If you’re like many business owners you consider your phone a life saver… and a total curse!! You’re frantic if you’re ever without it (heaven forbid!), but it rings so often that there are moments where you (secretly) wish it would just stop for a day, a week or a month or so just so you could actually get some work done or have a moment to think.
Or maybe you’d use your phone break to go on a real holiday – yep, remember those – the kind where you actually didn’t have to work – for a whole week.
If only you didn’t have to answer all those calls, every day for forever.
Well, actually you don’t. Enter the virtual receptionist.
What’s a Virtual Receptionist?
A real virtual receptionist doesn’t sit in a call centre with dozens of other phone answerers, where they just ‘divert your calls back to your mobile or office. Rather virtual receptionist is a real member of your business team, who understands what it is that you do, can answer questions – even some of the more curly ones, make customers’ appointments with you, take messages and more. Essentially, they take the place of an employee receptionist – just one that never gets sick, takes holidays, or misses calls because they were too busy chatting about their weekend plans.
So How Else Can a Virtual Receptionist Save Your Sanity? Read On.
- If you’re on the move, you don’t have to miss a potential client – sometimes, when you’re out and about, there’s no way for you to pause in your work long enough to answer a call. A virtual receptionist will always be there to answer the phone for you, even if you’re on holiday.
- You’ll appear more professional – a virtual receptionist will be there to provide great customer service no matter where you are or what you’re doing when the client calls, making you and your business the picture of professionalism.
- It’ll make your clients more agreeable – have you ever called a company and had to sit and wait for ages while the same monotonous song plays over and over? Hmmm, so have we, and so have your customers. With a virtual receptionist, your customers will be able to have their queries answered instantly, making them more agreeable and willing to work with you.
- Your business costs will be reduced – the costs of hiring a full-time (or even part-time) receptionist are hefty, and if you have an online business, it might be almost impossible. A virtual receptionist is a perfect solution – eliminating the need to hire a person to sit in an office and wait to field calls. It’s cheaper, too, with plans starting from just $69 a month. That way, you can direct your finances into other areas where you need it most – service delivery and/or customer acquisition/retention maybe.
- You’ll be able to manage your time better – when you take on a virtual receptionist, you won’t just manage your finances better, your time can be channelled into those more critical areas, too. Instead of having to spend time answering enquiries, you’ll be able to work on actual projects, quotes and other things that get you paid.
- Difficult customers will be calmer to talk to (at least for you) – if a customer is angry, or confused, or just generally being a bit difficult to deal with, it can take a lot of time (not to mention energy) to calm them down. Your virtual receptionist can navigate any tricky situations that may arise – or at least diffuse the situation so everyone is calmer when you actually speak to them. So not only can you get more done, you might just stop your blood pressure from rising, too.
- Hire one for a week, month, all the time or every now and again – they’re completely flexible. Lots of businesses have peak periods and times when they’re quieter. And you probably don’t need to be paying someone when the phone’s not ringing. So don’t. And then next time that phone goes crazy again and you’re just not keeping up, call up and they’ll swoop in like magic and save your sanity again.
- Keep up with your competitors – if you miss a business call, that’s possible yet another customer lost to your competitors (and let’s face it, as much as you want to, you probably can’t answer all of your calls all the time). In order to keep your business operating at the top of its game, it’s essential to answer all your calls, otherwise prospective customers give up and go elsewhere.
- Your virtual receptionist really loves their job – and is good at it. In the first stages of your business, you might have been tempted to hire a family member to answer calls for you. Maybe your cousin/daughter/aunty/mate was between jobs, and you thought it would be a good idea to get them to field calls for a while. Although that may have been fine in the short term when your business was just starting up, but clients tell us that usually sooner rather than later, things start to slip through the cracks – or they get flustered or cranky when the phone rings too much. Hence, it’s a better idea to have someone with real experience working as a receptionist – someone who lives to answer that next call with a smile. That way, your customers will receive exceptional care, and you’re more likely to clinch that all important deal.
- Your most important calls will be prioritized – when you’re answering calls, you might end up spending too much time on an unimportant call, or have too little time to spend on an important prospect before having to rush off to a meeting. A virtual receptionist could screen and prioritise calls so that you only need to deal with the most important issues first – and you’re more focussed when returning those calls.
- And a bonus extra reason
YOU CAN FINALLY GO ON HOLIDAYS AND SOMEONE ELSE WILL ANSWER YOUR CALLS.
Yes, really. And you deserve a really good break, don’t you?
Want to more info on how a virtual receptionist could work for your business? Give Roland a call on 1300 318 680 or drop us a note.