What is a virtual receptionist is a question we get asked more than any other.
Despite having a number of benefits to businesses of all sizes, there’s still a lot of people out there who don’t know what virtual receptionists are or what they do.
You might even be one of them.
In this blog we’ll answer that key question and help you not only understand what a virtual receptionist is and what they do, but also how they can have a positive impact on your business.
If you need more information, read our complete guide to hiring a virtual receptionist here.
What is a virtual receptionist?
A virtual receptionist carries out much the same role as a ‘traditional’ receptionist.
They answer calls, take messages, direct enquiries to the right people, provide information to customers or prospects who call your business, and can help with other admin tasks like diary and meeting management.
The only difference is, they work remotely and don’t work exclusively for your business.
But unlike a call centre answering service, to the outside world, a virtual receptionist works for your company. As far as anyone knows, they’re working from your office.
They offer a personalised service and work as an extension of your team to answer calls and deal with enquiries as you want them to.
And unlike a call centre, you’ll know who your virtual receptionist is.
They won’t just be whichever anonymous call agent is available when someone calls you.
You can hire virtual receptionists or assistants directly and there are many ‘freelance’ VAs on the market today.
Or you can hire them through a professional provider with a track record of success of plenty of client referrals.
Virtual receptionist vs traditional receptionist
The main benefit of a virtual receptionist or assistant is the level of service you get for the price you’ll pay.
If you’re getting too busy to answer your phone during the day because of work and meetings, you essentially have three options:
- Hire a full-time receptionist or assistant
- Hire a part-time receptionist or assistant
- Hire a virtual receptionist
The only other option is to carry on as you are and potentially miss loads of new business calls because you’re too busy to answer the phone – which you don’t want.
The main problem with the first two options is the cost involved.
A full-time receptionist or assistant can easily set you back at least £25,000 inc. on costs a year.
If you’re in London you’re talking much higher prices.
Even part-time, that’s a significant chunk of money going from your business.
And then what happens when they need a holiday or just a lunch break?
Second, you’ll pay that wage no matter how busy you are.
You might hire a receptionist or assistant during a busy period, but when things quieten down what happens when they’re wage is still coming out, even though they aren’t taking as many calls?
A virtual receptionist is better because you only pay for the time you use, and that’s dictated by you.
You could use them 24/7 if you’re that busy.
You could use a virtual receptionist to help cover calls during times of the year you know you’ll be busy.
Or you could use a virtual receptionist to create a professional out-of-office function for your business if you don’t want to answer business calls after a certain time, but don’t want to risk losing a customer.
You can simply scale up the time you use your virtual receptionist service when you get busy, and scale it back down during quieter periods.
It’s that flexible.
What are the benefits of hiring a virtual receptionist?
So we’ve already been through one of the main benefits of hiring a virtual assistant or receptionist, and that’s the cost.
But there are many other benefits too that your business can get from hiring a virtual receptionist.
We’ve already written about the main benefits of using a virtual receptionist in this blog that you can read here.
But as a quick overview, here are the main benefits you’ll get:
More time to run your business
Because you’re spending less time answering the phone, you have more time to complete jobs, move onto the next one, and win referral business for completing work to a high standard.
Less chance of missing a customer
If you’ve got lots of calls coming in as a sole trader or small business, you might not be able to answer all of them. But each missed call is a potential customer lost. A virtual receptionist helps make sure you never miss a call and let another lead slip through your fingers.
Professionalise your phone answering
Answering the phone professionally can be the difference between winning and losing a potential customer.
But when you’re stressed and running around, maintaining a professional tone can be trickier.
Your virtual receptionist adds a layer of professionalism to your call answering, ensuring all calls are dealt with properly and efficiently.
Better manage your day
As well as answering calls and providing information, a virtual receptionist can also help you better manage your diary by booking calls and meetings for you when you’re busy or don’t have access to your calendar.
Making a virtual receptionist work in a small business
Rhodes Brook Financial Management came to us about a virtual receptionist service when they were in the process of expanding the business due to the number of new business and calls they were dealing with.
We worked with them to understand what they were looking for in a VA and came up with a package to suit their needs.
The result has been an increase in appointments booked with members of the team.
In total we’ve dealt with more than one million calls for small businesses with an average quality score of 98.90% for our PAs.
Ready to take your business’ call answering to the next level?
If you’re getting too busy to keep taking calls in the day but are worried that you could be missing out on leads and sales, then get in touch with us today.
Our expert team can take you through the process of hiring and using a VA in your business and help you figure out the best package to match your needs and budget.
All the packages we offer are flexible and can be adapted as needed to meet your changing needs.