When businesses are looking for a company to manage their incoming call volume, they often Google the terms “answering services” or “virtual receptionist services.” Although these terms are unique, they have several things in common. There are, however, some important differences as well that business owners should understand before choosing the right solution for their company.
If you can’t decide between using a live phone answering service or a virtual receptionist service for your business, or you’re not even sure of the differences between the two, read on! Below we will explain the similarities and differences between live answering services and virtual receptionist services.
What do live answering services and virtual receptionists have in common?
No matter which kind of service you choose, here are some things that you can expect from live answering services and virtual receptionist services:
- Both ensure that your company’s phone calls, text messages, and website chat messages are answered
- Both ensure that callers get to speak with a real, live person
- Both can provide 24/7/365 coverage
- Both employ live agents that work remotely but serve as an extension of your business
- Both can answer general questions, schedule appointments, qualify leads, take messages, and provide customer support
- Both offer bilingual answering services
- Both free up your time to be more productive
- Both options are typically cheaper than hiring an in-house receptionist
What is the difference between answering services and virtual receptionists?
Although there is some overlap between live answering services and virtual receptionist services, there are several important differences as well. It is crucial to understand these differences so you can choose which option is the best fit for your business.
The main difference is that virtual receptionists offer a higher level of service. Every call will be answered by your virtual receptionist who has received comprehensive training about your business, industry, and customers. From there your virtual receptionist 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 in your preferred method.
Live telephone answering services offer a more basic level of service than virtual receptionist services, but they are still a great way to impress and engage your customers. The first thing your callers will hear is a custom greeting (played by a machine), and from there a live agent will assist them. Unlike with a virtual receptionist, callers may be temporarily placed on hold if the call queue is high. At Answering Service Care, we offer custom on-hold music options that you can select. Our live agents will assist your callers and take detailed messages that will be delivered to you in the method of your choice (email, text or call back). We offer a variety of ways to receive your messages. Our clients can customize their means of message delivery, with options including phone, text, email, fax, or the ASC Mobile app.