The Difference Between Answering Services and Virtual Receptionists

What’s the Difference Between an Answering Service and Live Virtual Receptionists

Answering services and virtual receptionists are two services that are often confused when people are talking about streamlining and improving communication and operational efficiency.

However, there are differences between an answering service and a virtual receptionist. Even though the difference is not that big, it is essential to understand what each of these services provides and how to determine the best fit for your needs.

It’s also worth noting that the differences between the two services could also help you choose one provider over another. If you are unsure about what type of support your business needs, continue reading, and see whether an answering service or a virtual receptionist is best for you.

There are some similarities between an Answering Service and a Virtual Receptionist

Before we discuss the differences between these two, let’s address the similarities and help you gain additional clarity of both of these services. 

The main similarity between an answering service and a virtual receptionist is that they provide the same kind of telephone support. While a virtual receptionist will answer your calls, set appointments, etc., an answering service is there for you around the clock and can offer many different benefits.

A full-service answering service typically provides live virtual receptionist services, but they can also assist you with scaling your business and offer services outside of call answering such as CRM Integration, Alert Monitoring, and HIPAA compliant secure messaging.

Now, let’s list the main differences between these two.

Here are some differences between Answering Services and Virtual Receptionists

As the name implies, a virtual receptionist can do all of the same tasks an in-house receptionist can do in your office, only they work remotely. These administrative professionals can also provide appointment scheduling services, capture leads, transfer calls, post on social media, etc.

However, while a virtual receptionist can do many tasks to support your business, the real value and difference in answering services is their ability to manage a massive amount of inbound calls, regardless of the time of day.

In addition, many services offer bilingual telephone answering, after-hours support, legal intake, and many other customized solutions that help businesses maintain their communication and processes.

Find the perfect solution for your business

While virtual receptionists and answering services have their differences, it is always important to find your perfect fit.

Small business owners can receive value from virtual receptionists who can assist them with some basic tasks. On the other hand, larger organizations with high call volume should use a 24-hour live answering service as a viable option.

It is worth mentioning that both of these options are focused on providing the best customer service possible.

Not sure whether you need a virtual receptionist or an answering service for your business? At Direct Line, we provide both of these solutions.

Contact us at 888-365-2424 or email us and our experts will advise you on the most affordable, efficient, and the best solution for your needs.


We are the perfect extension of your business.

Contact us today to learn more about our services, at 888-365-2424.