What is it?
How popular is it?
Map Communications is a large business with over 500 employees.
What does it do well?
It’s a fully featured service – receptionists can answer basic and complex questions about your business, fill out web forms, take orders, schedule appointments, forward calls and more.
What does it not do well?
Who does it work well for?
Businesses that want more than a basic answering service and need it to be 24/7. Along with AnswerConnect, Map Communications is the only service we reviewed that can schedule appointments.
Who does it not work well for?
Businesses that want a dedicated receptionist should check out MoneyPenny.
None, Map Communications is HIPAA Compliant so medical practices can use this service.
Yes, 7 days
Cost Compared to Competitors?
What Receptionists Can Do
When you sign up with Map Communications, your calls will be routed to a call center with a large pool of receptionists. While you don’t get the personal level of service you get from MoneyPenny, which assigns each client a dedicated receptionist, Map Communications can actually do a lot more for your business. Their receptionists can answer questions about your business, schedule appointments, take orders, enter contacts into your CRM and more.
This all depends, however, on the level of service you’re paying for. With a basic package you get essentially a human answering machine. Receptionists can take messages from callers and answer simple questions (such as your location & hours), but that’s it.
With more advanced packages you get something closer to a live receptionist and customer service rep, although you don’t have any specific receptionists assigned to your business. Any employee can pick up your call and schedule appointments, take orders with credit card information, guide users through more complex issues using call scripts and more. You can have receptionists login to any software you like, such as a CRM, HelpDesk, order tracking system, etc, but this will rack up your monthly price due to the extra training required.
What Receptionists Cannot Do
In general, there’s not too many limitations. There’s no outbound calling – receptionists cannot make outbound calls to clients on your behalf. If you want receptionists to fill out web forms (for example, to add contacts to your CRM or send in orders) they should be only 1 page. Also, for schedule booking, you should ideally use Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar or Appointment Quest.
If you want to use a different program, however, this is still possible. You’ll just have to pay a larger monthly fee to cover the cost of training receptionists. The same goes for if you have web forms longer than 1 page.
Pricing is a little complicated. There’s 3 packages that offer different features. Within each package there’s tiered pricing depending on the number of minutes you need per month.
Basic receptionist service is $42/month. Map Communications can answer simple questions about your business (such as location & hours) and take messages from callers. They cannot forward calls to you or your employees, however.
- For $42/month you get 30 minutes of call time. Additional minutes are $1.05.
The next level up is the Scripted Service. With this package you can provide call scripts for receptionists to answer more complicated questions, such as pricing or order help. Receptionists can book appointments for your clients using Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar or Appointment Quest. They can also fill out 1-page web forms.
- For $50/month you get 0 minutes of call time, but pay $1.11/minute.
- For $81/month you get 30 minutes of call time. Additional minutes are $1.09.
- For $111.50/month you get 60 minutes of call time. Additional minutes are $1.07.
The top package is the Live Transfer Service. This includes everything from the Scripted Service, plus receptionists can transfer calls to you or your employees. The pricing is about the same as the Scripted Service, you just need to pay more per minute.
- For $50/month you get 0 minutes of call time, but pay $1.26/minute.
- For $81/month you get 30 minutes of call time. Additional minutes are $1.24
- For $111.50/month you get 60 minutes of call time. Additional minutes are $1.22
If your web forms are longer than 1 page, or if you use appointment booking software besides Google, Yahoo or Appointment Quest, Map Communications can likely still accomodate. You’ll need to pay an additional fee, however, of up to $100/month to cover the cost of training receptionists. The same goes for CRM, HelpDesk, or any software you need to log in to use.
Reputation – Neutral
Compared to the other answering services we reviewed, Map Communications has a neutral-leaning-positive reputation.
Although we could not find reviews from customers, there are lots of reviews from employees on Glassdoor and Indeed. These reviews are mixed, with many employees – both positive and negative – calling it a typical call center. So while professional and courteous, receptionists probably won’t be as perky or enthusiastic as Ruby or Moneypenny.
Common complaints were the tediousness of following call scripts and pretending not to be answering service, but rather an employee at the client’s business. As a client, you can interpret that one of two ways: One the one hand it shows there is some employee dissatisfaction. On the other hand, it shows how closely they follow a client’s instructions.
Features it has
Features it does not have
Find Me/Follow Me
Setup happens over the phone and through email. If you’re just going with the basic messaging service, this can usually be completed in a day. Otherwise, if you’re using call scripts and call forwarding, this can take up to a few days. Scripts and forwarding scripts need to be sent via email.
1. Messages & Voicemaill
If a caller wants to leave a message for you, the receptionist will copy it down and send it via text or email. You can also login to the web portal to view all your messages. Map Communications does not take voicemail – all messages are copied down by the receptionist and sent to you in text form.
2. Find Me/ Follow Me
Each person at your business can have separate routing instructions. For example, you can have calls routed to your business number first. Then, if you don’t pick up, have it transferred to your cell phone and so on. Map has an automated “Roster Service” which codes your employee schedule into their system so they can know who’s responsible for what type of call at any given time.
If you want your instructions changed – i.e. you’re leaving the office and want all calls routed to your cell phone, or if you’re about to head into a meeting and want calls held – you just need to call in using the 800 number and let them know.
3. Online Dashboard/Mobile App
You can use the web portal to check all your messages, call logs and view usage and billing information. While Map does record all calls, you cannot listen to them just yet via the user portal. If you do want to hear a recording of a certain call, you can dial support and ask them to send the audio clip.
There’s no mobile apps for Map Communication’s answer service, however, you can log into the user portal from a mobile device.
6am to midnight EST
US Based or Not?
Yes (after hours is England or New Zealand)
Phone, Email & Live Chat?
Map Communications has phone and email support available from 6am to midnight, EST. Users do not typically get a dedicated account rep (only if your setup is really complicated) so you’ll need to contact the support team to resolve any issues. Users have noted mixed experiences with phone support, although my own experience was positive.
If there’s one area Map Communications is lacking, it’s with good support resources on the web. Besides this list of FAQs, there were no support articles or user guides. This would especially be helpful for navigating the online portal.
The Bottom Line
Map Communications gives you a lot of impressive features without the glamor. While there’s a policy that receptionists must say they work for your business, the company itself does not deny that they are a call center. This is reflected in the performance of employees, who, while likely to be courteous and professional, won’t give you that extra “zing” you’ll find from Ruby Receptionists or MoneyPenny.