Signius Communications is our pick as the best low-volume call center service. It offers an affordable pay-as-you-go plan and competitive rates for an inbound call center. Signius does not charge a setup fee, unlike most of the other call centers we evaluated for our review. In addition to its inbound call center services, the company also offers answering services. Signius agents answer calls from the company's call centers located in Florida, New York, Texas and California.
For all of our answering service recommendations, visit our best picks page.
Answering Service Features
Signius offers most of the key features we specifically looked for in an answering service. Agents are available around the clock, and its pricing plans accommodate varying levels of call volume and service requirements.
Some of Signius's most important answering services include the following:
- Live answering: Signius Communications' live operators answer calls 24/7/365. Its answering service can assist your business with calls during regular business hours, as well as after-hours or overflow calls. Bilingual agents are available upon request, and the company also specializes in medical answering services.
- Message taking: Signius agents can record callers' names, contact information, reason for calling and then forward the message to you via phone, email or text message.
- Order taking: Agents can assist callers with purchases, explaining products in depth. Order-taking services can ensure your business doesn't miss a sales opportunity, plus it allows for valuable upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
- FAQs: Signius agents can answer common questions relating to your products or services. For our hypothetical business, Signius said it would we could provide 10 FAQs for each of our three business locations.
- Virtual receptionist: A virtual receptionist is a live operator who answers calls to your business after hours, or if you or your staff are unavailable. Signius virtual receptionists are available 24/7/365 to take messages and forward calls so that your callers speak with a live person, not a recording or voicemail.
There is no setup fee for basic services like live answering and message taking. If you wanted to add order taking, for example, a setup fee might be required, which could affect the per-minute usage rate. All services with Signius are month-to-month, and no long-term contracts are required. Clients can cancel at any time without penalty.
Signius's agents are shared agents who work on multiple accounts; however, they are separated based on their particular specialty. For example, some agents specialize in e-commerce skills, while others specialize in customer service. For businesses (and their customers), this approach helps assure agents are providing the appropriate level of service with your customers.
Call Center Features
Signius offers call center services that are effective but are also suitable for low-volume companies. Many call centers are focused on servicing mid-sized and large businesses, but Signius has options available for small businesses. Signius's call center services include the following:
- Customer service: Signius agents can act as your company's customer service department 24/7/365. Its representatives can handle all manner of calls, including product inquiries, complaints and feedback. Customer service calls are personalized to your business, and agents use a script that is created by you in cooperation and Signius.
- Help desk: Signius's helpdesk serves as an IT support center for basic troubleshooting of products and software. Signius offers up to Level 3 technical support, which means its agents can field calls and troubleshoot issues without contacting you. By comparison, many of the call centers we evaluated only offered Level 1 technical support.
- Email management: Besides assisting your business with its call volume, Signius can manage your company's inbox too. It can sift through new emails, responding to many common inquiries and forwarding along emails that need further attention or a more detailed response from you.
- Hotlines: Signius can assist your business with call hotlines that vary depending on your needs. These include employee call-off lines, complaint lines and a whistleblower hotline.
Signius Communications provides a client portal on its website. Here, you can drill down to learn more about all of the calls that are coming in, the type of calls, consistent inquiries and complaints, the average duration of each call, and minutes used per month. If your business operates from multiple locations, Signius' reports will provide a breakdown of usage site by site as well. All messages and call recordings are stored in the client portal, and are saved for up to one year. You can also download data in the client portal and export it to a spreadsheet.
To see all of our call center service recommendations, visit our best picks page.
Signius Communications' pricing varies significantly depending on the complexity of your business, average call volume and the services you require help with from Signius.
For basic message-taking and live-answering services, we were quoted a base rate of $40 for 50 minutes with an additional 82 cents-per-minute usage rate after the first 50 minutes are used. Signius's per-minute usage rate is competitive with other call center services we evaluated, and it allows low-volume businesses to utilize the same call center services that larger companies utilize without committing to an expensive package of minutes that wouldn't be used. Further, Signius doesn't charge a setup fee for its basic services, which also lowers the barrier to entry for smaller companies on a budget.
Plans can be upgraded or downgraded as needed. Setup fees come into play when Signius agents are required to update client CRMs or work with e-commerce applications. Costs vary based on the amount of training required. Because pricing is based on a client-by-client basis, we recommend contacting the company's sales department about your needs, as well as an estimate of your average call volume, to find out what your precise costs would be.
Signius Communications bills in 12-second increments, meaning that call time is rounded up to the nearest 12-second mark. For example, a call that lasts 1 minute and 3 seconds will be billed as 1 minute and 12 seconds, or 1.2 minutes.
Incremental billing is common in the call center and answering service industries; the industry standard is a 6-second increment, but a 12-second increment is also common. For businesses with a low volume of calls, the impact would likely be less severe, but incremental billing is still an important element to ask about and keep in mind when comparing different services.
Signius Communications is an employee-owned company, and it shows in their customer service. The customer service representative we spoke with was very friendly and informative. When he was unable to explain something, such as more details about pricing, he was transparent about why.
After our call, the representative followed up with additional materials, although they were not as thorough as documents we received from other services we evaluated for this review. Still, we came away from the conversation relatively well informed about Signius's onboarding process, services, and business model.
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