Virtual receptionists are fast becoming the preferred alternative to costly employees that need an office, physical tools, salaries, vacation time, and a whole slew of other resources that cost employers money in order to do their job. Fact is, physical employees cost businesses money, and if you’re a startup or SME, you’re likely bleeding money by not using a virtual reception service to manage your business’s phone calls.
Here are a few compelling facts that might change your mind about who you have answering your phones, courtesy of our friends at VirtualOffice.Melbourne:
Employees need an office
It’s true you can hire a freelance virtual receptionist and save on the tens of thousands of dollars it costs to provide the office and amenities needed to get the job done. However, who has to manage that virtual employee? Who’ll watch them to make sure they’re taking each call, and treating customers and partners with respect?
A virtual office service manages your receptionist(s) for you. Avoiding the need to provide an office, expensive supplies and services like WiFi and phone routing software/hardware, managers to monitor calls, and all the unexpected expenses that come with running an office.
Recruiting costs mount by the year
Fact is, recruiting costs tens of thousands of dollars a year. A single human resources employee, with limited experience will cost over $50,000 a year. If your company is large enough to justify an HR manager, that’s going to cost $100,000 a year or more. Then, there’s fees paid out to sites like Indeed.com and their pay-per-click pricing model for posting a job online.
Free ads are available, but it takes less than a few hours to have your ad swallowed up into the third and fourth page where eager job seekers will never see it. Add to that the fact that you’ll have to go through a bunch of bad hires to get a good one and a virtual reception service that takes care of all the details starts to look pretty attractive.
Wasted money on salaries
Whether you pay a receptionist a yearly salary or pay hourly, the costs ramp up quickly. In the USA alone, most sources claim the median salary for a receptionist is well north of $30,000. When it comes time to consider hiring a virtual receptionist, consider the average cost to have an in-house receptionist to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500.
This could be potentially more depending on how many other businesses in your space have receptionists and what they pay them. Virtual reception services simply charge you a monthly package or per call fee and you don’t need to worry about anything else.
You pay for their time regardless if calls are coming in or not 😯
Often not considered is the cost of paying receptionists to sit around twiddling their thumbs when the phones aren’t busy. This can create real problems when a manager cleverly tries to give idle team members other tasks to keep them productive, because when a call does come in, they can become flustered or even rude with callers due to feeling overwhelmed and/or interrupted.
A delicate balance is hard to achieve in such situations. A reception service will charge by the call, regardless of the plan you select, meaning when they’re not taking your calls, they’ll be dealing with other client’s of the service’s calls and never costing you a dime when calls aren’t coming into your queue.
If you hire them, you have to train them
Even if you use a virtual reception service, some training will be necessary on your part. This is to ensure your calls are being answered correctly — customers are being greeted appropriately as per your brand, messages are taken accurately, calls are forwarded to the proper team member, etc. However, a professional reception service will already have a firm (trained) team in place, and strict training protocols in place to ensure limited transition woes when their team begins taking your calls.
In a real world scenario, you either have to pay big bucks to find experienced talent, then still train them to your unique specifications. Or, deal with the aggravation of training an unskilled receptionist who’ll certainly need weeks or more of guidance before they can operate on their own. Consider the average cost to train an employee is around $1,200 it’s a no-brainer that a service that costs pennies on the dollar in comparison, and offers receptionists that are 98% trained already is the more feasible option.
Time: The commodity you can never get back!
What if you decide to forgo hiring a receptionist at all. Surely you can handle all the incoming calls yourself and just eliminate that cost altogether? The only issue here is how much is all that time spent answering calls costing you and your company? How many minutes are coming off your life when the phones blow up and you and/or other support staff need to put off essential tasks or make in-store customers wait unnecessarily to handle phone calls?
The simple fact is, for the low price of a virtual reception service, you can save on a ton of expenses and improve the work/life balance of you and your other employees. Last but not least, your business can take calls far beyond regular business hours to perhaps catch even more customers that need your products or services, but who aren’t able to call when you and your staff are available!