There is no question that the pandemic has caused both employers and employees to reimagine the future of remote work. Before, working from home might be considered a luxury but now it is considered the “norm.”
Keeping a business integrated and polished with a remote model doesn’t have to be difficult. Virtual answering services help businesses of all sizes stay organized and keep their customers happy. In this article we will discuss the following questions regarding live virtual answering services:
- What are the best services which answer calls for you?
- What is an answering service operator?
- How does a virtual receptionist work?
What are the best services which answer calls for you?
The best call answering services ensure that your calls don’t go unanswered and that customers receive excellent service from live agents who care. The most reputable services will also customize options based on your needs, so you aren’t locked into paying for services that might be unnecessary for your business such as after-hours call answering, SMS text messaging answering services or bilingual agents.
Quality call answering services tend to have the following attributes in common:
- Excellent customer service. A high-value call answering service will invest in customer service training for their employees.
- Options on when you want your phone answered. A small business or a startup is not going to have the same needs as a Fortune 500 company. A small business will likely need their phone answered while they are open, while a larger company might need additional after-hours support. A good call answering service will let you pick (and change) the hours that you need your phones managed.
- A great reputation. The best call answering services will be well established and tend to have been around for a few decades. They will be up to date on the latest technology and have an inherent understanding for customer service. You should also research customer reviews and testimonials to ensure their clients are satisfied.
What is an answering service operator?
Answering service operators are real, live people who offer callers the opportunity to connect with a representative of your business. They are sometimes also referred to as live agents, live operators, or virtual receptionists.
Unlike traditional receptionists, virtual receptionists are outsourced instead of being employed by your business. This can help you save on a variety of costs, including hiring, training, equipment, technology, salary, and benefits. Answering service operators work remotely in a quiet environment and they are trained, educated, professionals who are also friendly and well versed on customer service.
Answering service operators perform many of the same tasks as a traditional receptionist or secretary, including the following:
- Answering phones and greeting callers
- Transferring calls to the right people
- Taking detailed messages
- Managing your appointment schedule
- Answering questions about your business such as hours of operation, location, etc.
- Capturing new leads
How does a virtual receptionist work?
A simple definition for the word “receptionist” is “a person employed in an office or other establishment to answer the telephone and assist customers.” Virtual receptionists do exactly this, only they work remotely.
Call forwarding technology enables virtual receptionists to answer a business’ phones from wherever they are located. When a call comes in, it automatically forwards to your virtual receptionist, who then answers on your behalf. After warmly greeting the caller, they can assist with tasks like answering general questions, scheduling appointments, transferring calls, taking messages, and more. They can also ensure that messages are being routed to the correct team members, which is paramount in a remote workforce. Some virtual receptionists can also handle schedule organization for multiple team members.