In the era we’re all living and doing business in, flexibility and round-the-clock service is paramount to any business’s success. The plain and simple fact is that customers want support when THEY want it, not when it’s convenient or even most affordable for you to offer it. This is where a receptionist or a team of receptionists can really help to elevate your business to new an entirely new level.
While a receptionist is essential to any office-based business, most modern brands are seeking out the services of virtual receptionists and other virtual employees. A virtual receptionist can work from anywhere they wish, while offering your business the advantage of being able to answer the phone 24/7 — whenever a customer chooses to get in touch.
Virtual receptionists draw in more business and make customers happier
They can be trained to accomplish any phone or email-based task you need them to. Including simply answering the phone and forwarding calls, taking messages, offering answers to pre-sales questions, booking sales calls, offering technical support, and virtually anything else you can dream up. A receptionist is the front line in the army that is your brand. Without them, you’re leaving money on the table and wasting resources that are best allocated elsewhere.
Our acquaintances at Ruby Receptionist shares 3 big ways virtual receptionists help you in your online and offline brand building efforts.
1. Mo’ money!
If the thought of more Benjamins coming into the company ledger scares you for some reason, stop reading and move onto the next section! For those of you who’re in business to turn a profit, consider the costs of hiring an in-house receptionist or reception team, or hiring a local call answering service to handle your calls.
In-house employees require you to shell out for training expenses, hourly wages, benefits, and other obligatory expenses set out by local and Federal governments (Eg., unemployment insurance, severance pay, etc.) These expenses pretty much amount to double the wage you pay a single employee when the year is all said and done.
Not to mention, it’s very difficult to fire a physical employee who isn’t working out, without jumping through numerous hoops. With wrongful termination laws being ambiguous at best, your butt is constantly on the line if you terminate a bad hire that has an ax to grind with you.
A virtual receptionist or reception service doesn’t require all these expenses and you’re assured from the get-go that you’ll be provided with well-trained staff that will need minimal guidance to get the ball rolling for you. You pay a flat fee or per call fee. Someone is always there, on-demand to take your calls — no matter how many people are calling your business at any given time.
2. Receptionists immediately increase your brand’s value (Ie., service and support)
This is particularly relevant for global brands, such as those working in the ecommerce space. However, time zones are a real brand killer. A lucrative opportunity can be just around the corner, and if you’re not there to answer the call when it comes in at 11:00 pm, your time, that’s lost business.
If you’re receptionist answers the call and can forward it to your personal number, or take a message and assure a big prospect you’ll call them as soon as you get out of a “meeting” or your incoming flight from Tokyo lands, it will go a long way toward brand building and increasing your perceived value.
Business is a 24 hour deal these days. You can’t stop the clock at 5:00 pm and assume you’ve done as much as you can with the day. Customers will want service when a product or service you offer has failed them. Suppliers and outsourcers will need to call you when there’s an impending emergency with a delivery. A virtual receptionist or reception team makes you available 24/7 without necessarily needing to be present and talking to them — barring major emergencies.
3. Receptionists increase peace of mind and professionalism
There’s so many points that can be made on this particular benefit. How many times have you called a business and been impressed by the fact that the company you were calling was so successful and in-demand they had a dedicated receptionist (or secretary) answering their calls?
Whether you realize it or not, you were likely impressed. A good receptionist is also trained to handle calls under pressure, meaning they’re always professional and deal with calls in a way that makes the caller feel valued and important. We’ve all had those stressful days when answering a phone call in the middle of an important task or project is a bad idea, because we’re not in the frame of mind to give the caller the patience or attention they deserve.
When you get a great virtual receptionist or reception team on board, they’ll either treat your callers with the utmost respect every time they call, or you can terminate them and find one that will. If you pass this task to a professional virtual reception service, they can scale with call volumes indefinitely, meaning you could have a dozen or more professional receptionists available to take your calls at any given time.
Even though the above only lists 3 official benefits to hiring a virtual receptionist, there are more than a dozen advantages when you read each paragraph carefully. If you find it difficult to handle all the calls coming into your business, you could use the services of a receptionist.
You don’t want to catch yourself looking at your phone to find multiple phone numbers you don’t recognize, or worse private numbers of people you can’t even call back, only to find out later a big fish was calling you and they decided to go with a competitor who was smart enough to answer their phone!