Virtual receptionists can be valuable members of your team, no matter what sort of business you’re in.

From tow trucks to podiatry, there’s a role for these answering service operators everywhere. The problem is that many people don’t realize the wide range of services that virtual receptionists can provide. Not only do they make your company look more professional by providing a more united front, they can take up the slack that a limited budget and small workforce may have created.

These are four very real services your virtual receptionist can provide:

  • Emergency call forwarding. For medical professionals and service providers, emergency calls are par for the course. The problem is that many of these emergencies happen after hours or at other inconvenient times. Other callers may think they’re having an emergency, but really can wait until your regular office hours.

    In either case, a virtual receptionist armed with the right training can distinguish between these two callers types and send only the emergency calls to your “on call” person. Emergency call forwarding can help fight burnout by allowing you to truly relax and have some nights totally to yourself.

  • Bilingual answering. Your callers won’t always be English speakers in our increasingly diverse country. In some areas, in fact, up to 30 percent of your customers could be native Spanish speakers.

    This means you have to be prepared to provide them with the same kind of service you’d provide your English speaking customers if you want them to stick around. Bilingual virtual receptionists have the ability to take accurate messages from callers in either language, so their true intent comes shining through.

  • Appointment scheduling. If there’s one thing that takes up much more time that it should, it’s juggling appointments. Clients often need to make, change or cancel appointments several times to fit their schedule properly, it’s really a full time job!

    Luckily, your virtual receptionist can also function as a dedicated appointment setting queue. When someone wants to jockey their appointment around, your virtual receptionist will simply log into software that easily interfaces with your own, check your schedule and assist the caller. And since your calendar and theirs are in constant communication, there’s no risk of accidentally double-booking appointments!

  • Disaster recovery. Far be it for anyone to assume a disaster is coming, but you can’t hide your head in the sand and pretend it’s not possible. With weather patterns becoming more unpredictable, the threat of a serious storm or act of God knocking out your power or destroying your building isn’t exactly zero.

    Fortunately, your virtual receptionist will have your back if this time comes. By establishing a disaster recovery plan ahead of time, you can keep your customers in the loop as you get your business back online, as well as help them figure out what to do about appointments or where to collect their orders.

Virtual receptionists can be true assets to your customer service team. They’re much more affordable than an additional full time employee and, unlike that employee, can be available 24 hours a day, every day, even on holidays. Since virtual receptionists only charge for the calls they handle, you can also take some comfort in the fact that they’ll scale with you as your grow your business with the help of your answering service company.