In business, first impressions are important. A bad first impression can negatively affect the confidence of prospective customers and clients, and even cost you business. The first impressions you give a customer or client will set the tone for your future business relationship and shows that you are professional and prepared. Fortunately, technology and flexibility have given small businesses the ability to adopt the look and feel of a larger company, which is one of th many benefits of virtual receptionist.
If you have ever called a business only to reach their voicemail or an automated service, you appreciate the sound of a live human answering the call. Not having a person to speak with can be frustrating for potential customers and can often have them running to the arms of your competitor.
A virtual receptionist is a professional who provides front-line administrative support for your company. They work remotely and are often the first person your customer comes in contact with when reaching out to your business. Virtual receptionists answer and appropriately route incoming calls that ring in to your business number. They take messages, answer questions, handle simple customer requests, and manage your appointment book. A virtual receptionist role is important because they are an extension of your business and are responsible for your company’s first impression.
What are the Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist?
Enlisting the expertise of a professional virtual receptionist helps your company build a personal connection with your customers by presenting a live human to assist them. Providing this level of service not only delights your customers but also saves your company time and money. Time-consuming, but necessary tasks, such as answering phones, responding to general inquiries, and scheduling appointments can be done by a virtual receptionist freeing up your time. Business owners can leverage their time to focus on more revenue-generating duties. Another important benefit of adding a virtual receptionist to your remote team is the ability to provide 24/7customer service. Many companies provide around-the-clock virtual receptionist services so that no matter what say or time of day a customer calls your business, their call will be answered. In many cases, coverage is available 365 days a year, even on holidays. A professional virtual receptionist that provides quality service can help set your business apart.
How Much Does a Virtual Receptionist Cost?
The cost for a virtual receptionist can vary and is often based on the level of service and price model.
- The monthly subscription price model offers a predictable flat rate based on the number of prepaid minutes of virtual receptionist services used in a month.
- The per-minute price model charges based on the call volume received for your business and how long the virtual receptionist is actively connected to a business call on your behalf.
- With the tier pricing price model, tiers are prepaid and based on minutes and the complexity of the services rendered.
In-House vs. Virtual Receptionist
In-house receptionists are often a natural choice for businesses because as an established employee with in-depth company knowledge, management can directly oversee and increase the receptionist’s duties as needed. However, there are huge advantages to hiring a virtual receptionist as opposed to hiring additional in-house staff. One of the clear advantages of adding a virtual receptionist to your business is scheduling and availability. When hiring an in-house receptionist, a business must assume the cost of hiring, training, benefits, etc. for their new employee. They must also accommodate for planned and unexpected changes in an employee’s schedule such as tardiness, family leave, vacation, and sick time. A company that offers virtual receptionist service has a team of professionals consistently available. It removes the burden of finding last-minute coverage for an in-house receptionist when an absence occurs. Another advantage to hiring a virtual receptionist is cost. The average in-house receptionist’s salary is $15.00 per hour. In addition to hourly pay, a business owner would be responsible for employer taxes, social security, sick pay, benefits, etc. Office equipment and setup cost is also a factor when ensuring an in-house receptionist is ready to work whereas an outsourced virtual receptionist would not require these costs.
The benefits of virtual receptionist are a valuable addition to any business regardless of size or industry. Responsive Answering Service provides customized and professional virtual receptionist services 365/24/7. Our trained team of professionals serves as an extension of your business’s team. Contact us to learn how a virtual receptionist can help your business.