Hiring a virtual answering service is just like hiring an in-house receptionist.
They’ll handle your incoming calls, transfer calls to you or the right member of your team, take messages when you’re not available, help you manage your meetings and diary, and can even make outgoing calls for you.
The only difference is they work remotely.
One of the reasons people hesitate when thinking about hiring a virtual receptionist, is they don’t understand the process of setting up the service.
They think it’s complicated and will take a long time to get up and running properly.
But this isn’t the case.
Setting up your virtual answering service is a simple process.
And it won’t be long before you have your very own, professional business answering service that frees you up to do the work you’re being paid for.
We’ve set up hundreds of businesses with our own call answering services, so to give you an idea how easy the process is, here’s a quick guide to how we do it.
Or, you can read our complete guide to hiring a virtual receptionist here and find out how to decide on the right services, along with everything else you need to know about investing in the best virtual receptionist services.
Decide what virtual answering services you need
Most people think of a virtual answering service as simply a remote phone answering service.
But a virtual receptionist or outsourced reception offers so much more to your business.
Sure, if all you need is phone answering, you’ll be able to get that.
All you’ll need to do is work out the level of answering you need.
Do you, for example, want every call answered or screened?
Do you only want calls answered during certain times of the day when you know you’ll be unavailable?
Do you want an out-of-office service?
Also, do you need help booking appointments or meetings?
Or, do you need to set up a live chat on your website to deal with online enquiries?
These are all services your provider should be able to offer.
Work with your virtual call handling provider on your preferences
You might want your call answering partner to simply answer and transfer your calls, screening out those annoying sales calls you don’t want to deal with.
But, if they can’t transfer a call to you, or you want them to handle calls and take messages, you’ll work with your virtual call answering service to come up with some standard responses to phone calls.
These will be based on your preference and how you want your business to be represented.
You’ll also work with your virtual receptionist to help them understand what information you need to get from a phone message, ensuring you’re always getting the information you need.
This will all be worked out to your business’ specific needs and requirements.
Work with your virtual answering service to understand your business
Your virtual receptionist service won’t just be taking messages, directing calls and dealing with your online appointment booking.
They can also free up your time by answering basic but frequent customer service questions.
They’ll work with you to understand the kind of basic enquiries you get and figure out the best way to deal with them.
It could start with simple things like your opening hours or how you accept payments.
Over time you’ll be able to hand more to your virtual PAs as they better understand your business and learn how to deal with different enquiries.
If you hire a sector specific virtual PA – for example one specialising in the property/real estate sector – they’ll already have the knowledge to answer more enquiries for you.
Sync your business number and admin systems
The final stage of setting up your virtual PA is to sync your business number with your provider so calls are directed to them when you can’t answer the phone.
The best virtual call answering services work around your existing communication systems and should also be able to set you up with a dedicated app and client portal, where you can access all your messages from one place.
At Face For Business you’ll get access to all your phone recordings in your client portal, so you can monitor how your PA is dealing with calls and make changes if you’re not happy.
You’re now up and running with your virtual answering service
And that’s it.
Once you’ve been through these simple steps your business will be up and running with your new, professionalised phone management service.
You’ll be able to get on with your day and focus on your business, safe in the knowledge that you’ll never miss a phone call and that every call is being dealt with professionally.
As your business grows, you can easily add to the services your virtual receptionist provides or scale the existing level of support you have.
If you’re ready to get started with a virtual receptionist and want more information, get in touch with us today.
26th July, 2021
Posted by Face For Business