In today’s highly competitive environment, providing excellent customer service can make your business stand above the others. Top-notch customer service is all about making your customers feel valued, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to be available when they contact your business. 

If you’re so busy that phone calls are going unanswered and voicemails are piling up, you may want to consider outsourcing to a virtual receptionist. 

What is a virtual receptionist?

A virtual receptionist is a remote extension of a business’ team that assists with call management and customer service-related tasks. Simply put, a virtual receptionist is the difference between your callers being sent to voicemail and speaking with a live representative. With many people saying that they will hang up without leaving a voicemail if their call isn’t answered, being there when your customers need you is imperative if you wish to provide great service.

Here are some of the tasks that a virtual receptionist from an answering service can perform:

  • Answering your phones, and routing calls to the appropriate person
  • Communicating with clients via text message
  • Scheduling appointments and adding them to your calendar
  • Taking messages
  • Providing over-the-phone customer support
  • Answering general questions about your business and its services or products
  • Coordinating with your vendors and contractors
  • Providing support in the event of a natural disaster or emergency
  • Email marketing

How does a virtual receptionist work?

The virtual receptionists from an answering service work remotely outside of your office, and their phone systems are configured to manage your incoming calls. Before they begin answering your company’s phones, your virtual receptionist receives specialized training about your business and its products or services. In addition to being friendly, professional, and experienced, virtual receptionists can also be HIPAA-compliant or bilingual to better serve your customers.

Virtual receptionist vs. in-house employees

If you’re in need of extra help to keep up with your call volume, consider these reasons to outsource to a virtual receptionist instead of hiring an in-house employee:

  • Virtual receptionists don’t require special equipment. The virtual receptionists from an answering service are not based in your office, so there is no need to purchase a desk, computer,  and other office equipment for them.
  • You don’t have to worry about a virtual receptionist calling in sick. Not only must employers pay their employees when they take a sick day, but it is an inconvenience that can significantly lower the productivity of the whole office. With a virtual receptionist, your business is always covered.
  • You won’t pay for wasted time. If you don’t have enough consistent work for an in-house employee, you will likely end up paying them to sit around. With a virtual receptionist, you only pay for the calls that they handle.

Sometimes you only need temporary help. The holiday season is a busy time for many businesses, and an answering service is a great way to help them keep up with the influx of holiday shoppers. Outsourcing to a holiday answering service is usually cheaper and easier than recruiting, hiring, and training in-house employees that are only going to work there for a short period of time.