The 6 best AI answering services to use in 2024 Check out our top 6 must-have AI answering services you can use to handle business or personal calls better.

By Hammad Syed in TTS

May 20, 2024 13 min read
The 6 best AI answering services to use in 2024

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Imagine never missing a phone call from a potential customer or having the ability to schedule appointments 24/7 without lifting a finger.

This isn’t just a dream; it can be your reality since you can now integrate AI answering services into your business operations.

As all businesses strive to enhance their customer experience, the AI-powered answering systems created have become a game-changer, offering an innovative solution to manage callers and phone calls efficiently.

In this guide, I’ll dive deep into AI answering services, highlighting the top six services that have stood out for their exceptional capabilities in transforming how you can communicate with your customers.

What is an AI answering service?

When you think about an AI answering service, you can see it as more than just a way to handle incoming calls—it’s a transformative tool for your business communication.

With artificial intelligence and smart automation at its core, your answering service manages to take care of all calls, set up appointments, and handle customer queries around the clock without constant human oversight.

The most impressive part is the use of voice AI and natural language processing. These technologies enable your system to understand a wide array of customer questions and provide instant responses, just as a highly trained receptionist would.

As a small business, this can be a monumental benefit. Every call is answered, customer satisfaction has soared, and your team can focus more on other crucial aspects of the business.

Benefits of using an AI answering service

Implementing an AI phone answering service has brought significant changes to your customer service and operational efficiency.

  • One major advantage is cost savings. By automating call handling, especially during peak times or after hours, you can drastically reduce the need for a large call management team, which in turn can cut down your operational costs.
  • The smoothness in customer interactions is another benefit we can’t overlook. Systems like IVR offer callers options to choose from, aiding them in finding the right assistance or information quickly. Moreover, CRM integration allows your service to access historical interactions, enabling a more personalized conversation with each caller. This has not only improved how customers perceive their interactions with you but can also deepen their trust in your services.
  • As your business grows, your AI answering service can scale with it. It’s adept at handling increased call volumes during busy periods like holidays, which is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction without the need to expand your staff.
  • Moreover, the speed and efficiency of your service are unmatched. It transcribes calls in real time and provides quick responses to common questions, ensuring that your customers are not left waiting. This efficiency doesn’t just satisfy customers—it also frees up your team to tackle more complex tasks, significantly boosting productivity.

Choosing the right AI answering service for your business

Choosing the right AI answering service is a critical decision. You’ll have to carefully consider your specific needs and the goals you aim to achieve. Here’s how you can approach the decision-making process:

  • Firstly, evaluate the volume of phone calls you typically receive, as well as the number during your busiest periods. This helps determine how robust and flexible your AI answering service needs to be.
  • Next, consider the types of questions your customers typically ask. Are they straightforward or complex? It’s crucial that your virtual receptionist can understand and handle both simple and intricate inquiries with its advanced natural language processing capabilities.
  • Then, identify the features that are essential for your operations. Did you need excellent capabilities in appointment scheduling, quick follow-ups, efficient routing, or outbound calls to your customers? It’s important that the chosen services offer exactly what you need to streamline your operations and enhance your business efficiency.
  • Cost is also a significant factor in the decision. Look for a service with clear, upfront pricing to avoid any surprises. It’s important that the solution is cost-effective and scalable to accommodate your growing needs.
  • Lastly, compatibility with your existing systems is a must. The AI service needs to work seamlessly with your current phone number, your business phone setup, and any software you use for customer relationship management or scheduling. This integration is essential for maintaining smooth operations and ensuring that managing customer interactions is effortless and efficient.

Exploring the top 6 AI answering services

1. PlayAI

    Play AI is an AI voice agent that automates customer support, acting like a virtual customer service representative. It’s designed to handle customer inquiries across a range of industries with efficiency and precision.

    Once set up, Play AI independently manages customer interactions from start to finish. It understands queries, provides accurate responses, and handles follow-up questions, all without needing human intervention. This automation helps businesses deliver fast and consistent customer service.

    Our system offers over 900 ai voice styles and supports more than 143 languages, allowing customization to fit any brand’s voice and serve a global customer base effectively. PlayAI is perfect for businesses looking to improve their customer service operations, offering a dependable tool that handles inquiries smoothly and enhances customer experience.

    Additionally, the platform’s ability to learn from interactions makes it increasingly effective over time. It adapts and improves its responses, making it an invaluable asset for long-term customer engagement.

    Businesses can also integrate Play AI seamlessly with their existing CRM systems, enhancing data consistency and customer interaction tracking. With Play AI, companies not only streamline their customer service processes but also elevate the overall customer journey, making every interaction more personalized and engaging.

    Pros:

    • Realistic voice cloning technology
    • Enhances customer interaction with natural-sounding responses
    • Suitable for various applications including customer service, voiceovers, and accessibility

    Cons:

    • May require integration with other services for full AI answering capabilities

    Pricing: Custom pricing based on usage and requirements.

    2. Simple Phones

    Simple Phones makes it easier for businesses to handle their phone calls. Its smart system quickly figures out where to send callers so they can talk to the right helper or voice assistant without waiting.

    Because it works well with CRM systems, businesses love how it makes talking to customers more personal and helps things run smoother.

    Pros:

    • Customizable for various business needs
    • Supports both inbound and outbound calls
    • Detailed call logging with transcripts
    • Affordable with no long-term commitment

    Cons:

    • Limited CRM integration details

    Pricing: Starts at $49/mo for 100 calls/mo.

    3. Abby Connect

    Abby Connect offers a blend of AI technology and human touch, providing a personalized answering service that can adapt to your business’s tone and manner.

    It supports bilingual services, ensuring non-English speaking callers receive the same level of customer care. 

    With Abby Connect, small businesses can enhance their customer experience by ensuring every call is answered professionally.

    Pros:

    • Mix of AI and human intelligence for personalization
    • Small, dedicated receptionist teams
    • Appointment scheduling and account optimization
    • Bilingual services available

    Cons:

    • A bit more expensive than other similar options

    Pricing: Starts at $329/mo for 100 receptionist minutes, $599/mo for 200 minutes, and $1380/mo for 500 minutes.

    4. IsOn24

    IsOn24 specializes in delivering detailed analytics alongside its call answering services. This feature is invaluable for businesses looking to gain insights into customer behavior, call patterns, and service effectiveness.

    Its robust automation capabilities, including the ability to book appointments and manage FAQs, make it an essential tool for businesses focused on efficiency and customer satisfaction.

    Pros:

    • Flexible service for various industries
    • Features like appointments, texting, and call queuing
    • Offers service demos
    • Easy app integration

    Cons:

    • Customization details not specified

    Pricing: Starter plan at $39/mo for 1000 minutes, Sprinter at $79/mo for 3000 minutes, Cruiser at $159/mo for 7500 minutes, and a custom Enterprise plan.

    5. Slang.ai

    Slang.ai leads the way with its advanced voice AI, which is really good at understanding and responding to how people naturally speak. 

    This is super helpful for places that need to solve technical issues or answer complicated questions.

    Slang.ai gets better over time by learning from each conversation, which means your customer service keeps getting better too.

    Pros:

    • Tailored for the restaurant industry
    • Increases reservations and ROI
    • 24/7 call handling
    • Understands various accents

    Cons:

    • Primarily for restaurants, less for others
    • Limited CRM and phone system integration info

    Pricing: Starts at $299 with additional plans upon request.

    6. MrCall

    MrCall offers a lot of ways to customize its service, fitting perfectly with what your business needs. 

    It’s not just about taking calls; MrCall helps with setting up meetings, handling text messages and SMS, and making sure you don’t miss any important messages.

    Its smart AI agents are also there to take care of voicemails and make sure no follow-up gets forgotten, ensuring that all customer interactions are managed well and professionally.

    Pros:

    • 24/7 operation with CRM integration
    • Call forwarding, SMS, WhatsApp communication
    • Highly customizable, cloud-based
    • Various pricing plans, including cognitive AI

    Cons:

    • Enterprise plan pricing requires consultation
    • Focus on AI may not suit all businesses

    Pricing: Business plan at $29/mo for 400 minutes, Business Pro at $55/mo for 400 minutes, and a custom Enterprise plan upon request.

    Adding AI answering services to your business

    Adding an AI answering service to your business operations is a big step forward in keeping up with modern technology.

    This change can make your customers happier because they now get quick answers to their questions without having to wait for a long time. It can also make your business run more smoothly by improving communication and helping you handle missed calls better.

    Integrating these AI services is quite easy, allowing you to start using them with your existing phone systems right away. The companies that provide these services make sure the setup process is simplified, so you don’t need to be tech experts to begin.

    Whenever you ran into any issues during the setup, the customer service teams are quick to help, solving any problems fast. This support makes sure your business can keep running smoothly.

    It’s also important to make sure your team knows how to use the new systems. Training is not only about the technical details but also about helping them think differently about customer service. With AI taking care of routine questions, your team could spend more time solving complex issues, which improves your customers’ overall satisfaction.

    By adding AI answering services, you could also look at and improve how you do things. Automating simple questions and sorting out how calls are routed lets your customer service team skip routine tasks. This speeds up how quickly you could respond and raises the quality of your interactions with customers.

    Future trends in AI answering services

    The world of AI answering services is about to change in a big way.

    Thanks to constant improvements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, these services are getting better at personalizing responses and predicting what customers need before they even ask.

    As AI gets smarter, it will understand and reply to people’s questions more like a human would. This means it can answer calls and schedule appointments in a way that feels special for each person, making customers happier with their experience.

    Soon, we’ll see AI answering services that can guess what a customer needs even before they say anything. Imagine an AI that knows why you’re calling based on your past calls and gets everything ready for you.

    We won’t have to press buttons or wait to speak to the right person. This kind of help from AI could change how businesses talk to their customers, making every call quick and easy.

    As AI technology gets even more advanced, it will be able to take care of a wider range of questions and tasks with better accuracy.

    AI answering services might start solving complicated problems, giving detailed information about products, or offering technical help. This will not only cut down on how long customers wait but also improve the service they get.

    Businesses will be able to respond to customer needs faster and more effectively, staying ahead in their markets.

    Plus, when AI answering services start working together with other tools businesses use, like customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and marketing tools, things will get even better.

    With AI’s help in analyzing data from these tools, businesses can give more focused, relevant, and timely answers to their customers. This will make their communication strategies more successful, ensuring customers feel valued and understood.

    Discover the power of PlayAI for your AI voice generation needs

    Looking to add a realistic voice to your AI answering service? PlayAI is the tool you’ve been searching for.

    With advanced voice cloning technology, PlayAI ensures your automated responses sound natural and engaging.

    Whether you’re aiming to improve pronunciation in your customer interactions, create voiceovers for YouTube, or simply enhance your service’s accessibility, PlayAI has got you covered.

    Don’t let your AI service sound robotic; give it a voice that resonates with your audience. Try PlayAI today and hear the difference for yourself!

    How do AI call answering systems manage lots of calls without making people wait too long?

    AI systems smartly decide which calls are most urgent and need quick answers. They send calls to the best virtual helper or automated service, cutting down on waiting times, even when lots of people are calling at once. This helps make sure everyone gets the help they need quickly, which is super helpful for call centers that get a lot of calls.

    Can AI answering services schedule appointments when the office is closed?

    Yes, AI answering services, like PlayAI, are great because they can set up appointments any time, day or night. This means they can talk to people who call after hours, figure out what they need, and schedule their appointments right away. This makes sure you don’t miss out on helping someone just because they called when the office was closed.

    How does AI decide where to send calls?

    AI uses smart programming to listen to what the caller needs and figure out the best way to help them. It can either sort out the problem right there, send the call to a real person who can give more help, or direct the call to a special virtual helper. This makes sure calls are handled well and quickly.

    Are AI answering services a good deal for small businesses that want to make outbound calls and need help with writing down what’s said in calls?

    Definitely. AI answering services are a great deal because they automate making calls and writing down what’s said in real-time. This means small businesses don’t need a big team to manage calls, which saves money and makes things run smoother. Plus, it keeps track of all the details of customer talks, making it a handy tool for businesses of all sizes.

    How do AI systems keep up with changing numbers of calls?

    AI systems are built to easily adjust to more or fewer calls without letting service quality drop. They do this by shifting resources as needed in real-time, making sure each call gets the attention it needs. This flexibility is perfect for businesses that get busy at certain times or suddenly have lots of people calling in, helping them keep up a good level of service for everyone.

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    Hammad Syed

    Hammad Syed

    Hammad Syed holds a Bachelor of Engineering - BE, Electrical, Electronics and Communications and is one of the leading voices in the AI voice revolution. He is the co-founder and CEO of PlayHT, now known as PlayAI.

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