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Why Outsourcing Call Answering Service is Better than Hiring an In-House Receptionist?

5 Major Benefits Of A Virtual Receptionist

The world of business is forever (and rapidly) changing as the result of an increasingly competitive market, which means the demands on everyone from the boss to the intern are in constant shift. Keeping up with the pace and intensity of what being in business demands, has now become even more intense thanks to the technology we have in 2020. This technology and what it’s done to our ease of access has meant the boundaries between work and play or work and life have become increasingly blurred, with many people feeling like they have to be on and available at all times. But that’s not realistic, healthy or physically possible. You can’t put the responsibility of answering every call, responding to every email and being in all the places you need to be on yourself. It’s not a sustainable way to live or run a business. You need help.

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So, what are you going to do? Well, hopefully, you’re going to follow my advice and hire a virtual receptionist. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me tell you about a service that will change the way you think about doing business forever.

A virtual receptionist is someone outside of your business (in most cases, they’ll work from home) whose main job is answering phone calls on your behalf. Now, I know what you’re thinking; won’t having someone working outside of our physical office trying to be a receptionist cause chaos for my business? Interrupt the flow? Make us look unprofessional? Leave me in the dark about the daily happenings?

The short and simple answer is no, it won’t. In fact, it’s quite the opposite and there are a number of wide-ranging benefits to employing a virtual receptionist. I’ve rounded up just five of them for you below and if you were asking yourself any of those questions I mentioned earlier, make sure you take a look at what I have as #1 on my list.

Benefit #1: No compromise on quality

If I was running a business, my number one concern about hiring a virtual receptionist would probably be, ‘Will my customers be able to tell that this person is not in our office? No, they won’t. A virtual receptionist’s role can be extremely specific and tailored to exactly what you and your business need, even down to the words they use when answering the phone. Given the right information and a script to work off with all the right cues, they can say exactly what you would if you were the one taking the calls. That way, it’ll sound as though they’re right there in the office, maintaining your business’s professional image at all times.

Benefit #2: Keeps the experience consistent for customers

Have you noticed that it’s getting harder in customer service to talk to a real life human being and get the help you need? I have. No one likes talking to a robot, it’s so impersonal, and this way they don’t have to. Talking to a real, genuine and friendly person with a professional manner who can answer their questions succinctly and without fuss will do wonders for people’s customer service experience with your business. And you don’t need me to tell you that having approachable customer service and the professional manner I mentioned earlier are crucial in creating and maintaining positive relationships with your customers if you want their repeat business. The power of word of mouth, especially across social media cannot be overestimated and these days, having a reputation for good service and customer satisfaction is a powerful tool for getting the edge over your competitors in an increasingly oversaturated and cut-throat market.

Benefit #3: Allows you and your team to focus on other things

The great thing about having a virtual receptionist on board is that it takes the pressure off. It makes everything so much easier if you’ve got someone you can guide to do the job exactly the way you want them to, without needing to train them in how to be a receptionist. You don’t sign up for the gig unless you’ve already got the skills. Knowing things are in capable hands gives you the space to do what needs to be done, with the peace of mind that things won’t fall apart on the customer service and admin front if you step out of the driver’s seat. At the end of every day, they can send you a quick and easy rundown of what you need to know so you’re never out of the loop, while you’re focusing on the big picture stuff and figuring out how to be everything a business owner needs to be.

On top of answering the phones and making sure no calls are missed, a virtual receptionist is able to:

  • Make and transfer calls as well as obviously collect caller information for you so that you’re never out of the loop
  • Schedule appointments with clients and callers as well as responding in real time to people using a web chat option (if that’s applicable to you)
  • Answer frequently asked questions and handle all customer, client and prospective inquiries
  • Benefit #4: It’s cheaper and more cost-effective

    An in-house receptionist is typically speaking, a salaried employee which means the cost of having one on staff, if you’re a small business in particular is astronomical. Conveniently, a virtual receptionist carries no such cost and is far cheaper to employ, (it’s likely that they’ll work and be paid on a timesheet basis) with no compromise on quality as we established earlier. On top of that, a virtual receptionist’s whole role exists on the basis that they work remotely which means there are none of the standard overhead costs, normally associated with a receptionist. No desk. No chair. No stationary. You get the picture. Having a virtual receptionist will save you some serious money that you can then spend and use in other necessary areas.

    Benefit #5: Creates flexibility

    We have made it to the last benefit on our list, which in all honesty exists as a culmination of everything we’ve already talked about. All of the above benefits create an environment of flexibility which is essential in the current business climate if you want to stay afloat. If you’re involved in a growing business, it’s likely that over time your range of products and the things you’re known for will expand. If this is the case and you see expansion in your future, as I hope all business owners do, hiring a virtual receptionist or in fact a team of them is definitely something well worth considering. They can handle the rapidly increasing admin responsibilities and volume of enquiries that come with expansion while you and the rest of your team focus on the thousands of other little details that there are to take care of in the delivery of the best product or service you can possibly make. If and when you hit a lull again, there’s not as much room for fluctuation or disruption in employees and costs as you’re less likely to need to let people go and the money you’re paying out versus the money you’re getting in stays stable, consistent and manageable.

    So, there you have it…

    Five major benefits to employing a virtual receptionist. If, at the end of this article, you feel compelled to seek the services of a virtual receptionist for your business, then my work here is done! If not, then… I’m really not sure what more you could ask for?

    The virtual receptionist represents a far cheaper and more flexible alternative to the standard in-house receptionist with no foreseeable cut to the level of professionalism or quality of service provided. Their role is easily manipulated to best serve your needs and can be adapted as the space your business occupies, changes. They keep things consistent, pleasant and perhaps most importantly, real for your customers which are huge advantages in getting people to use your business or service again and even better, recommending others do the same. They take the stress out of pesky and draining admin work, giving you the freedom to work and concentrate on the big picture stuff, but do so in a way that means you never lose control and always have an idea of what’s going on.

    Right back at the beginning of this article, I talked about the ever-changing nature of business and the extremely unrealistic expectation ingrained into all of us in 2020 society that we have to be available and ready to jump into ‘work mode’ at all times. It’s not feasible or sustainable for anyone who has lives, needs and roles to play outside of work. In light of this, a virtual receptionist and the services they can provide, are to my mind the perfect solution for this problem. Employing a virtual receptionist can only represent a positive game changer for people and a tool with which you can claw back some of that work-life balance.



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