There was a time when hiring a receptionist was a great way to help grow a small business—after all, these individuals could act as the face of your business when potential customers came to visit or make and receive calls on your behalf to free you up for other work.

As the world has become increasingly digital and more workers, shoppers and clients come from the internet, it only makes sense to hire a virtual receptionist to help with your growing business. After all, there’s no reason you need a receptionist to be in the same room as you, especially if your business is virtual or isn’t open to walk-in customers.

A virtual receptionist can be a huge benefit to a small business, here are three ways they can help you grow your company even more:

24/7 call answering. As part of an answering service, your virtual receptionist is probably one of many in a virtual reception pool. That means that no matter what time of day, no matter what day of the week, someone is there to answer the phone and give your customers a warm greeting. Knowing that you’re always there to take care of them will increase your customers’ happiness and improve their opinion of your business.

Answering common customer questions. With the right resources and information, a virtual receptionist can handle common customer service questions, saving you time and in the long run, earning customer loyalty and dollars.

According to a 2014 American Express study, 74 percent of customers would spend an average of 14 percent more with companies that provided excellent customer service. Those customers defined “excellent customer service” as being provided an agent who could answer their questions (86 percent) or at least connect them to someone who knew the answer (78 percent).

Emergency call forwarding. In some industries, it’s vital that calls get pushed to the right person at the right time, right away. For example, if you’re running a property management company and someone calls because they’re having a heating problem in the middle of a snowstorm then that certainly can’t wait. A virtual receptionist is trained to identify the emergency calls, transfer them to the proper contact person and do it all in a flash. Their speed means referrals later when the very happy customer tells others about their experience.

A virtual receptionist can help grow your small business in lots of ways, both short- and long-term. Having the extra help and the ability to expand into an answering service team who can handle a mighty call volume isn’t a bad thing either, as your company marches bravely into the future.