If you have been looking to outsource call management and customer service, chances are you’ve come across the terms “virtual receptionist” and “answering services.” If you are new to these concepts, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two, how a virtual receptionist answering service works, and how it can benefit your business.
You have come to the right place! Below we will answer and discuss the following questions:
- What is a virtual receptionist service?
- How is a virtual receptionist service different than a live answering service?
- What does a virtual receptionist do?
- What are the benefits of a virtual receptionist?
- How much does a virtual receptionist cost?
What is a virtual receptionist service?
A virtual receptionist is a real person who works remotely, offering your customers the opportunity to connect with a friendly live representative of your business. These individuals are professionally trained in call handling and customer service skills, and they perform many of the same job functions as a traditional receptionist or secretary. However, they are typically outsourced rather than employed by your company.
How is a virtual receptionist service different than a live answering service?
Virtual receptionist services have a lot in common with live answering services, but there are several key differences as well. Mainly, a virtual receptionist service is a more sophisticated version of an answering service. Virtual receptionists deliver an elevated level of customer service and are typically the better option for businesses with complex call handling needs.
Put it this way: If your business is simply looking for someone to greet callers and take messages, a live answering service will be able to get the job done. If you’re looking for every call to be answered by a virtual receptionist who has received extensive training about your business, industry, and customers, you’ll want to partner with a virtual receptionist service.
Virtual receptionists serve as an extension of your physical office. After promptly answering the phone, he or she will transfer the call to the appropriate person. If the person the caller needs to speak with is not available, your virtual receptionist will take a detailed message and send it to you at your convenience.
What does a virtual receptionist do?
Virtual receptionists can manage your business’ communications via phone, SMS text message, and live website chat to assist customers in a variety of ways. They are available whenever you need them- during business hours, after hours, or 24/7/365.
Here are some of the tasks that a virtual receptionist can perform:
- Answer phones
- Transfer calls
- Take detailed messages if you are not available
- Respond to live website chats and text messages from customers
- Schedule, update, and cancel appointments
- Provide customer support
- Answer general questions about your business
- Qualify new leads
- Provide bilingual support
- Help your business recover in the event of an emergency or natural disaster
What are the benefits of a virtual receptionist?
When looking into hiring someone to answer your phones and assist your business, you have several options. You could hire an in-house receptionist, outsource to a call answering service, or partner with a virtual receptionist company.
Now that we’ve already explained what a virtual receptionist service is and how it differs from a live answering service, we will explain four of the ways that it can help your business thrive:
- A virtual receptionist ensures that fewer customer calls go unanswered. By simply picking up the phone, your customers will feel more valued and at ease.
- A friendly, educated virtual receptionist will make great first impressions and create more exceptional customer experiences.
- By not having to answer your phone constantly, you and your staff can focus on more pressing tasks.
- Virtual receptionist services can provide 24/7 coverage. If your business receives a lot of calls during non-business hours, it eliminates the need to hire multiple in-house receptionists.
How much does a virtual receptionist cost?
Every business is unique, so a one-size-fits-all approach to pricing simply does not make sense. Here at Answering Service Care, we’ll get to know you and your business, and then create a custom bundle that meets your needs and budget. However, we can tell you this:
- We’ll never sell you services that you don’t need.
- We’ll never recommend a service that doesn’t make sense for your business.
- Virtual receptionist services are typically cheaper than an in-house receptionist, since you save on recruiting, training, equipment, benefits, and more.