Today’s business culture looks a little different than it did 20, 10, or even five years ago. For growth and success to occur, businesses need to be flexible, available and capable of meeting customer expectations, all while still making cost-effective decisions.
If you are a small business or a startup, hiring employees may not be a possibility. But, fielding every incoming call is not the best way for business owners to spend their time either. One possible solution is hiring a virtual receptionist to manage calls so you can spend more time on revenue generating tasks that grow your business
What is a Virtual Receptionist?
A virtual receptionist is a person who answers incoming phone calls from another location. Some virtual receptionists work from their home. You can also work with an outside contact center to handle these calls, as well.
Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist
Hiring a virtual receptionist is an effective strategy for businesses. Take a look at the seven benefits below.
1. Less expensive than you think
When you hire a full-time receptionist, you can expect to pay more than $28,000 per year in addition to paid time off and benefits. By working with a call center to fill your call answering needs, you can expect to pay less for their services than the cost of a salary, taxes and benefits.
2. Available more hours of the day
You can customize the hours, days, and frequency a virtual receptionist answers phone calls to meet your needs. If you want calls answered after normal business hours, they are available in addition to regular business hours. If you are concerned about calls being answered while you are on vacation, virtual receptionists are a great option to make sure no call goes unanswered.
3. Ability to help more customers
In addition to answering calls during off-hours, virtual receptionists can help manage more calls than an in-house receptionist. When you choose to work with a call center, many of their agents speak more than one language, which is beneficial when a customer contacts you who doesn’t speak your native language. Having a way to assist more clients helps grow your business, while building a positive reputation for customer service.
4. No training costs
By contracting with a call center, you won’t have to worry about taking the time or investing in training. The call center covers training expenses as part of your agreement, which saves you substantial time and financial resources.
5. Automatic coverage
An in-house receptionist can only answer one call at a time which can result in a negative experience for a customer who waits on hold. When you work with a call center for your virtual receptionist needs, you get multiple receptionists. If one is on a call, another one is ready and able to take the next call, so every customer feels important.
6. No need to worry about vacations
The majority of full-time employees take at least one vacation per year. When a receptionist goes on vacation, you are left to answer the calls. Utilizing virtual receptionist services through a call center eliminates this concern. You don’t have to worry about who will fill in, because there is always another receptionist available.
7. You gain your time back
The biggest benefit of hiring a virtual receptionist is you gain your time back. Instead of managing time-consuming phone calls and returning messages, you can focus on growing your business. More time also means you can spend evenings and weekends doing the things you enjoy like spending time with family instead of playing catch up from the week.