going to voicemail (thus losing revenue), Rosie can book appointments, answer customer questions, and send confirmation texts. Furthermore, it can escalate to a human when needed.

The setup process is easy. The assistant uses customer service documentation, website data, and info from your Yelp profile. This means that configuration takes mere minutes, while the entire service can be up and running in a couple of days.

Rosie integrates seamlessly with your CRM software and scheduling software. It supports tools like Zapier, Boulevard, Gosite, HousecallPro, FieldRoutes, and Jobber. Plus, it connects with your existing phone system.

The answering service also provides real-time insights into your calls and appointments. Moreover, it allows you to optimize your brand’s customer experience by expanding the assistant’s knowledge base as needed.

Standout Features

One of Rosie’s most advanced features is its ability to detect customer emotions like urgency, frustration, or anger, which significantly improves customer satisfaction. This gives you more control over your brand’s CX, as you can choose to handle any unforeseen circumstances and use your human touch to ensure that customers get the best possible service when dealing with your business.

Another pro for investing in this startup AI answering service is its ability to minimize no-shows. You can set up Rosie to call appointments ahead of time to confirm. Plus, you can even use it for customer relationship management by having it follow up with your prospects or request reviews after completing your services.

#2 Curious Thing

Developed specifically for busy individuals and growing businesses, Curious Thing offers three AI call answering services to help automate and speed up business processes.

It’s built on ChatGPT, is available 24/7, and offers support in any language — a huge plus for startups operating in emerging markets.

Key Capabilities

Depending on your brand’s needs, you can choose one of three product options:

  • Lucy is Curious Thing’s most basic AI answering service. It’s great for answering calls — both in a personal and business setting — and can manage customer inquiries, screen calls, book appointments, schedule appointments, and transcribe customer interactions. It’s also free, meaning it’s a great way to get started with AI without breaking the bank.
  • For more advanced customer service and employee support, you can check out Alex, the AI agent that runs on ChatGPT. It’s ideal for answering FAQs, minimizing wait times, and reducing customer service costs.
  • Curious Thing also offers an outbound AI solution — Sam and Lou. Implementing this answering service can prevent leads from losing interest and boost conversions. Plus, you can use it to streamline your payment reminder process, which is a critical feature for startups dealing with inconsistent cash flows.

#3 Answering AI

Do you need a simple solution that will handle calls 24/7 but still keep you in control of customer questions and sales calls? In that case, Answering AI might be the best choice for you.

Answering AI is an advanced ai phone answering solution featuring a lifelike voice with a realistic tone and intonation. It’s available in over 50 languages and can automatically detect your callers’ language and switch to a suitable communication mode. Moreover, it works marvelously with different accents.

Core Feature

The Answering AI solution handles customer calls and resolves them in one of two ways.

On the one hand, it can help your customers resolve pain points by sending them text or WhatsApp messages. These can include purchase links, FAQ pages, or support resources.

Alternatively, you can use the AI assistant to schedule real-life calls to provide your prospects with human-based interactions to convert them into customers.

#4 Play AI

Created to streamline customer service, Play AI is an excellent choice if you need versatile yet unique virtual receptionist services for your startup.

With use cases in hospitality, health, restaurants, and retail, Play AI allows you to create a custom voice interface solution for your company. It can help with scheduling (booking, reservations, calendar syncing). It can provide 24/7 customer support. You can use it for sales and marketing by integrating it with your CRM software. And it can help improve your lead engagement and qualification processes and enhance your marketing campaigns.

Unique Feature

One of the biggest pros of implementing the Play AI answering service for your business is that it allows you to create a custom AI phone answering system, retaining your brand’s unique voice. You can choose to create a custom agent. Or, you can even clone your voice for a more authentic customer experience.

Additionally, it’s important to note that this voice AI is fast and effective, featuring a high-quality deep learning algorithm for natural language processing.

#5 Simple Phones

As an affordable AI answering service starting at just $49 per month, Simple Phones offers comprehensive phone answering services. It handles inbound and outbound calls to improve customer experience by scheduling appointments, fielding inquiries, providing information, and managing bookings across various industries like medical, wellness, hospitality, and real estate.

You can use this solution to answer customer questions and schedule meetings. Or, you can implement it in your outbound marketing strategies to follow up with customers or re-engage existing leads.

The one thing to remember about Simple Phones is that the pricing model is call-based. That means you get a specific number of calls per month. If you go over that number, your phone numbers will be released, meaning you’ll have to subscribe to a new plan to keep your customer service up and running.

Core Capabilities

When it comes to Simple Phones’ unique capabilities, there’s one feature that stands out about this AI answering service for startups.

This software doesn’t just allow you to continue using your existing business number. You can set it up to have the AI agent screen phone calls, automatically deciding whether to pass them on to a live agent or have them leave a message, effectively preventing missed calls.

#6 Smith AI

Do you need to handle phone calls and live chat inquiries? In that case, check out the Smith AI answering service.

Capable of answering phone calls 24/7, booking appointments, responding to texts, and following up on emails, Smith AI offers AI phone answering services that work for startups in almost any industry.

However, while it’s predominantly an AI-powered service, Smith AI also employs human agents to create an all-around positive customer experience, regardless of how your clients get in touch.

This means that you can use this software not just to handle inbound calls. But, the company’s agents can also play a role in your outbound marketing efforts, helping you streamline your business’ growth and maximize revenue without hiring additional employees.

Unique Features

One of the unique things about Smith AI is that it handles real customer service calls with human agents via phone and your site’s live chat feature. This can be a huge plus if your startup targets younger audiences who prefer self-service resources to real-life communication.

#7 IsOn24

For small businesses searching for AI call answering services with advanced analytical capabilities, IsOn24 is an excellent choice. It automatically transcribes all calls and generates daily reports so that you can review outcomes and identify improvement opportunities.

This AI voice assistant can help you set appointments, check availability, or answer questions about your products and services. It’s also great at negotiating alternate times while scheduling. And you can use it to answer texts and emails, giving you a more adaptable way of meeting customer needs.

Furthermore, IsOn24 integrates with multiple apps, including your calendar, scheduler, and CRM, to create a seamless and trust-building customer experience.

Record Your Own Voice

Not only does IsOn24 allow you to choose from multiple voice assistants. But, if you want to retain your business’ uniqueness, you can record your voice for fully on-brand customer interactions. Additionally, IsOn24 integrates with multiple apps to offer AI phone answering services, handling tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling inquiries, and providing information across various industries.

#8 Slang.ai

This AI answering machine may have been created for restaurant owners who need help managing bookings. Nonetheless, if all you need from your AI answering service is a bit of help with your schedule, Slang.ai is an excellent choice for your startup.

This AI phone answering service is best for creating and modifying reservations when your staff is too busy to answer the phone.

However, you can also implement it in retail or ecommerce, as it works equally well for order tracking, providing directions, and offering basic information about your business hours.

Reasons to Check It Out for Customer Satisfaction

Though Slang.ai may not be the most advanced phone answering service for startups, it’s a good jumping-off point. It works best for businesses that receive a lot of calls, is customizable, and can manage reservations without involving your staff, giving you more time to focus on delivering the best service you can.

Over to You

A high-quality, well-integrated AI assistant can create tremendous value for your startup by significantly improving customer satisfaction. And more importantly, it can allow you to free up your (and your team’s) time to focus on high-value tasks.

The eight AI answering services listed in this article are all great options. But, to find the right one for your business, try them out and see which one works best for you.

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