Your customers want to talk to you by phone. A study of 50 million U.S. customers found that 65% of callers want to reach a business by phone, and only 24% would accept using an alternate method like a web form instead.
Here’s something else to consider: The average business call duration is 4 minutes 52 seconds, meaning every time a customer calls it takes about 5 minutes of your time. If you receive just a dozen calls a day, you lose 1 full hour of work time daily. If hundreds of customers are calling you, it’s hard to get anything else done.
That’s why it’s essential to have the help of a receptionist. And in today’s digital world, that receptionist doesn’t even need to sit within your walls. With virtual reception services, your phone calls are handled efficiently and professionally from anywhere in the world.
Here are 6 traits the world’s best virtual receptionists have in common.
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1- They’re Warm and Patient
When people call a business, they want to hear a warm, friendly greeting. A friendly receptionist makes them feel more welcome to interact with your company and more likely to contact you in the future.
Great receptionists blend this friendliness with a calm, empathetic, and patient attitude that allows the customer to express themselves. The customer doesn’t feel rushed, and the receptionist can get to the bottom of their inquiry.
Marcel Wiedenbrugge, the author of the book, “Happy Customers, Faster Cash” studies the relationship between friendliness and business success. He calls friendliness the best predictor of a company that maintains good relationships with its customers, and the best weapon to ‘win’ against argumentative people.
2- They’re On-Brand
The best receptionists stay on-brand at all times. This means they answer calls in a way that fits your brand, provide only the kinds of responses you’ve approved in advance, and remind customers of good things about your company.
This is an important quality, because it’s not universal across reception services. Some companies can only promise generic responses from their receptionists. Your customers will reach a call center full of people who don’t really understand your specific business.
By contrast, the best virtual reception services offer thoroughly trained receptionists who understand your company, your brand, and your customers. They know your motto and how you prefer to handle customer service. Each customer will have a consistent – and positive – experience.
3- They’re Unflappable
Dealing with unpleasant calls is part of customer service. Your receptionist should be able to handle difficult issues without becoming frustrated or unprofessional.
A receptionist with good interpersonal skills can carefully defuse an angry customer and get to the bottom of the problem. This brings major value, because it costs 5 to 25 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer.
4- They Respect Your Rules
Part of why you’re hiring a virtual receptionist is because you don’t want to be bothered with constant interruptions. A good receptionist understands this and can take care of most customer issues without contacting you.
To make sure this happens, set up a decision tree with your receptionist – a set of rules they can follow, step by step, to resolve customer concerns without contacting you. Be clear about whether your receptionist is allowed to forward calls to you, as well as any other rules you have about communication.
5- They’re Organized
Great receptionists are extremely organized. They maintain meticulous files that allow them to keep vital information right at their fingertips.
Before hiring a new virtual receptionist, ask the company how they train their receptionists to stay organized. Is there a specific type of database or communication system they use? How many clients does each receptionist have, and how do they keep everything straight?
6- They Have Great Follow-Through
Customers hate it when companies don’t follow through on their promises. Trust is so important to consumers, 79% of them will opt for a certain brand purely because they trust them more than the competition.
If your receptionist says, “We’ll look into it and call you back,” but doesn’t, they’re breaking your customers’ trust in you. That can mean you lose that customer forever.
When a follow-up call is required, customers prefer to have it within 24 hours of their original call. If you can respond within 1 hour – something only about 37% of all businesses can accomplish – you’ll have a strong positive impact on your customer satisfaction.
Finding the Best Receptionists
At Reliable Receptionist, we take customer satisfaction very seriously. We provide highly-trained virtual receptionists who combine all of the qualities described above. Connect with Reliable Receptionist now for world-class reception services.