A virtual receptionist can make it a lot easier to run your business, but knowing which one is the right one can be difficult.

Although it may take some time to interview several answering service companies, the polish a virtual receptionist gives your business is well worth the effort. Instead of looking like a law firm of one, for example, your office can present the same professional front as your much larger competition.

Finding the Best Virtual Receptionists

Like when looking for any sort of professional service, there are two main things to keep in mind.

First is the culture of the company. Does this virtual receptionist really reflect the same values you hold for your business? Will they be able to communicate with your clientele? Are they a good fit for you on a base level?

Secondly, you should consider the services that virtual receptionist company offers. If you need a bilingual receptionist, for example, and your companies of choice don’t offer that service, it’s not going to be easy or smart to try to juggle two different companies to get that service plus whatever else you may want.

A virtual receptionist should always be willing to customize your package so that your company gets the services you need, nothing more and nothing less.

These are a few services you might want to consider when hunting for the right virtual receptionist:

  • Message Relay. It’s one thing to write down a message for whenever and quite another to deliver that message directly to the appropriate employee seamlessly. Message relay allows virtual receptionists to deliver messages using fax, email or SMS any time of the day or night so that your calls never have to wait.
  • Emergency Calls. Along with relaying messages, taking emergency calls is par for the course with a virtual receptionist. If you give them the right information, they’ll be able to evaluate callers to determine if they have an actual emergency and then forward them directly to the person who can solve it. Instant customer happiness without any additional expense, what could be better?
  • Appointment Setting. Many companies rely on appointments with clients to keep the doors open, but it’s time consuming to set those appointments all day. Virtual receptionists can do this for you, using software that easily integrates with what you’re using now so that you never miss a beat.
  • Disaster Recovery. No one wants to assume the worst will happen, but disasters can’t be predicted, only planned for. Virtual receptionists can keep your business in contact with your customers when wind, rain, fire or earthquake prevents you from answering the phone.

You’ll want to interview several answering service companies before choosing the one that will provide your virtual receptionist, but all that work will help your business service customers and compete like never before. The many services a virtual receptionist can provide will take a load off of your desk so you can focus on your business instead of handling a constant stream of calls.