Compelling Reasons to Hire a Virtual Receptionist
For most modern businesses, having a receptionist is an absolute must. Receptionists are the directors of first impressions, fielding phone calls and setting appointments while acting as the first line of interaction for potential clients and longstanding collaborators alike. A good receptionist can make all the difference for a burgeoning company, and a bad one can do a lot more harm than good.
Anyone who has ever worked in an office setting, particularly in an up-and-coming small business environment, can tell you all about the importance of teamwork. When the going gets tough and the workload crests the capabilities and job descriptions of the staff on hand, everyone has to fill in and work harder to make sure things get done right.
This often translates to employees, managers, and owners performing the basic tasks of running a business, such as answering the phone and juggling appointments rather than putting their energies toward the higher-tier jobs they were hired to do.
Most people have heard of virtual receptionists and answering services, but few realize the many benefits that come from setting your business up with virtual receptionist service.
24 Hour Efficiency
One of the main drawbacks to the old-fashioned reception model is that an in-office receptionist can only do their job during the operating hours of the office itself. After-hours calls or emergent situations that arise at night or on weekends often aren’t able to be properly addressed in a timely manner.
In the best case scenario, the client or contractor may reach out to managers or owners on their personal phones, cutting into your out-of-office time and redirecting your valuable energies toward dealing with simple hiccups.
With a business answering service, there’s no need to worry about missed opportunities or potential after-hours client needs. A virtual receptionist can field calls 24 hours a day, on weekends, and during holiday periods where supply chain problems or other business-related issues can often create the biggest productivity jams.
No need to worry, stress, or compulsively check email when you’re enjoying your time at home; an after-hours answering service will put through the calls that require your attention and appropriately delegate the ones that don’t.
A General Sense of Professionalism
Otto von Bismarck famously said that no one should see how laws or sausages are made; the same can be said of behind-the-scenes small business successes. No matter what your company or organization specializes in, the appearance of calm, cool professionalism goes a long way toward building client trust and creating a sense of ease and capability.
Nobody wants to do business with a messy, hectic company whose employees always seem fried and exhausted; even if that’s what’s going on below the surface, it’s crucial for any business to foster a collected, professional environment, not just for clients’ peace of mind but, also, to the benefit of employees and their workplace satisfaction.
A good virtual receptionist service does just this. Any incoming calls are answered by a person whose entire job is cultivating first impressions and putting your company’s best face forward, no matter how frazzled and busy things may be behind the scenes. They will direct calls, respond to leads, and generally lend a cheerful and professional demeanor to the basic operations of business communication, all while providing consistency and promoting your brand.
Increased Productivity Overall
While everyone appreciates the co-worker who does a little bit of everything, companies tend to run more smoothly when employees are able to focus on doing their jobs correctly. When offices get overwhelmed and people start picking up the slack, it not only creates more opportunity for miscommunication and error but also increases the general stress level of the whole team.
Happy employees are the ones with a clear job description, who know within reason that their workload won’t be piled on by factors beyond their control.
Answering services for small businesses alleviate the pressure on staff members to go above and beyond their areas of expertise by skillfully covering the bases of day-to-day functionality. When the phones are properly manned and calls are properly forwarded, nobody has to worry about not having the information or contacts they need in order to do their job. They can focus on their work without having to do more than one person’s tasks, and they don’t have to worry about the more mundane aspects of conducting business.
Business owners are most effective when they can focus on the big picture items of running a company rather than manning the phones. Employees are most productive when they are able to focus on the tasks they were hired to perform instead of getting interrupted by phone calls every time the phone rings.
Requires Zero Office Space
Having an in-house company receptionist at the front desk is quickly becoming a thing of the past. With more than half of all modern businesses functioning mostly or wholly online, the problem of where to physically put a receptionist can often rear its head.
Even if you run a more traditional bricks-and-mortar office, delegating square footage and equipment for an in-person receptionist can be tricky and expensive, as can providing the continued training for new technologies and services.
With a virtual receptionist service, all of the receptionist’s duties are handled remotely by professionals who don’t require you to provide equipment upgrades or in-depth training to do the job and do it right. This not only saves on space but headaches and hiccups that come from teaching someone the ins and outs of your specific office space.
Broaden Your Talent Pool
As the old adage goes, good talent is hard to find and even harder to keep. One of the most difficult parts of staffing any office is finding qualified people with the right skills who live within reasonable commuting distance of your location.
As if this weren’t enough, you need to find personalities that gel and share space with some modicum of ease, all while creating the best possible work environment for your employees in order to retain the talent you worked so hard to find in the first place.
Locating a skilled receptionist who fits the bill, commands expertise in your particular field of operation, and whose salary requirements are within your budget can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.
With virtual answering services, you don’t have to worry about any of this; when your receptionist is offsite, it frees you from the constraints of geography and guarantees that the person answering your phones is the right person for the job, regardless of where they’re physically located. A virtual receptionist gives you access to the best talent available, without the lengthy and expensive trial of searching for a full-time worker.
Businesses exist to create profits, and successful business endeavors maximize profits while minimizing costs wherever possible. Quality staff members are an absolute necessity, but the fact of the matter remains that a full-time front desk receptionist is going to cost your organization in excess of $35,000 per year, not including insurance and benefits.
In addition, traditional receptionists take vacations and sick days, and have unexpected life situations which will inevitably keep them from work, from time to time; dealing with these eventualities is part of being an employer.
This is perhaps the most compelling reason to go with a virtual receptionist service. A remote receptionist allows you to pay for a plan tailored to your reception needs, without the additional costs associated with a full-time employee. Even an all-inclusive after hours answering service plan will run you significantly less than an in-office receptionist, since answering services are typically priced by the minute.
This allows you to pay for the time you use, and none of the time you don’t, freeing you from the scheduling headaches and lost value inherent in a traditional receptionist setup.
Modern companies know that innovation is one of the major keys to success in any field. By letting go of the outdated model of a physical front desk receptionist, your business can save thousands annually and still benefit from a major step up in service quality. It’s the smart choice for this day and age.