Do you run a small business? Chances are there’s a lot to do. From coming up with effective strategies to managing employees—you have a mountain of tasks. And with such a busy schedule, the phone ringing can seem like an unwanted distraction. But your callers should be attended to, or you’ll risk losing important customers and leads.
Hiring a virtual receptionist for small business can be the answer. Doing this can help you offer personalized customer support to your callers as you focus on other tasks. With little commitment and no additional employees, you give your customers a way to get in touch with you, resolve their queries, and ensure no leads are missed.
Still wondering whether you need a virtual receptionist for your small business? Read on to find out what a virtual receptionist is and how they can benefit your small business.
What is a Virtual Receptionist for Small Business?
A virtual receptionist is an effective alternative to an in-house receptionist. They work from a remote location and handle different tasks such as;
- Answering calls
- Routing and directing calls to the right department
- Taking messages
- Managing schedules, appointments, and bookings
Virtual receptionists are professionally trained to handle customer queries and provide support.
A virtual receptionist can also perform some administrative tasks for your small business, such as scheduling meetings outside of normal working hours and filing mails.
They can help you deliver a professional and excellent customer service experience. A virtual receptionist for small business is ideal as they cost a fraction of hiring a traditional in-house receptionist.
Traditional Receptionist Vs. Virtual Receptionist for Small Business
While a virtual receptionist works remotely, a traditional one usually sits at the front office. They are the first people visitors meet and are responsible for greeting them and directing them to the right department. A traditional receptionist and virtual receptionist perform the same tasks, with the exception of the physical location element.
In many cases, today’s businesses don’t need a receptionist to be a “greeter” at a physical location; instead, they need someone who is organized, able to manage a variety of tasks, and friendly and helpful with customers over the phone or other methods of communication. A virtual receptionist can supply these needs while being cost-effective and available whenever you need them.
What Does a Virtual Receptionist for Small Business Do?
As mentioned, a virtual receptionist needs to be organized, able to manage a variety of tasks, and be friendly and helpful when managing phone calls for your business. Here are some of the duties you can expect a virtual receptionist for small business to be able to perform:
- Make and receive calls: A virtual receptionist will receive calls on your behalf from customers. They can answer customer queries and direct them to the right department. You’ll no longer miss important calls and leads no matter the call volume.
They can also make outbound calls, including tasks like follow-up with clients, placing orders with your suppliers, and canceling or renewing subscriptions.
- Schedule appointments: Do you need to regularly schedule appointments or bookings? A live receptionist can handle all the tasks concerning scheduling, including cancellations.
- Take messages and transfer calls: If you’re not available to answer calls, they can take messages. And if there are multiple extensions, they’ll gladly transfer calls.
- Provide customer support: Virtual receptionists not only answer calls but also provide customer support through other channels like live chat. They can chat with potential and returning customers on your social media channels and website. They can also direct tickets to the right customer agent.
- Nurture leads: A receptionist with marketing skills can help in your lead nurturing campaigns. Whenever they talk to new leads, they can add them to your CRM so you can walk them through the conversion funnel until they convert into buyers.
Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist for Your Small Business
Flexibility: Use Them When Needed
Unlike traditional receptionists that work within normal working hours, virtual receptionists are flexible and available whenever you need them.
They can work during weekends, after-business hours, and even holidays. Do you have international clients from different time zones? You don’t have to worry about being available to answer their calls. Additionally, bilingual receptionists help you serve international clients better.
You can even hire a virtual receptionist when you have a large call volume that requires more than one person. Holding an event that involves booking? You can hire a virtual receptionist on-demand without worrying about the additional costs that come with hiring full-time receptionists.
Cost Savings: Less Expensive Than a Full-Time In-House Receptionist
One of the most common challenges facing small businesses is the cost of running the business. There’s usually a tight budget, and hiring another full-time employee means additional expenses.
An in-house receptionist is entitled to a monthly salary whether there’s a lot of work or none at all. In addition, they also get benefit packages like employee insurance coverage, retirement benefits, etc., and you provide them with work tools like a computer and headsets.
However, with a virtual receptionist, you’ll usually pay a fixed amount depending on the number of hours worked, regardless of the volume of calls handled. This makes hiring a virtual receptionist more cost-effective for small businesses than a full-time in-house employee.
Time Savings: You Don’t Need to Train Them
Virtual receptionists are already trained in customer service and etiquette and know how to operate a private branch exchange (PBX) phone system. Some even specialize in specific industries like legal, medical, real estate, etc., and are professionals in those areas.
Since customer satisfaction is essential, your receptionist should be able to handle your clients professionally. Additionally, they should be well informed about your business so they can answer those queries knowledgeably.
In contrast, if you hold on to a traditional in-house receptionist, you’ll have to train them before they start working and repeat the same process every time you hire someone new.
Professional Customer Service
Excellent customer service is essential for your business, as it helps retain customers and extract more value from them. Consequently, your customers will be satisfied with your services, and your revenue will grow. According to a 2022 customer service report, customer satisfaction is the leading metric that customer support teams are measured against.
Additionally, 73% of consumers consider customer experience an essential factor when making buying decisions, and 42% would pay more for an excellent, friendly service.
In fact, with better, personalized customer service experiences, you can grow your revenue between 4% and 8% above your market. The professional services offered by a virtual receptionist for small business helps grow your business by giving you a competitive edge, increasing revenue and, consequently, scale.
How to Get a Virtual Receptionist
To get a reliable virtual receptionist for your small business, you need to find an established and trustworthy provider. The receptionist you pick should be well trained and professional. And you can only be sure they are if the provider you’re considering is reputable.
The provider will most likely have subscription plans depending on the number of calling minutes you need. Choose a plan depending on your call volume and size of business, then watch as a live receptionist answers your calls.
The provider might ask you a few questions so they can understand your business model. This will also help them match you with a receptionist who’s best fitted to work in your line of work.
Reduce Costs and Grow Revenue with a Virtual Receptionist
Looking to add flexibility and availability to your business? Do you have a high call volume and several extensions to transfer to? You need a virtual receptionist.
With one, a real person will answer your calls, answer your client’s questions, and direct them to the right department. Whenever you’re not available, you won’t miss important calls.
Plus, a virtual receptionist is more cost-effective compared to hiring a full-time receptionist. Phone.com can provide you with the live receptionist services you need.
Our attendants will answer your calls, schedule appointments, and offer your customers support whenever you’re not available. Only need a receptionist for a few days week? We are flexible and can work with your schedule.
Just schedule a call to get started. Add a personal, professional touch to your business at affordable rates.