The Basics

We wrote this article for those new to virtual receptionist services, or new to the capabilities that Smith.ai offers that may differ from what you might be accustomed to.

Coming from the Express Setup

If you've just finished the Express Setup, welcome! Your account is being set up by our team. You can expect to hear from us within six business hours indicating that it's ready to go. Our team is now processing your instructions and setting up your account. 

When your account is ready, we will perform a test call to make sure everything is working properly. That will generate a call summary, which will go to your phone or email (whichever you specified). When you receive it, everything is good to go, and you can begin forwarding calls to your Smith.ai number.

Please do not start forwarding your calls to us until you receive the email or text summary with the successful test notification.

New to Virtual Receptionists or Smith.ai? Here's what we do...

We qualify your customers for you, saving you hours each day, keeping your clients happy, and helping your business succeed. Here's how:

  1. We provide you with a phone number once your account is set up
  2. You either use that number for your business' incoming calls, or forward your existing phone number(s) to it, and we'll answer the calls
  3. We answer your calls between 6am – 6pm PT / 9am – 9pm ET, Monday through Friday
  4. Based on criteria and decision-making guidance you give us, we:
    1. Take messages
    2. Schedule appointments*
    3. Transfer calls to you (or another person/department)
    4. Do client intake
    5. Provide basic business information to callers
    6. Refer the caller to someone else 
    7. Reject or block the caller (e.g., Yelp or other salespeople)
    8. Take a payment or deposit for your services*
    9. Much more (whatever you need!)
  5. We then take the actions required for the call, and send you a summary of what we did shortly thereafter
  6. We look forward to your feedback to let us know if we've made the right decisions, and we will continue to refine our process based on your directions

Forwarding your calls to your virtual receptionists

For help with forwarding, please see our documentation on forwarding.

When you start forwarding, please make sure your caller ID is enabled for your carrier. Our system needs it for handling your calls effectively.

Features and Capabilities

Live Transfers

Our team can transfer calls to you. For example, you may want us to schedule appointments for all qualified prospective clients, but attempt to transfer calls to you for existing ones, court staff, VIPs, etc. We usually call you, as an in-house receptionist would, and ask if you'd like to accept the transfer. However, we also offer transfer notifications via Slack or SMS.*

Appointment Scheduling*

Our team can schedule appointments for qualified callers. (We'll need some details from you to do that.) We can even take deposit payments when needed.

Client Intake*

We can provide client intake (including completing forms you've created in your CRM) for qualified callers, from basic to complex. If a caller meets your criteria, we'll do the busy work for you.

Blocking & Rejection

We don't charge for spam calls, unwanted sales calls, or wrong numbers. In addition, you can block calls you'd never like to receive again. Perhaps it's a pesky vendor or an ex-client you've had issues with. You can simply tell us to block the number, or click a link at the bottom of a call summary and do it yourself.

*Some add-ons incur additional charges. Please see our pricing page for details. But we'll say this: it's worth it.

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