Having a successful business means that even if you’re very busy, you still need to be able to be available to your customers. If customers are calling your company and being put on hold, are forced to deal with your voicemail, or must go through a seemingly never-ending queue of recorded options, it’s likely that they are becoming frustrated.
The last thing you want to do is take your staff away from their important tasks to answer phones, and the cost of hiring new staff may not be in your budget. Luckily, a virtual answering service is the third option that offers the best of both worlds.
Welcome to the World of Virtual Reception
Virtual receptionists are an efficient way of doing business. These individuals are professionally trained to answer customer calls and provide information about your company. Depending on the nature of your business, virtual receptionists can also schedule appointments and direct calls.
Why Choose a Virtual Receptionist Service for Your Business?
There are many more reasons to choose a virtual receptionist service to answer calls from your customers that can be covered in this article. However, these are some of the more popular reasons that businesses choose to use a remote receptionist.
1. Your Customers Get a Real Person – Always
Because a virtual receptionist service is available around the clock and all year round, your customers can benefit from speaking with a live person whenever they call you. This can mean a lot to them, especially if they need to get in touch with your business after hours. Offering this level of availability to your customers makes you unique and, as such, puts you ahead of the competition.
When a customer calls with an emergency, your virtual receptionist is there to talk to and empathize with them. You never have to worry about customers getting a busy signal or being put on hold.
2. The Service Can Be Adapted to Your Requirements
Another great thing about virtual receptionist services is that it can be tailored to the requirements of your business. For example, if you’d rather use the customized virtual receptionist services only during busy times to avoid staff getting overwhelmed, you can do this. If your business is experiencing rapid growth, all you need to do is choose the next level of service. The same is true during slower periods; simply get in touch with the company to let them know you need a lower service level.
3. You Pay for What You Use – Period
The benefit of having this service is that you only pay for the level of service you’re going to use. Virtual receptionists are professionally trained, but by the company, they work for and not by you. The same is true of their salary and benefits. You simply request your preferred service level, and they work according to this month-to-month agreement. It couldn’t be any easier! Not only that, but having this service eliminates the need to pay your in-house staff for overtime hours spent answering phones, taking messages, and similar tasks.
4. Bilingual Service Is Available
If part of your customer base consists of Spanish-speaking individuals, another great reason to hire a virtual receptionist service is its bilingual option. These receptionists are already fluent in Spanish, which allows your customers to communicate in a way that’s most comfortable for them. Since your callers are able to speak in their preferred language and the receptionist is fluent as well, the information communicated is accurate and clear, allowing you to provide stellar customer service to all of your customers.
5. Experts in Your Industry
Virtual secretaries are available for a wide variety of industries. For example, a legal firm can benefit from virtual receptionists who understand legal terminology and is able to provide intake services to make sure attorneys are getting the cases that they want. Or how about a doctor’s office that can benefit from live receptionists with medical familiarity who can help with after-hours emergencies and schedule appointments. Whatever your industry, a good virtual receptionist service has staff with the experience to make your callers think they are sitting right there in your office.
6. Word-of-Mouth Advertising and Online Reviews
Virtual receptionists provide your customers with the opportunity to speak with a real person, which, in these days of recordings and computers, is a unique offering. Customers will talk about their positive experiences with those they know—and likely with those they don’t in the form of positive online reviews of your company. This will result in even more would-be customers wanting to get in touch with you. This passive advertising doesn’t cost you a cent, but it can mean a lot to your business’s bottom line.
7. Higher Staff Productivity
Once a person has been interrupted at their task, it can take several minutes to regain focus. This is exactly what can happen when your staff members are forced to leave their daily jobs to answer customer calls. However, when you hire virtual receptionists, your staff can do the jobs they were hired to do without interruption, which can greatly increase its productivity.
8. Better Organization
In addition to answering customer calls, your virtual receptionists can also record information about a customer, as well as take messages and direct and arrange calls in order of priority. This can make your staff’s job (and yours) that much easier. Instead of having to sift through dozens of phone messages and prioritize them when they come in, your 24-hour virtual answering service has already done all of this the night before. This allows your staff to get right to work at the beginning of the day. Plus, every call and message is logged to your secure online account management tool, which also increases accountability along with the organization.
9. Instant Professionalism
Even though your business may be small or very new, hiring virtual receptionists can provide your company with the look and feel of an established enterprise. This level of professionalism can instantly develop trust and credibility. It also makes a lasting impression on your current customers and also helps drive prospective customers through your sales funnel to purchasing the products and services you sell.
10. Drastically Reduced Overhead
The staff members who work for you require a space in which to work, as well as computers to complete their tasks. Coffee, basic office supplies, and energy costs add up. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the cost of interviewing, hiring, and training new employees. And then you have to pay a full salary, benefits, sick time, and on and on it goes. Well, you can forget about all of that with a virtual receptionist service. Because they are situated off-site, they occupy no additional space in your office, nor do they require you to purchase any equipment, pay for their vacation time, or any of the other costs associated with traditional in-house employees.
How to Find the Right Service
It’s true that there are many virtual answering services out there. If it’s your first time considering this service, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by all of your options if you don’t know what to look for in a company.
First, you’ll want to be sure you don’t only go by how much the service is charging. Instead, focus on cost-effectiveness, keep an eye on customization options, and flexibility is also key. Don’t forget to look out for different ways that some companies might try to nickel and dime you to make up for what appears to be a cheap rate. And above all, make sure the service provider is going to do a great job representing your company with your best interests in mind.
Then, you’ll definitely want someone who has been in the business for a number of years. However, you’ll also want to ensure that the operators working for them also have experience and have received formal training in all aspects of virtual reception, such as conflict management and answering emergency calls.
Finally, the company you choose will need to be able to handle the level of calls coming from your company and be able to complete all associated tasks, including:
- Redirecting customer calls
- Providing general information about your business
- Scheduling appointments
- Taking messages
- Greeting the customers
If a company can meet all of your expectations, this is the company to choose, because they can provide you with the peace of mind you need while they handle your calls after hours, during busy times, in emergency situations and beyond.
Do What You Do Best
In hiring virtual receptionist services, you and your staff members are free to devote as much time and energy as is necessary to excel in your roles and help the company grow.
AnswerMTI’s virtual receptionists not only offer a wide range of service levels but ensure that your customers will always be handled with the utmost care and professionalism. Find out how AnswerMTI can provide your business with virtual receptionist service today; call 1-800-673-2000.