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Live virtual receptionists ensure you never miss a call

Small businesses are busy places where resources are stretched thin. You are trying to get everything done on a budget. Employees often wear multiple hats. This can hurt customer service.

With small business answering services from CMS, you can put your telephone answering and call center needs to rest for good.

Our 24-hour call center ensures that every call made to your business is handled by a live person. That means no more relying on voicemail, no more missing important phone calls, and no more multitasking as you and your team try to work and take phone calls at the same time.

Picture of a woman using her phone to leave a positive review
Picture of CMS customer service agent wearing a headset and taking calls in our call center

Improve your customer service while lowering costs

If you’ve ever tried and failed to reach a business over an important concern, you already know the pain of customers who might not be able to reach your company or reach the right department. Lack of call coverage can result in:

  • Lost sales and income
  • Missed business opportunities
  • Escalating frustration
  • Poor customer reviews
  • Staffing distractions

The good news is that 94 percent of customers1 will recommend a company they believe offers very good customer service.

Where does “very good” customer service start? For most consumers, it’s with a phone call, particularly for more serious concerns. With CMS making sure you don’t miss a single call and that all your calls are handled to your standards, you won’t have to worry about negative customer service complaints again.

Answering Service Features

Custom Small Business Telephone Answering Services

If it involves your phone calls, we can help! We deliver more than your standard answering service by combining top-tier customer service with leading technology personalized for your small business. So whether you need a simple daytime receptionist service or a 24-hour customer service call center integrated with your help desk software, we can help develop an answering service solution that meets your needs.

Virtual Receptionist for Small Businesses

For many customers, your receptionist is their first contact with your business, and the wrong impression can have far-reaching repercussions.

Our friendly, competent, and dedicated small business virtual receptionists ensure every caller is given the time and level of service they deserve while enabling on-site staff to focus on their core duties distraction-free.

Even better, the CMS virtual receptionists can help with more than just answering the phone. Our trained customer service professionals can provide a wide array of receptionist duties for your growing business. From transferring calls to scheduling appointments, we are here to help your business run smoothly and efficiently.

Learn more: Small Business Virtual Receptionist

Virtual receptionist on the phone
Agents in a call center with icons that represent 24 hour service, afterhours service, and weekend availability

After Hours Answering Service

Regardless of what kind of business you have or what industry you’re in, being available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year gives you an edge when wooing new clients, cementing your customer service reputation, and maximizing profits.

With after-hours answering services from CMS, you get all these benefits at a nominal cost, without the hassle and expense of hiring and training full-time staff. We make our 24-hour call handling budget-friendly for businesses of all sizes; you only pay for calls taken on your account, making this one of our most economical options.

We can handle customer service issues, sales inquiries, and other client needs, so your business benefits from our attentiveness and responsiveness. For companies that receive urgent calls after hours, such as plumbing companies and therapist offices, this service can be invaluable to ensure customers can always reach a professional in an emergency.

Call Dispatching and Emergency Relay

Many businesses, particularly those in IT, construction, the trades, and transportation, operate routinely outside normal business hours. If this sounds like your business, how much revenue might you miss out on by not being accessible 24/7? If you’ve avoided in-house dispatchers because of the expense, CMS has a cost-effective solution for you.

We provide 24/7/365 dispatching services, whether you need a regular response every night or intermittent coverage so you don’t miss a customer. You’ll never lose business opportunities to a competitor again, knowing your phone is always answered by professional, reliable CMS staff and information is relayed promptly to your technicians or contractors. Emergencies rarely happen during convenient hours, but your customers won’t suffer with a midnight burst pipe or downed server as long as you have CMS by your side.

Call center dispatcher looking at a map
Image of a busy office with icons representing time, speed, capacity, and a receptionist taking calls

Overflow Answering Service

Customers do not want to wait on hold, leave a voicemail, or call back later. They want assistance immediately, but your in-house receptionists can’t always meet demand. That’s where our team comes in to help.

Our overflow answering service picks up whenever the need arises, delivering the following benefits:

  • Reduced hold times. When your office experiences a high volume of calls, we step in so that your customers don’t have to wait on hold. This is critical to the overall customer experience, as almost 60 percent of people believe one minute on hold is too long.
  • Improved customer satisfaction. Whether facing an emergency service request requiring immediate attention or scheduling a routine appointment, if a customer’s call goes unanswered, it can negatively impact your business. We ensure all calls are answered and given the attention they deserve.
  • Empower your staff. Our overflow call answering service gives your on-site staff the space to do what they do best and focus on their core duties.

Automated Answering Service for Small Businesses

Automated answering services are invaluable for businesses of all sizes, but they can be especially helpful to small businesses. Automated services such as auto-attendants and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems provide a cost-effective way to ensure customer inquiries and other important messages get answered quickly and accurately.

An auto-attendant or automated answering service is a great way for small businesses to reduce overhead costs while providing excellent customer service. An automated answering system allows callers to be greeted by a professionally recorded message and then routed to the appropriate department or individual quickly and easily. This saves time and ensures that customers can promptly get the answers they need.

IVR systems are ideal for businesses that receive a large volume of calls. With an IVR system, customers can navigate menus, enter account information, and select specific departments without speaking to a live representative. Businesses can also utilize the data collected by IVR systems to gain valuable insights into customer trends and behaviors.

Learn more: Small Business Automated Answering Service

Image of a finger pressing the number 0 on a dial pad surrounded by icons that represent a phone tree and touchpad options
Image of a person on their smartphone surrounded by icons for calendar, phone calls, and booking revenue

Appointment Scheduling

No matter what kind of business you run, an organized schedule is a key to smooth sailing internally and a professional outer appearance. However, maintaining a scheduling system can tie up your time or your staff’s time when you could better focus your energy elsewhere.

At CMS, we guarantee your appointment-related phone calls are always handled properly, giving you the sleek operation you desire and the freedom to spend time managing and growing your business. It’s been our experience that this helps virtually every type of business build devoted clientele with confidence in your caring.

Our call center representatives can set appointments for you round the clock, and your callers will reach live CMS scheduling agents at any time, day or night. Whether a patient has a concern after office hours or a client is trying to reach you from another continent in a different time zone, they’ll reach a live person who can set them at ease.

Small Business Customer Service and Call Center Outsourcing

By now, you know we hang our hat on providing exceptional customer service for your business because your revenue and reputation depend on it. We’ve done this for thousands of businesses since opening our doors in 1967.

It’s common knowledge today that it costs many times more to find new customers than to retain existing ones. We help keep customers loyal to your brand in a fiercely competitive market, which boosts your bottom line at the end of the day.

With our small business customer service outsourcing solutions, you’ll know every call is answered promptly and professionally. Our CMS agents can provide product support, answer questions regarding your services, and handle billing inquiries, to name just a few of our most common requests. In addition, you’ll never have to deal with the headache of an angry customer again, as we can handle delicate customer situations and ensure after-hours and high call volume periods are always covered.

Learn more:

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Smiling male call center agents with icons that represent a sales funnel, revenue, and CRM.

Lead Intake and Qualification

Not every lead is created equal, but you don’t want to miss those that could be a boon to your business. At CMS, we provide lead intake and qualification services so you don’t miss new accounts and can help your business place potential customers in the right place within your sales funnel.

No matter where your leads are coming from, we can offer a live person for them to talk to, as well as answer questions and screen them for next steps. You’ll know who is interested in your company, who is ready to buy, and who needs special attention from someone on your staff.








Uptime Guarantee

Why Use a Small Business Answering Service?

While it’s true that people depend on digital technology a lot when it comes to communication, nothing beats live answering services by CMS if you want to keep your customers, convert leads, grow your client database, and drive business profitability. We can help you:

Save Money

CMS helps you lower your operating costs. You don’t have to buy equipment or hire staff. Only pay for the time our agents spend handling your calls.

Remain Available

Be there for your prospects, customers, and employees with around-the-clock support. Our 24/7 availability keeps your business moving and ensures you never miss an important call.

Improve Service

Improve customer satisfaction by extending your customer service capabilities and delivering friendly human support on every call.

Grow Your Business

Grow and scale your business by capturing every opportunity, reducing distractions, and expanding your capacity.

Customers Expect to Reach You By Phone — CMS Ensures You Are Always Available

Calls are preferred for quick service

There’s nothing like a quick phone call to get a customer service concern resolved or addressed right away, so we totally understand why customers want to speak to a real person.

In fact, 50% of consumers (regardless of age) contact customer service using their telephone.4 They don’t want to waste time on an endless cycle of back and forth through email or messaging.

So, when you make sure there’s somebody professional at the end of the line taking care of your customers, you’re also showing them how much you care and value their time.

Graphic with text that reads "76% of customers prefer to contact customer service agents by phone."
Graphic with text that reads "85% of callers who don't get through to you on the first attempt won't call back and will call your competitors."

Don’t help your competition

Did you know that 61% of customers who are in the middle of the buying cycle call the business they’re interested in?5 Can you afford to lose out on valuable leads or prospective customers if you do? And can you bear the thought of them going to your competition?

At CMS, we know the rewards of consistently answering calls, as well as the consequences of ignoring or not being able to attend to other calls. One phone call can make a world of difference to your business, so we won’t be taking any chances. Neither should you.

Protect your reputation

Ever get that awful feeling when no one seems to be available to answer your calls, especially when there’s no other way to resolve your concern?

When people are made to feel ignored, you lose their loyalty. They start to question the credibility and reputation of your brand, so it’s no big mystery why 68% of customers leave a company because they think it doesn’t care.6

With CMS, you can build up your reputation and keep your customers loyal to your brand no matter what.

Graphic with text that reads "67% of people end a call in frustration when they are unable to reach customer support staff."
Graphic with text that reads "80% of callers transferred to voicemail don't leave messages."

Say goodbye to voicemail

Answering machines may have been a novelty the first time they were introduced. Today, however, voicemails are not only considered productivity killers but are also untrustworthy — that is, people assume nobody ever listens to them and that they’ll never get their problem resolved.

Besides, other than baby boomers and Gen Xers, millennials and members of Generation Z probably make up a portion of your market, so it’s useful to know these younger generations can be averse to voicemails.7

So, better not leave phone calls to chance.

Partner up with CMS and see your loyal customer base grow like never before!

Call Answering Services for Every Business

In the five decades during which CMS has been a virtual answering service for small businesses, we’ve worked with just about every niche on the market. Our experience will give your business a leg up on the competition and let us better customize services for your specific needs. Browse all of our industry solutions here.

Doctor sitting at his computer and interacting with his smartphone

Call Center Services for Healtchare

Are you a doctor or medical practice office manager tired of call answering services that can’t seem to handle the bare minimum?

At CMS, we manage calls the way you want them to be handled every single time by scripting your account and executing your specific instructions.

Every choice our team will make will be based on your service requirements, not on guesswork or assumptions. That means there won’t be any more missed messages, data entry mistakes, or being awakened in the middle of the night for a call you don’t handle after hours.

We take calls after hours and relay urgent calls to on-call providers while also respecting healthcare provider privacy and attending to the needs of your patients.

Discover the HIPAA-compliant 24/7 medical call center provider that top healthcare companies rely on here at CMS.

Call Center Services for Property Management

Like many field service trades, property managers often deal with broken pipes and other repairs at the worst possible times. With help from CMS, you can be certain not to miss calls from tenants, property owners, or service people when you’re off work or busy with another issue.

Property management call center services from CMS give property managers the technology and staffing they need to reduce daily distractions and efficiently handle their calls, improving the resident experience without increasing costs.

Regardless of size, being inundated with phone calls can be a major distraction. From maintenance requests to new tenant inquiries, there are always callers requesting your attention. Our call center solutions for property managers are designed to relieve you of this constant burden without impacting your customer service, delivering personalized call center experiences that keep residents smiling. By only paying for the time spent handling your calls, our services are a cost-effective way to take phone calls for your communities.

Male and female network engineers talking in front of a server rack

Call Center Solutions for IT

When technology misbehaves it’s bad for business. From minor issues to all-out IT disasters, the most common complaint is frustration. Who to call and how hard it is to reach a live person. As users, most of us admit to having a love-hate relationship with technology. We view our technology dependency as both a blessing and a curse. Even when business is booming for manufacturers, developers and IT consultants, the innovation and invention driving success is often at odds with customer service that keeps customers happy and loyal.

CMS handles calls like your third-party IT department. We enable you to keep working and creating while we care for your customers. Everything from Tier 1 troubleshooting to on-call support; creating work tickets, manning your 24-Hour Help Desk, and more.

CMS ensures that superior customer service is delivered in less time and at a lower cost, without hiring additional staff.

Commercial HVAC technician examining equipment on the roof of a building

Call Center Solutions for Home & Field Service Companies

Miss a call – lose a customer. No one understands the importance of calls being answered live than businesses that provide specialized field services. Providers that travel to a customer’s location can’t take calls on the job. But when a consumer needs a locksmith, carpet cleaner, pest control, or tree service specialist, if they don’t reach a friendly and knowledgeable voice, they cross your company off the list.

Large franchise operators or single owner-operators count on CMS to professionally take the calls, book the appointments, and even reach them in the field. Saving time, saving money, and preventing lost business while building customer relationships. CMS offers your business a level of customer service that builds loyalty and strengthens your brand.

Businesses that provide field services can benefit from a CMS field service call center support infrastructure. Customers get the help they need whenever they call and whatever the circumstances. Initial inquiries to setting their appointment; scheduling to dispatch; or even reaching you when it’s urgent. You’ll never miss a call and save money as you deliver customer service that wins and retains customers.

We empower you to keep your promises when advertising 24-hour or emergency service. We’ve got your back with live answering services staffed with professionally trained, courteous, and capable operators. CMS helps you inspire real customer confidence and satisfaction. There is no better way to grow your business and sustain your success.

Integrate Your Existing Systems

We can integrate our answering service with the tools you use daily, making your life easier by streamlining workflows and keeping data synced across applications.

Image of some of the top software applications that CMS integrates with, including Slack, Paycor, ADP, Salesforce, Zendesk, Autotask, Halo PSA, Kronos, Zoho, and Workday
Image of some of the top software applications that CMS integrates with, including Slack, Paycor, ADP, Salesforce, Zendesk, Autotask, Halo PSA, Kronos, Zoho, and Workday

Our flexible telephone answering services are built for small businesses. All of our solutions are 100% customizable. Whether you’re a small office looking for a virtual receptionist to take your calls during business hours; a 24/7 operation in need of customer service outsourcing; or a start-up in need of an answering service to handle appointment scheduling or e-commerce order entry, we can tailor a solution to fit your needs.

Make a great first impression and deliver professional customer service on a budget

First impressions matter. When someone calls your business, the quality of that interaction is vital to your success. That’s why ensuring every call is met by professional, courteous service is important. While staffing your call center or hiring a dedicated receptionist to take your calls can be expensive, CMS makes it easy. Our small business solutions help you power up your phone operation at a fraction of in-house costs.

With CMS, you only pay for the time we spend fielding your calls. Even if we’re on standby 24/7, you only pay us for the time we spend handling your calls.

Don’t miss business opportunities when your office is closed

Over 60% of after-hours calls generate significant revenue for various businesses and often require immediate attention. If that customer can’t reach your company, he or she will call your competition. Our small business answering service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, allowing you to operate around the clock, even if your office is closed.

With CMS taking your calls, you can take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

We understand small business

Our answering service for small businesses allows businesses to keep their costs low without losing touch with their customers. At CMS, we understand the needs of small businesses and are proud to provide our communication solutions to thousands of entrepreneurs across the country.

By choosing CMS as your small business answering service, you put our decades of experience at your disposal and gain a team of professionals dedicated to your success. We consult with each new client individually and customize our services to meet their needs.

Answering service options for small business

  • Small Business Live Answering Service
  • Small Business Emergency Service
  • Small Business Virtual Office & Virtual Receptionist
  • Small Business Appointment scheduling & Appointment Reminder
  • Small Business After-Hours Answering Service
  • Small Business Overflow Call Answering

Don’t see a small business answering service option for you? Contact us today, and we will be happy to discuss your needs.

Our answering services for small businesses are available 24/7/365 and designed with your business in mind. We know that each business is different, and welcome the opportunity to tailor our services to your organization.

Focus on your business

Running a small business requires your full attention. With CMS handling your live answering needs, you’ll have additional time to focus on what you do best. We handle your callers as our own, so you’ll never have to worry about the level of customer service being provided to your customers.

Don’t rely on voicemail

Did you know that voicemail could be costing your business money? A missed call could mean a missed opportunity to make a sale or assist an existing customer, affecting your bottom line. You don’t want to rely on customers to leave voicemails and wait for you to call them back the next day. Many customers and clients who call a business and don’t speak with a live person will move on to the competitor in search results.

CMS is here to help businesses like yours nurture sales leads and grow profits. Using our small business answering service will also help you keep up with that growth by allowing you to focus on tasks besides answering the phone.

Improve service while saving money

By employing CMS as your live answering service, you gain our customer service expertise and the large cost savings associated with outsourcing everyday business tasks. Paying the staff and equipment costs needed to manage an in-house call center is expensive. CMS call center agents, on the other hand, are only paid while taking calls on your behalf.

Take your business to the next level

While your competition sends callers to voicemail, our answering service for small businesses will provide you with agents to answer live every time. CMS is sure to set your business apart from the crowd. Whether you need someone to pick up the phone when you’re busy or an around-the-clock customer service call center, CMS is sure to exceed your and your customers’ expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a small business answering service?

A small business answering service is a call center that answers telephone calls for small businesses. The answering service generally answers calls live in the name of the business and functions much like an employee would, only they are virtual and answer calls for numerous small businesses.

How much does a small business answering service cost?

Small business answering service pricing is generally based on your call volume or the amount of time spent handling calls on your behalf. As a result, small business answering services cost a fraction of what you would pay an employee to provide the same availability. Instead of hiring, managing, and paying staff or dealing with the many other headaches that come with running your in-house call center operation, CMS handles everything on your behalf.

Our time-based billing model enables businesses to pay for the time they need. That means you can provide continuous phone coverage, even 24-hour availability, but only pay for the time we spend handling calls on your behalf. For more information, view our plans and pricing.

How does a small business answering service work?

A small business telephone answering service utilizes call forwarding on your phone system. When you are ready for us to begin taking calls on your behalf, you simply forward your phone number to our call center, where our agents are standing by and ready to answer as an extension of your business. They greet each caller and follow the scripting and procedures you specify. You can forward your calls on-demand, after office hours, 24 hours a day — whenever you need help with your call volume.

Is the answering service always available?

Yes. Our call center operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We never close and can answer your calls anytime, day or night.

How do you handle my phone calls?

Every call we take is handled per your specifications. We work with each customer to customize our answering service to their needs. This starts by identifying the types of phone calls you expect and developing scripting for each. This can be as basic as having a basic script for taking messages or as involved as having distinct scripting for each type of call that you expect.

For example, a law office may have different scripts and call-handling instructions for new and existing clients. New clients may go through an intake script, whereas existing clients may be asked whether their call is urgent and then dispatched to their attorney or an attorney on-call. Beyond the scripting, we can also follow unique instructions for how messages are dispatched, how calls are routed, how we integrate or interact with your software systems, and more. In short, our small business answering services are personalized so that we function as an extension of your business.

Are calls answered in the United States?

Yes. We have two call center facilities in the United States, one in Columbus, Ohio, and a second in Las Vegas, Nevada. All of our calls are handled in the USA and we never outsource to third parties.