What is a Virtual Receptionist?

what is a virtual receptionist

Before the dawn of the digital age, there was only one way for businesses to connect with customers over the phone—someone had to physically pick up the receiver to answer the call.

Nowadays, between phone trees and auto-attendants, employees and business owners need not worry about a ringing phone and can rest assured that callers will have the pleasure of pressing “0” until their thumb falls off.

Or, hang up the moment they hear a recording on the other end of the line. And then return to their Google search, immediately clicking to call a competitor.

Ooooh, plot twist.

While automation may be a game changer for efficiency, in today’s high-tech world, human interaction is more valuable than ever.

Which is good to know, but can you sacrifice the work you do to run your biz to answer every call that comes through?

Nope. You sure can’t.

But what if you were able to offer a customer service experience that sets you apart, while also focusing on the needs of your company?

 

Behold, the virtual receptionist.

What does a virtual receptionist do?

Virtual receptionists work remotely, offering callers the opportunity to connect with a real, live person that represents your business. Unlike automated phone systems, virtual receptionists delight callers and customers while performing tasks an in-house hire would do, such as:

  • answering and transfering calls
  • taking messages
  • relaying and collecting information on your behalf
  • making outbound calls
  • answering FAQs
  • scheduling appointments

So, at a fraction of the cost of an on-site employee, virtual receptionists come packing the same punch, plus a little extra. With the manpower of a full, highly trained team, 100% of your calls are answered, your receptionist is never sick, on vacation, or late, and every caller receives the same stellar service.

How do they do it?

A little bit of tech magic and loads of coffee.

While the above statement is absolutely true and I am tempted to just leave you with that, here is a quick break down of what this process looks like for you, your virtual receptionist, and your caller:

  1. Prospective (or current) Customer Calls: A caller dials your published number and the call rings through to your virtual receptionist service.
  2. Warmly Greeted by a Receptionist: Using your custom greeting, virtual receptionists pick up the phone to say hello.
  3. Receptionist Takes Action: Equipped with training and your personalized call handling instructions, receptionists will either forward the call to your preferred line, take a message, or offer the caller voicemail.
  4. You Stay Connected: Can’t take the call? A message will arrive shortly after your caller and receptionist have disconnected to fill you in on what you missed.

In addition to picking up when you can’t, look for the virtual receptionist companies that merge the advantages of technology with a human touch. From handy mobile apps that put the power of the front desk at your fingertips to hosting your business line, the best services offer a suite of comprehensive features that integrate seamlessly into your day.

Is it right for me?

Excellent question.

Let’s answer this query with…more questions.

  • What are your aspirations for your business? If you’re looking to grow, missed calls are missed opportunities. You never know when your next big customer will phone in.
  • How much potential revenue have you already lost to voicemail?
  • How do you value your customer experience? Between balancing the many duties of a business owner, are you able to pay proper attention to your touchpoints?

If you’re feeling it and plan to start scoping out your options, make sure you select the service that fits your unique needs. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of q’s to ask your top VR contenders:

  1. Will my calls be answered live? (Because what is the point, if not?)
  2. What is the average ring time per call?
  3. What services are included?
  4. How are the receptionists monitored? (Unhappy receptionists = unhappy callers.)
  5. How can I update my call preferences? (Is it easy? Or just creates more fuss?)
  6. How will I be charged? (Better to clear the air right from the start.)

With companies like Ruby® Receptionists waiting in the wings to wow your callers and empower you with the freedom to focus, there is no reason to lose out on potential work or sour your relationships with customers due to a lackluster client experience.

After all, if you’re constantly reassuring customers that their calls are important to you…are they really?

 

P.S.

We made a little something for you. Not a super big deal, just a really useful checklist to help you evaluate virtual receptionist services.

Take Me There

 

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