Is it time to hire a virtual receptionist for your business? Missed calls, limited hours, and growing expenses often become a problem when you hire a small business receptionist. A virtual receptionist service can help you overcome many of those issues with a consistent, professional answering service for your small business.
Keep reading for seven benefits of outsourcing your receptionist duties.
1. Reduced Workload for Your Staff
If you don’t have a dedicated in-house receptionist, you and your other staff members likely spend a lot of time answering calls yourself. Those calls take time away from your important work duties. The interruptions can also slow you down and make it more difficult to refocus when you return to your work.
Some businesses hire a person to handle multiple duties, such as answering phones and handling payroll, to help reduce costs. Balancing those work responsibilities can be difficult if you receive a lot of phone calls. The other job responsibilities of that employee might fall to the side.
Even if you have a dedicated receptionist, other people in the office might need to pitch in to help when call volume increases. You’ll need coverage when your small business receptionist takes breaks or goes to lunch. This again takes time away from regular work responsibilities.
With a virtual receptionist service, those extra duties are removed from everyone else. Your employees can all focus on their specific job tasks. They can return phone calls as needed once they receive them from the virtual receptionist, which means more control over their schedule for increased productivity.
2. Less Office Space Necessary
When you hire your own small business receptionist, you need an additional work station for that person. It might not seem like much, but your receptionist needs a large desk with a computer, phone system, and enough space to do the job. By using a virtual receptionist, you eliminate that need for an extra work station and can reduce your overhead.
You also don’t have to worry about updating your receptionist’s equipment if it becomes outdated. The virtual receptionist service you hire maintains their own equipment to ensure they can answer your calls effectively.
3. Controlled Costs
The median pay for a receptionist is $30,050 each year or $14.45 per hour. That doesn’t include any benefits you have to provide and other employment costs you have. The general guideline is to estimate that you’ll actually pay about 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary for an employee.
Every time a receptionist resigns, you have additional hiring costs. You’ll have to advertise, recruit, hire, and train someone new, which can add up, especially if turnover for the position is high.
You also have higher costs in general due to things like training, equipment, office supplies, and the space required for an in-house receptionist. When your receptionist takes vacations, you’ll have to cover or bring in a temporary replacement. That means you’re paying your receptionist for vacation time plus paying for a backup.
When you use a virtual receptionist service, you have controlled costs that are predictable. You have consistent coverage without any cost fluctuations. You also have access to multiple receptionists at once, which would cost your company even more in wages if you hired in-house.
4. Wider Range of Hours
Outsourced receptionist services often have a wide range of hours during which they can answer your calls. If you hire a receptionist, you’ll be limited to a typical 40-hour work week. The alternative is paying overtime or hiring multiple receptionists, which increases your costs.
If you want your clients to hear a live person for more hours each day, outsourcing can give you that at an affordable cost. Some services also have weekend hours available.
5. No Missed Calls
When you hire an in-house receptionist, that person is physically limited on how many calls they can take. Many calls will go to voicemail while your receptionist is on the line with someone else. That can leave customers frustrated and can hurt your reputation.
When you use an outsourced receptionist service, you have access to multiple people answering the phone. That means all of your clients will get to talk to a live phone receptionist when they call, improving the customer experience.
You can also help more people in a shorter amount of time. Calls can be transferred to the correct person, or you can receive messages via different methods. You can respond quickly to those clients to be more efficient.
Outsourcing also means you consistently have someone to answer phones with no worry about turnover. There’s no down time or slower times when you’re training someone new or waiting to find a new receptionist.
6. Range of Actions
The best virtual receptionist services offer a range of options for handling your calls. Every call starts with a scripted answer from a professional virtual receptionist. From there, you can decide how calls are handled and how much the virtual receptionists handle.
If you have clients who need to schedule appointments, many outsourced services can do the scheduling for you. This can save you a huge amount of time.
The receptionist can transfer calls or send them to various devices. They might send them to voicemail or route them to the appropriate person’s extension or cell phone number.
They can also take messages for you using a consistent format. You can often choose how you receive those messages, which could include emails or text messages. Either way, you know you’ll receive the messages consistently and in a timely manner, so you can return calls quickly.
7. Consistent, Professional Phone Answering
If you have multiple employees in your office answering phone calls, there’s likely inconsistency in how they answer and how they handle the calls. That can affect the customer experience in a negative way. Clients might get different answers based on who answers the phone when they call.
Virtual receptionists use a script using your business name when answering your phone calls. This creates a consistent experience anytime someone calls your office. They maintain a professional voice and response with every caller.
They also have a standard way of handling calls for consistency in the service your customers receive. You’ll get the messages without worry of them getting lost or someone forgetting to pass them on within the office.
Use a Virtual Receptionist for Your Business
A virtual receptionist can transform how you do business. With virtually no missed calls, your clients get a better experience, and your team is better able to handle the incoming calls efficiently.
Look for more effective business strategies and ideas in our archives.
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