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1-888-GO-ANSWER Review

Best Call Center Service for Inbound Services

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

After conducting considerable research and analysis of call center services, we recommend 1-888-GO-ANSWER as the best call center for inbound services in 2019.

We chose 1-888-GO-ANSWER as our best pick for inbound call center services because it combines competitive pricing with a strong list of features and exceptional customer service. With a range of well-priced plans, 1-888-GO-ANSWER's services are suitable for businesses of any size, as well as those that need a call center that can scale to accommodate a company's growth.

1-888-GO-ANSWER maintains three call center locations. Two centers are U.S.-based in New York and Florida; the third is located in St. Lucia. While we sought out services that have U.S.-based call centers, we spoke to a representative at the St. Lucia center during one of our test calls and were totally unaware that it was a nearshore facility until a different representative filled us in. The St. Lucia representative we talked to was completely accent neutral and could've been mistaken for a domestically located agent.

To read all of our call center service recommendations, visit our Business News Daily best picks page.

Editor's note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the call center that's right for you, fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

We chose 1-888-GO-ANSWER as the best inbound call center service because it offers a comprehensive list of features and services with monthly subscription levels suitable for large and small businesses. For companies that require more than the 10,000-minute package, custom plans can be developed. It is also easy to scale up and down as needed with 1-888-GO-ANSWER.

In addition to 1-888-GO-ANSWER's flexible pricing and various services, we had the best customer service experience with the company. Not only was the representative we spoke to friendly, engaging and knowledgeable, but he explained what to look for when researching other call center services. When we spoke to 1-888-GO-ANSWER's rep, we stated that our hypothetical business was unfamiliar with the contact center industry. The insights offered by the representative were helpful for us and would be invaluable for any small business looking to better understand the industry and find the right service for them. For these reasons, we selected 1-888-GO-ANSWER as our best pick.

1-888-GO-ANSWER offers relatively competitively priced options that are flexible enough to accommodate businesses with both small and large call volumes. Shared agent packages are based on monthly subscriptions and include a 30-day, risk-free trial. Setup fees are only charged if you hire 1-888-GO-ANSWER following the free-trial period. Monthly subscription packages are as follows:

  • Pay as you go: $50 per month, plus a $1.15 per-minute overage fee
  • 100 minutes: $110 per month, plus a $1.10 per-minute overage fee
  • 250 minutes: $250 per month, plus a $1.00 per-minute overage fee
  • 500 minutes: $475 per month, plus a 95 cent per-minute overage fee
  • 1,000 minutes: $900 per month, plus a 95 cent per-minute overage fee
  • 2,500 minutes: $2,200 per month, plus a 90 cent per-minute overage fee
  • 5,000 minutes: $4,200 per month, plus a 90 cent per-minute overage fee
  • 10,000 minutes: $8,200 per month, plus a 90 cent per-minute overage fee
  • Custom plan: If you require more minutes or specialized service, you can call 1-888-GO-ANSWER's sales department to develop a custom package and receive an estimate.

Plans require a $75 setup fee, which is only charged if you go forward with 1-888-GO-ANSWER's services following the free trial period. All plans include a toll-free number, call patching, access to an online client portal, bilingual support, email and text message notifications, and 24/7/365 live operator call answering. Add-ons include an interactive voice response menu, which costs 15 cents per minute; subaccounts, which cost $10 per month; and additional phone numbers, which costs $10 per month. 1-888-GO-ANSWER's base plan offerings were relatively generous compared to the other call center and answering services we evaluated.

For dedicated agents, 1-888-GO-ANSWER charges a very low $14.50 per hour. However, the company requires a minimum team of five dedicated agents working 8-hour shifts, so the low hourly rate is not indicative of the total bill. Other companies charged about $26 per hour for a dedicated agent, and they often allowed clients to hire just one agent. We recommend using dedicated agents if your business has a high volume of calls, specialized needs and the budget to support a team of dedicated agents for a full day's work.

Pricing packages can be adjusted from month to month as needed based on expected volume. 1-888-GO-ANSWER is a month-to-month service that does not require any long-term contractual commitments.

1-888-GO-ANSWER had all the features and services we looked for in a call center, and many of those services are included in the plans at no additional cost. Most services simply draw on the package of minutes you select and pay for each month.

Some of the key features that 1-888-GO-ANSWER offers include:

  • Live answering: The most basic service, live answering, allows you to outsource the management of inbound phone calls to call center agents at 1-888-GO-ANSWER. Agents help callers using a script you develop (with help from 1-888-GO-ANSWER) to ensure calls are handled in accordance with your brand's messaging.
  • Message taking: Agents can take down your callers' names, contact information, reason for calling and can then forward the message to contacts within your company who can follow up accordingly.
  • Customer service: 1-888-GO-ANSWER can answer caller questions, address complaints and handle other aspects of customer service for your business. If they can't assist a caller, agents can take a message or patch calls directly to a prespecified contact within your organization.
  • FAQs: You can provide agents with 15 to 20 frequently asked questions (and their responses) to adeptly respond to caller inquiries immediately, rather than having these types of calls routed to your business.
  • Customer retention: 1-888-GO-ANSWER agents can engage in customer retention functions, such as offering coupons or discounts to dissatisfied customers or recording customer complaints. 1-888-GO-ANSWER will even mail coupons (or other materials) to customers to ensure satisfaction.
  • Call patching: 1-888-GO-ANSWER includes call patching in your monthly subscription. Many call center services will patch calls, but most charge extra. 1-888-GO-ANSWER will simply transfer calls to the relevant points of contact at no added charge; each call simply draws from the remaining bank of minutes.
  • Email and text message notifications: 1-888-GO-ANSWER includes both email and text message notifications so you receive up-to-date information regarding new messages or appointments set by agents.
  • Client portal: All clients have access to an online portal with 1-888-GO-ANSWER, where they can view their minute usage, remaining minutes, types of calls, results of calls, average call duration and more details. Clients can also customize scripts that agents use.
  • Outbound services: 1-888-GO-ANSWER also offers outbound services, which are customized to suit your business. The service doesn't detail all of its outbound services on its website. We recommend that you contact 1-888-GO-ANSWER and speak with one of their representatives.

1-888-GO-ANSWER maintains dedicated teams based on specific verticals, such as legal, HVAC and FAQs. These teams can be used by companies that require agents with a specialized knowledge of certain industries.

During the 30-day free trial, 1-888-GO-ANSWER determines the average call volume for your business and the type of calls your company is likely to receive. It then develops a more detailed plan on how it can handle your business moving forward. Once the free trial period is over, clients are charged the setup fee and begin paying the monthly subscription fee (based on the plan they choose), as well as any additional fees for the add-on services listed above.

While 1-888-GO-ANSWER is competitively priced for the industry, it is not the most affordable service. Its per-minute usage rates only become truly competitive with its higher-volume plans. However, 1-888-GO-ANSWER is not a tiered service, meaning that even if you choose the lowest-volume plan, your business gets access to all the core services 1-888-GO-ANSWER offers. This was not the case with other services we reviewed.

An additional limitation that 1-888-GO-ANSWER only offers outbound services on a case-by-case basis. It was difficult for us to gauge the outbound services the company offers. While many call centers detail their offerings, such as market research or customer win back strategies, 1-888-GO-ANSWER requires an evaluation of your needs first in order to develop an outbound approach.

Overall, however, 1-888-GO-ANSWER had few drawbacks and offered exceptional inbound services, making it our best pick for inbound call center services.

Our customer service experience with 1-888-GO-ANSWER was possibly the single best experience we had among the call center and answering services we assessed. Not only did the representative we spoke with explain our options in depth, and what the onboarding process looks like, he recommended that we pose certain questions to the other call center services we might be considering. For a small business weighing whether they should hire a call center or not, and which one is best for them, the advice we received from 1-888-GO-ANSWER was indispensable. He explained things like incremental billing policies and agent work time, little-known policies that are common in the industry that can significantly impact how much you owe. The representative also sent us a detailed proposal following our call, which further expanded on all the points we discussed.

Ultimately, 1-888-GO-ANSWER went above and beyond our expectations. We placed more than two dozen calls to call center and answering services – 1-888-GO-ANSWER's customer service stood out as the best.

Ready to choose a call center service? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: If you're looking for information to help you choose the call center that's right for you, fill out the questionnaire below to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Adam Uzialko

Adam C. Uzialko, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in political science and journalism and media studies. He reviews healthcare information technology, call centers, document management software and employee monitoring software. In addition to his full-time position at Business News Daily and business.com, Adam freelances for several outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.