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What is a Virtual Receptionist?

By Townes Haas   |    March 28, 2014   |    3:45 PM

How a Virtual Receptionist Can Help Your Business
The role of business owners is to grow their businesses. This often involves attending current and potential client meetings, working on plans or actually performing the business work for the day. This doesn’t leave much time for doing paperwork and answering phone calls.

Receptionists can easily handle these tasks, but many small businesses don’t have the time to find, hire and train one. Plus, they may not have the capital to pay for a salary and benefits.

Hiring a Virtual Receptionist
One alternative to an on-site, full-time receptionist is a virtual receptionist. A virtual receptionist performs all the same duties as a receptionist, except that this person doesn’t work on-site for the company. Basically, a company can “outsource” their reception duties to a virtual receptionist.

A virtual receptionist performs tasks like answering incoming calls, scheduling, faxing, invoicing and other admin responsibilities – all from their remote or home office.

Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist
With in-house employees, the business owner is responsible for paying a competitive salary, offering benefits and providing office space. Additionally, you need to expend energy recruiting and interviewing potential employees. With virtual receptionists, you simply hire a virtual service provider, which takes care of all the hiring and screening. A virtual receptionist doesn’t receive a salary from you; you simply pay a fee for their service, which is extremely cost effective.

You also no longer have to pay for coffee breaks or chatting on the phone. Your virtual receptionist typically only charges for the hours that they actually work. Further, a virtual receptionist will always be available to you – no more trying to find temporary help for an employee out sick or on vacation.

Your Business Available More Hours
The major benefits of virtual receptionists are increased customer service and productivity. Most business owners are constantly busy and on the move. It’s hard to answer every phone call that comes in, but you need to in order to grow your business.

When you forward all of your calls to a virtual receptionist, you increase your own productivity,, allowing you to take care of day-to-day business needs. Further, a virtual receptionist will give your business credibility; you’ll come across to current and potential clients and colleagues more professionally.

Virtual receptionists also are lightly trained in your business, products and services. They can answer simple customer questions, as opposed to an answering service that can only take a message, leaving you to return the call at a later time. Virtual receptionists also know the major players in your business, ensuring that they can quickly get the caller to the correct person within your organization.

Many virtual receptionists offer extended hours, allowing your customers to call when it’s convenient for them rather than adhering to your business hours. Customer satisfaction and opinions of your business will improve since clients can always reach a live person. VRs are trained to your business and therefore can answer any customer questions regarding your products or services.

Virtual receptionists provide your clients with consistent and professional customer service and you with the flexibility that you need to get your work done and to keep your business growing.