What could have begun as a basic search for office help turns into a flurry of questions waiting to be answered. You need someone in the workplace, huh? How experienced would you like it to be? Are they supposed to manage your schedule or only answer incoming calls? Will you need full-time support, or will a part-time employee be sufficient? How much is it going to cost you?
Before you get swarmed by the results of your search, consider this do you understand the difference between an answering service and a virtual receptionist? The difference between the two will easily help to narrow your quest. While the programs are not very different, they each deliver unique benefits. When you know what you're looking for the decision is likely to be a no-brainer.
As the name suggests, a virtual receptionist may perform much of the same tasks that the receptionist could perform in your office. The difference: they're operating remotely. Although answering incoming phone calls is a given, these administrative superstars may also provide appointment scheduling services, provide customer care, handle bookings, pass calls to the right person/department, and even capture/qualify sales leads. If you're looking for a friendly professional who can act as the company's literal voice, a virtual receptionist is what you want.
Digital receptionists tend to be very tuned to the requirements of your company as a matter of necessity. Their job needs more contact with your staff, so that they can easily adjust to the trends, behaviors and routines of your office. A true partner in both customer service and administrative support, a virtual receptionist provides an extra level of expertise and professionalism.
One of the main benefits of employing a virtual receptionist is cost savings. Remember that the average in-house receptionist is paid more than $30,000 a year. You're going to need to provide them with office supplies, insurance care, sick leave and holidays, too. When they take time off, you and your employees are also left covering up their duties. On the other hand, a virtual receptionist works from a remote office where you won't have to think about covering their breaks or paying for their vacation. In reality, all you have to do is pay for the time your calls are handled, which is much more cost-effective and very affordable.
Answering Machine Service
An answering service takes calls to your company and sends texts, sometimes during normal business hours or when you're not around to answer calls yourself. Callers are accepted by a genuine, live customer service representative and your customers or prospective customers are reassured that their concerns are being handled. Though Customer Service Agents perform many of the same duties as a virtual receptionist, they are more customer-oriented and can manage a large number of calls, regardless of the time of day. No matter what your business is at some stage, you are likely to have a customer in need of assistance after hours. Instead of paying a person to sit at a desk in your office overnight waiting for the phone to ring, an answering service will help fulfill your requirements.
Imagine how much more business you could gain if your phone didn't go to voicemail. Imagine if there was a friendly, supportive voice to answer any question that might come up. Bilingual answering services will also help to assist Spanish-speaking callers. Your customers will join your brand in providing stellar customer support and round-the-clock availability.
What is right for you?
Both automated receptionists and customer service agents working with an answering service are receiving intensive training. They can work from completely custom scripts and function as an extension of your business.
Most significantly, both virtual receptionists and the teams behind the response services are focused on delivering the best possible customer support. Your business isn't just a nameless, faceless entity that these remote employees know nothing about. In reality, the answering service team and the virtual receptionists equip themselves with as much knowledge as possible about your business so that they can be prepared for any query that may come their way.
When choosing between an answering service or a virtual receptionist, it is crucial to remember the particular problems you are hoping to solve. If you're looking for a partner in the day-to-day management of your office, a virtual receptionist may be a better match. If you're trying to keep it easy and only accept messages while reminding your callers that you're available to them then an answering service may be a choice for you. In certain instances, companies will benefit from working with both a virtual receptionist and an answering service. Because both options will save you time and money, there is little chance of both trying.
Company size, priorities, number of calls, sector. All of these considerations play an important role in selecting the best service to suit your particular business needs. If customer service is important to you, we always recommend that you give callers access to a real person instead of a robot (in fact, we have a calculator that will highlight the ROI of real receptionists handling your phone). It tells your customers that it's important to you. It's a little thing your company can do to make a big impact that turns callers into loyal customers.
Does Your Business Need a Live Virtual Receptionist?
Reliable Receptionist helps small to mid-sized businesses enhance their professional image, improve customer service, manage workload and convert callers to become loyal clients. At Reliable Receptionist, we not only provide simple answering services but you can be confident your company’s incoming calls will be immediately answered by one of up to five - live - trained representatives assigned to your account. Our off-site receptionists are professionally ready to answer questions about your business, provide directions, capture critical lead information, schedule appointments, and forward calls to the appropriate department depending on your set guidelines. One of the many advantages of using an off-site receptionist with advanced call handling technology is that your calls can be privately announced and seamlessly connected to you in real-time on any phone number. Many of our clients provide multiple connecting numbers for us so we always have the best way to reach you. Let's Work Together! For more information or to request a quote and free demonstration, send us a message or call us today at (925) 627-4200.