Using virtual staff, including virtual receptionists to help run and grow your business is definitely underrated. We all relish at the idea of employing real live people, who sit at a desk in an office we provide, but the reality is that brick-and-mortar methods are quickly becoming outdated in the virtual world. And, virtual receptionists are real people, they just do their work from their own home or office!
Quite simply, virtual receptionists cost a fraction of what you’d pay for an offline version, while offering other significant advantages such as the ability to terminate non-producers quickly without fear of legal recourse, increase your availability to customers outside local business hours, and improve company image and both yours and your customer’s peace of mind.
Call screening by virtual receptionists improves work/life balance
A virtual receptionist offers better work/life balance for busy entrepreneurs by screening calls for you and your other staff members. In many businesses, the majority of the calls coming in don’t actually require your direct involvement. Callers can easily be satisfied by a virtual receptionist trained on how to handle different call queries and only pass on those that require immediate attention.
Work/life balance is affected in particular, when calls come in after regular business hours when at home with your friends and family, or when you need to take personal time. A virtual receptionist helps you to set and maintain a healthy work schedule that won’t leave you burnt out at the end of every day.
Virtual receptionists immediately improve your image by removing need for voicemail
This is dependent on whether you hire the right person. When you get a great virtual receptionist Answering Service, the need for informal voicemail goes out the window. Leaving voicemail messages doesn’t leave most callers with any sense of satisfaction, because they don’t know when/if you’ll get the message or when they can expect to hear back.
Leaving your calls to voicemail (or simply not answering at all) can cause unquenchable fires in sales, customer service, and other areas of your business where prompt call answering is essential to the company’s success. When a real live person answers a call, answers common FAQs, or takes a message and assures it will be passed right on to you, the perceived value of the business goes way up.
You can implement immediate tech support for clients with virtual reception service
Receptionists all over the world do more than answer phones and take messages, though you will find services that only offer bare-bones phone answering services. Pay a little extra and you’ll find virtual receptionists who can work with clients over the phone to solve simple and even complex problems with their products or services. Aside from removing the need for managing a small or large call center for clients, technical support can be offered 24/7 due to the fact virtual employees can be employed from any time zone, on any continent.
Small businesses and startups can even choose to man their own phones throughout the day, then employ virtual staff after hours to ensure no support call is missed. Best, you’ll generally only pay for the exact number of calls and/or time spent on calls too, rather than paying each support staff member a part or full time wage to sit at a desk even when calls aren’t coming in.
Scale your business with a virtual receptionist without making risky hiring decisions
When it becomes obvious that the business is growing beyond its current administrative capacities, often the only choice available in days gone by was to source and hire more staff to handle increasing call volumes. Not only can a virtual receptionist free up your time on the phone to help grow the business, they can scale with you without breaking the bank.
This is accomplished either by hiring inexpensive independents, or by choosing a service that employs multiple staff who can handle any number of calls needed. Best, there’s no need to rent more office space (or the overhead that comes with it), buy expensive office equipment, pay benefits, or worry about the legalities of firing employees who aren’t meeting your needs without notice.
Virtual receptionists do more than “take” calls
A virtual receptionist can also make out-going calls for you. They can make travel arrangements, and confirm things like flight times and accommodation reservations. Virtual receptionists can call your most important customers to let them know the status of pending orders, upcoming production runs, and shipment dates/delivery expectations.
Consider the time saved when these and other phone related “time sinks” are removed from your day-to-day schedule. On average, it’s estimated that a virtual receptionist can save small and medium-sized businesses 1 — 2 hours every day by clearing up mundane calls that really don’t require your direct input.
Customers won’t have any idea your receptionist is a remote employee
Virtual receptionists answer calls coming in to your dedicated business number(s), using a reliable script like “Good morning/afternoon, thanks for calling XYZ Renovations, this is (name) speaking, how can I help you?” They answer calls in the exact same way a physical employee would, and can take messages or make warm transfers directly to your personal or business phone.
Prospective and current customers will never know they’re speaking to someone in Europe, Asia, or Australia even though your business is located in North America or Dubai. If you choose to employ a virtual service to provide your reception staff, you get the added advantage of calls being monitored and regularly reviewed, so potential or outright problems with how your calls are being taken are caught before they affect your relationships with customers, suppliers, etc.
Underrated but essential
Even a small business owner with only themselves on staff can still benefit from hiring virtual receptionists. Time is money and not all time spent on the phone is necessarily the most productive option for growing your business. While customers are calling your receptionist to find out what your business hours are, or to book a consultation, you can be out on the streets building new relationships or putting out fires that need your undivided attention.
Hire the best virtual receptionists you can find – they are truly the best investment you can make!