If you’re tired of losing money because you’re too busy to answer the phone, you might be thinking about the benefits of hiring a virtual receptionist.
It can be a good idea. Provided you’re doing it for the right reasons and understand how to make the most of your investment.
There’s no guarantee your virtual receptionist will be a good investment if you don’t do the research and understand what the service can do for you.
As a provider of virtual receptionist services ourselves, we want to see your investment succeed (it’s in our interest too).
So, here are the main reasons businesses fail to get the best out of a virtual receptionist so you can avoid them.
They don’t prepare their phone systems and procedures
Understanding how your phone system works now is essential for figuring out how it will work once you’ve hired a virtual receptionist.
Preparing your phone system includes procedures for how phone calls are dealt with, who calls are forwarded to, and the policy for dealing with escalations.
Many businesses that hire a virtual receptionist aren’t clear on these things, so the system ends up broken and not working efficiently.
A professional virtual receptionist can help you establish these policies and procedures if they don’t exist, but it’s something to consider beforehand.
They don’t communicate with their virtual receptionist
Some businesses think a virtual receptionist is a “plug-in and play” investment, where you can bring them in and let them go.
You need to communicate with your receptionist to get the best results.
Communication ensures everyone understands what’s expected from the service.
Armed with all the information they need, a virtual receptionist can be an excellent tool for customer service, but that information only comes from you.
They use their virtual receptionist in a silo
This is similar to the point above.
Many business owners assume a virtual receptionist is a standalone service that you use to answer calls and maybe book a few appointments.
That’s not the case. A virtual receptionist works best when fully integrated into your business’ customer-facing roles, like marketing, sales and service.
For example, a virtual receptionist can be integrated with your CRM software to manage and log calls.
They can even be used for processes like lead qualification if you bring them into your business and don’t use them in a silo.
They don’t set targets or review performance
Like any investment, you need to know you’re getting a good return and that the service you brought in is doing its job.
A virtual receptionist is no exception. A good starting point is understanding how many calls you expect your receptionist to handle in a given month.
If they’re constantly answering less than you expect, either you’ve invested too heavily for now, or they’re not doing their jobs.
Similarly, if you’re virtual receptionist is maxed out on calls answered, and you’ve still got missed calls or are answering them yourself, you might need to scale up the resource you use.
Performance reviews should include customer surveys about the state of your call answering and service.
You should also consistently review the call recordings your receptionists provide so you can judge how they answer calls and make changes if needed.
If your virtual receptionist service doesn’t provide call recordings, it’s time to take your business elsewhere.
The don’t plan for everything their virtual receptionist could do
You’d be surprised how often it happens that a business owner will look to invest in a virtual receptionist service without really planning what they’ll use them for.
A virtual receptionist is much more than a call-answering resource. They can handle some admin tasks, like your diary management.
And they can help with essential functions like lead qualification if you integrate them properly.
Before you invest in your virtual receptionist, make sure you have a plan for what you need help with.
Your virtual receptionist service can help you with this, but it’s good to have an idea in your own mind what your expectations are.
Don’t risk turning an excellent investment into a bad one
Investing in a virtual receptionist can save you time dealing with calls and remove the risks of losing money from missed phone calls.
They can help you stay on top of your diary management without the hassle of finding times when multiple people are free, and they can have you removed from sales lists to reduce the number of spam calls you get.
A virtual receptionist can be integrated with your broader sales, marketing and service teams and used for tasks like lead qualification.
But as good as the investment can be, it will take some investment from your business to make the relationship work and get the most out of your investment.
13th November, 2023
Posted by Face For Business