Dealing with phone calls is a natural part of doing business. Unfortunately, talking on the phone can take up a lot of time – especially when you have to deal with calls that may not be important enough to warrant your attention. One of the best ways to get around this problem is by hiring a receptionist to field calls for you.
Hiring a traditional receptionist not only means that you have to spend time advertising the position and conducting interviews but you also have to bear the costs associated with adding another employee. A much more effective solution that you may want to consider is working with a virtual receptionist.
More and more businesses are choosing to go this route because of all of the benefits that virtual receptionists provide. Here are 10 reasons why these professionals may be a good fit for your business:
1. A Cost-Effective Solution
Hiring an in-house receptionist is an expensive prospect. The typical annual salary for receptionists is $30,000. On top of that, you also have to cover the cost of benefits for another employee.
Paying for a virtual receptionist usually costs a lot less. As an added bonus, you don’t have to offer benefits since you aren’t actually hiring an employee. This can save you a lot of money.
2. No Equipment Costs
Adding a receptionist to your business involves a lot more than just hiring someone to answer the phone. You also have to set up a space where they can work. That means purchasing a reception desk, computer equipment, an ergonomic chair, and a lot of other supplies. These costs can quickly add up.
When you hire someone who works remotely, on the other hand, they provide all of their own equipment. By eliminating the cost of setting up a workspace, you can dramatically reduce your expenses.
3. More Scheduling Flexibility
Nothing is worse than finding a pile of messages waiting for you first thing in the morning when you arrive at work. This can eat up the most productive time of your day. Unfortunately, most traditional receptionists stick to a 9-to-5 schedule, meaning that they aren’t around to take care of nighttime phone calls.
When you use an answering service such as AnswerFirst, however, you have access to a group of virtual receptionists who can take calls on your behalf around the clock. As a result, it is easier to deal with important issues as they arise.
4. Better Customer Service
For customers, calling a business only to receive an automated message can be a little bit discouraging. Virtual receptionists eliminate the need for these types of message systems.
Instead, every time customers call, they can talk to an actual person, no matter what time of the day or night it is. This provides an excellent experience for your customers, which can make it easier to build long-term relationships and to gain repeat business.
5. Multiple Language Choices
In today’s global business environment, it isn’t uncommon to do business with people who speak a different language. Trying to find a traditional receptionist who speaks more than one language can be challenging. Typically, these bilingual employees earn higher wages, which can cost you a lot of money.
It is also extremely rare to find a receptionist who speaks more than a couple of languages fluently. If you work with clients in a variety of different countries, this can limit the receptionist’s ability to communicate with them effectively.
Virtual receptionists are a great solution to this problem. Most answering services have staff members available who speak a wide range of languages. As a result, they can handle your communications for you, no matter what languages your clients speak.
6. Online Chat Services Are Also Available
Many customers prefer to communicate with businesses through online chat rather than by phone.
For a typical receptionist, trying to keep up with phone calls is hard enough. If they also have to deal with multiple chat windows at the same time, it can be overwhelming. There is only so much multitasking that a single person can do.
When you work with an answering service, however, the company will assign as many virtual receptionists as necessary to your account. That means that any calls or chat messages that come in at the same time can all be dealt with effectively without leaving your customers hanging on hold.
7. Avoid The Hassle Of Hiring Or Training a New Employee
Bringing a receptionist on board takes a lot of time and money. Along with creating a job listing and posting it in relevant places, you also have to sift through resumes, conduct interviews, and provide training. Even worse, new employees sometimes quit right away, meaning that all of the time and effort that you invested in finding them was for nothing.
Phone answering services provide a much simpler solution. Instead of having to screen employees, all that you have to do is find the right phone service. Once you are their customer, they will make sure that a qualified virtual receptionist is assigned to your account at all times. If one of their employees quits, someone else can jump right in and take their place since they have multiple receptionists on hand.
8. Less Stress
Even if you hire the best receptionist in the world, problems can still come up. For instance, what happens if they get sick and can’t come into work? Who will handle greeting customers and answering the phone? This can create a lot of workplace stress.
All of this stress goes away when you work with a virtual receptionist. Companies that employ these receptionists have plenty of staff members on hand to handle your account even if one of their employees calls in sick