In today’s business world, you don’t need to hire in-house to deliver outstanding customer service.
Not to mention that you might not even afford to put one receptionist to work for you full-time.
Sure, when you’re running a fledgling startup and need to stretch every dollar, you might think that it pays to answer your own business calls.
Not so fast.
When so much work needs to be done, you simply can’t afford to get caught up answering the phone.
Think – Every moment spent on the phone is time that isn’t being spent on your core business.
And if you keep dedicating time to basic, repetitive tasks, it means you have to add extra hours to your day to get work done.
Luckily, a virtual receptionist who can professionally answer your calls will save you tons of time so you can focus on more important tasks, like growing your business and making greater profits.
Plus, they needn’t be expensive in-house hires.
Want to learn more? Keep reading to discover the top 15 benefits of a virtual receptionist.
Table of contents:
1. What is a Virtual Receptionist?
When it comes to deciding what’s best for your customers and your business, you have several factors to consider.
The choice between hiring a receptionist and using AI tools for customer service is all about figuring out how to make and keep customers happy.
However, despite all the technology available in the world today, most customers still want human interactions.
You need the human element.
Here is where virtual receptionist services come into play.
In its simplest definition, a virtual receptionist is a real person – not a chatbot or automated answering service.
They provide telephone answering services while working for an external agency.
As someone who handles phone calls and other administrative tasks, a virtual receptionist performs many of the same job functions as a traditional in-house receptionist.
The only difference is that virtual receptionists don’t take up actual space in your building.
They are independent contractors trained to work remotely for a multitude of clients, not just your businesses (this is one of the main reasons why they’re far more affordable than traditional receptionists).
Typically, they are paid based on an agreed-upon hourly rate. This means that the cost of a virtual receptionist is calculated as the hourly rate multiplied by the actual amount of time worked.
That’s why so many businesses are turning to this option instead of just hiring an in-house receptionist.
From the outset, it may seem that virtual receptionist services are limited to phone handling.
In truth, a virtual receptionist does more than just answer calls.
When not receiving phone calls, virtual receptionists can perform a wide array of basic secretarial functions, such as organising work schedules, taking messages or setting appointments.
Essentially, a virtual receptionist can handle all of your phone communications while your customers never know they’re not reaching you first.
That’s a big perk for business owners looking to free up time and ensure callers get the attention that they deserve.
That said, let’s take a more in-depth look at the benefits that come with hiring a virtual receptionist.
2. 15 Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Receptionist
Not too sold on the idea of leaving your customer service in the hands of someone who handles calls outside of your business’s walls?
We’ll give you 15 reasons why you should bank on virtual receptionist services for phone answering and basic virtual assistant duties.
1. Quality customer service
Virtual receptionists are specifically trained to be that professional extension to your business. You can rest assured that they have a “people-first” attitude and deliver quality customer service that helps you differentiate yourself from your competition.
2. Save money
While the average traditional receptionist makes over AUD$ 50.000 per year, the average virtual receptionist can cost your business as little as AUD$ 60 per month (AUD$ 720 per year) depending on the number of calls you receive. This means that the advantage of using a virtual receptionist over an in-house receptionist can be calculated at cost savings of 98%.
3. No additional overhead costs
Bringing in a traditional receptionist means that you have to pay for their office space (e.g., desk, chair, computer, office supplies, etc.). Because your virtual receptionist works remotely, they don’t need any of that. This means that you don’t have to worry about extra overhead costs.
4. No training costs
When hiring a traditional receptionist, you have to spend months training them to get started. But when you hire a virtual receptionist, the training costs fall on the third party they actually work for. Hire a virtual receptionist and say goodbye to costs related to onboarding and training in-house staff.
5. 24/7 coverage
Most traditional receptionists are available during standard business hours, so nobody will be available to pick up the phone at night. On the other hand, virtual receptionists are available round-the-clock, so no call is left unanswered. This means you will never miss a business opportunity again.
6. Free up time
Your focus should be on growing your business, not answering phone calls all day. With a virtual receptionist, you are able to free up your schedule so you can dedicate more time to your core business while ensuring your customers are in good hands.
7. No days off
If your in-house receptionist takes holidays or gets sick, it is quite expensive to hire staff to cover for them. On the other hand, a virtual receptionist team is available throughout the day, so you can maintain quality customer service 24/7/365.
8. Great first impression
Imagine how much revenue you are missing out on because sales calls aren’t being answered – not to mention that missed phone calls can cause customers to question the professionalism of your business. A virtual receptionist makes sure that doesn’t happen and makes a great first impression on customers.
9. Boost customer loyalty
Excellent customer service can improve customer retention and repeat business. According to Salesforce Research, 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase if they experience positive customer service. A virtual receptionist is trained to treat customers well and address their issues promptly. That, in turn, will increase your odds of boosting loyalty and building customer relationships that last a lifetime.
10. More language options
Do your customers or clients speak a language other than English? Finding a bilingual in-house receptionist can be challenging, and you may even have to pay them a bigger salary. On the other hand, virtual receptionist providers have a large team of agents working for them, so you’re more likely to find the bilingual (or even trilingual) receptionist you’re looking for.
11. No stress
Recruiting, hiring, and training a traditional receptionist can cause a lot of stress on you and the rest of your team (not to mention the stress when your receptionist goes on vacation or calls out sick). Hiring a virtual receptionist will immensely reduce your mental stress, especially because most providers enable you to instantly activate and set up the service without any effort from your side.
12. Customised greetings
Does your business have a unique way of greeting customers? Or, is there a specific tone of voice you would like to use to represent your business? A professional virtual receptionist can answer all of your calls using customised greetings or a particular tone.
13. Eliminate background noises
Sometimes it can be difficult to manage the level of noise in an office environment. There is nothing more frustrating than having to constantly repeat yourself because the receptionist can’t hear. Virtual receptionists work in a quiet, noise-free area so you can rest assured that your customers won’t get distracted by the noise they have in their surroundings.
14. Improved quality of work
When you know that your customers are in good hands, it becomes easier for you to improve operational efficiency and work for peak productivity. That translates into improved quality of work and greater results for your business.
15. Improved response time
Today’s customers don’t want to wait. However, when hiring someone in-house to handle calls, you can expect them to take bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, and meal breaks. All that translates into longer response times (or, calls may even be left unanswered when the receptionist is on break). On the other hand, virtual receptionists are always available to answer or transfer the call and keep response times as quick as possible.
Conclusion: In business, a simple call can mean the difference between making a profit and realising a loss.
If you’ve been spending too much time answering your own phone and regularly missing business opportunities, maybe it’s time to invest in a receptionist.
However, in-house receptionists can cost a lot of money for a small business – not to mention the time spent recruiting, hiring, and training them along with the added expenses and burdens.
Luckily, virtual receptionists can help you deliver round-the-clock, high-quality customer support without breaking the bank.
They are convenient and customer-oriented, so you can rest assured that they will support your lead-generation pipeline at a fraction of the cost.
Looking for the right virtual receptionist service for your business? B2B HQ provides receptionists that are highly trained and handpicked to ensure you deliver consistently great customer service.
Our receptionists are based in Australia, so it is easy for them to build meaningful connections with your callers.
Plus, they provide 24/7 coverage, meaning you’ll capture every lead. All with a 7-day free trial, free instant setup and no lock-in contracts.
Whether you need basic assistance or a full-service virtual receptionist package, we’ve got you covered. To sign up, please visit our Virtual Receptionist in Melbourne page.