Workspaces

Office Space

Private and productive office space

Meeting Rooms

Private offices and meeting rooms on-demand

Services

Virtual Address

Send and receive mail in prestigious office locations

Phone Answering

Every call answered. An extension of your team

Virtual Assistant

Someone you can count on for your administrative needs

Free Services

30 Days FREE Trial - Pick One Service

Choose from Appointment Scheduling, Business Identity, Virtual Smart Office, Conference/Meeting Rooms, live Phone Answering or Virtual Assistant. No Setup Fees. Schedule a FREE consultation today 703-752-6200

Let's Get Started
Start-Ups

Pros and Cons of Small Businesses Taking After-Hours Calls

By Barbara Beauregard   |    July 15, 2019   |    10:28 AM

Could Remote Virtual Phone Answering Services Help Your Business Offer Better Customer Service?

Your business may have regular office hours… but does that have to mean the phone goes unanswered once the office closes for the day?

Many small business owners let after-hours calls go straight to voicemail. Others opt for a 24/7 solution, like a virtual receptionist, to field incoming calls outside of normal business hours. There are pros and cons to each option, which we’ll explore in greater detail below. 

Cons of accepting after-hours business calls

The vast majority of businesses, large and small alike, do not answer phone calls after their stated business hours. They generally choose this route for the following reasons:

  • Answering after-hours phone calls makes it hard to set healthy work-life boundaries. Even if you use a virtual receptionist service, taking calls after business hours can feel like an intrusion on your personal time. 
  • You’ll set expectations about when you can be reached. If a client calls at 10 p.m. and they receive an answer, they’ll expect that same level of service the next time they have an issue or inquiry.
  • 24/7 phone answering support is an added expense. Even though virtual phone answering services are affordable, it may not be in your business’s budget right now.

Pros to taking calls after normal business hours

The following advantages to taking after-hours calls assume your company is using a virtual phone answering service, which is the easiest and most efficient way to deliver top-notch customer service:

  • Setting personal boundaries is easier than you might think. While you may be tempted to check your messages during personal time, there’s really no need to with a virtual phone answering solution. You can instruct the receptionist to contact you in case of a true emergency, or review the notes the next day when you get into the office. 
  • Managing expectations is a breeze. If a client calls at 10 p.m., it’s no problem — your virtual receptionist will take the call every time (while you enjoy your personal time.)
  • Potential clients are more likely to choose your business. When someone calls on a weekend or in the middle of the night, and gets to speak with a real, live person, it speaks volumes about your company’s dedication to its customers.
  • Save your team from burnout. If your team has been taking after-hours phone calls, hiring a virtual receptionist to provide phone support will give them a much-needed break from being on-call. 
  • Your virtual receptionist can become a vital team member. If you use a virtual phone answering solution for long enough, the receptionist will get to know your business and its customers. Before you know it, they’ll be equipped to provide a deeper level of after-hours support.
  • Virtual phone answering services are affordable. These services are a cost-effective solution. Even if your company already has a dedicated receptionist, remote services can fill in the after-hours gaps. 

Does your small business need after-hours virtual reception services?

A variety of businesses can benefit from after-hours phone support, including:

  • Trades businesses, especially if you receive emergency service calls.
  • Businesses that handle customer scheduling inquiries, like massage therapists and chiropractors. 
  • Medical providers (another industry that receives a high volume of scheduling calls.)

Of course, these aren’t the only industries where 24/7 reception can be beneficial. To see if your company can benefit from after-hours virtual phone answering, click here to learn more and get in touch with an Intelligent Office location near you.