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Virtual Assistants vs. Call Answering Services

When we discuss Intelligent Office’s virtual assistant services, or Intelligent Assistants, many people assume that it’s a typical third-party answering service. But in many ways, the Intelligent Assistant is the exact opposite of those services. If you’re wondering what the difference is between the two options, let’s run through a few scenarios and what you can expect from both.

A potential customer calls a business to inquire about pricing and scheduling.

Answering Service: After two attempts, the potential customer is answered by an answering service, where they speak with Alex. Alex tells the potential customer that she’s not authorized to discuss pricing, but would be happy to pass along the customer’s information to the appropriate party.

Intelligent Assistant: After one ring, Alex greets the potential customer with her name and the service business name. Alex, who has been trained by the business owner, gives the potential customer general pricing and asks if the potential customer would like to schedule a consultation with the business owner. Alex takes down the customer’s information, schedules the appointment, and alerts the business owner of a new lead.

An existing customer is unhappy with recent service and calls the business to voice their concern.

Answering Service: After several rings, the answering service picks up, where they speak with David. David tells the existing customer that their feedback is important, and their concerns will be forwarded to the appropriate party. The existing customer asks to speak with the business owner. David repeats that their feedback is important, and their concerns will be forwarded to the appropriate party.

Intelligent Assistant: David greets the existing customer, whom he’s spoken with on numerous occasions. The business owner has told David that when this customer calls, David is free to announce the call, what it’s regarding and sends the call directly to him. David asks the existing customer for “one moment”while he briefs the business owner on the matter. The customer is then connected to the business owner. 

A law firm is hosting an important potential client at their home office. 

Answering Service: After five rings, the potential client is answered by an answering service, where they speak with Samantha. The potential client wants to confirm the time and location of the meeting. Samantha isn’t privy to this information, but tells the potential client that she can take their name and number and pass it along to the appropriate party.

Intelligent Assistant: Samantha, an Intelligent Assistant, calls the potential client ahead of an appointment to confirm the time and location of the meeting. On the day of the meeting, Samantha greets the potential client, whom she has spoken with on numerous occasions. Samantha leads the potential client into a tasteful waiting area, where she offers them water, coffee, or tea. Samantha then notifies the partner that the potential client has arrived.

As these scenarios illustrate, virtual assistant services through Intelligent Office are more than a standard answering service. Where answering services are outsourced and simple placeholders, Intelligent Assistants are trained, local members of your team and invested in your business success. To find out how an Intelligent Assistant can help grow your business, contact an Intelligent Office near you.

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