A remote receptionist answers incoming phone calls on a company’s behalf, all from an off-site location. Virtual receptionist services may also help companies with an array of other related tasks, such as:
• Providing basic information, like locations and hours, and answering other common questions
• Transferring calls and taking messages
• Collecting caller information
• Scheduling appointments
A remote receptionist service may even make outgoing calls for a company, such as to provide appointment reminders.
How a Virtual Receptionist Service Works
How does a virtual receptionist differ from an in-house receptionist? Primarily, the difference is how and where calls get answered.
With a remote receptionist, when someone calls your company’s phone number, the call gets forwarded to a virtual receptionist’s phone line. The virtual receptionist answers that call with a greeting customized to suit your business. Once the virtual receptionist determines the caller’s needs, he or she takes the appropriate action whether it’s to provide basic information, transfer a call or take a message.
7 Benefits of Remote Receptionist Services
1. Improve Customer Service Experience
What is a remote receptionist for if not to help give your customers a better experience? Remote receptionists are specialists trained and experienced in customer service. As such, they know how to answer calls properly, represent your business and brand appropriately and consistently and provide superior support.
2. Provide Consistent Human Contact
With a virtual receptionist on the other end of the phone, you know that every time someone calls your customer service line, a real, live person will be there to take their call. No longer will you have to concern yourself with dropped calls and missed opportunities from callers hanging up when they hear a voicemail answer rather than a human being, an increasingly common occurrence as Ethan Baron of The Mercury News reports in “How the Death of Voicemail Is Changing the Way We Connect.” He even names major corporations like Coca-Cola and J.P. Morgan that have done away entirely with voicemail.
Meanwhile, chatbots on a company’s website are becoming an increasingly inadequate alternative, as Forbes reports, with over half of Americans saying they won’t even use a chatbot option when seeking customer service. The same report found that approximately 40% of Americans admit that they prefer to speak with a live human being when seeking customer support.
With a remote receptionist answering your calls, adhering to a precise script, understanding your business and performing his or her duties with professionalism and care, your company can provide customers with the same high standards of customer service no matter which representative takes the call.
3. Economize Operations
Remote receptionist services can help you make better use of your company’s limited financial resources. For a fraction of the wages of an in-house employee, you can have an entire remote receptionist team working for you. Not only does this save you money in your customer service budget, but it also avails you of an entire team working together to support you in supporting your customers rather than a single employee. Meanwhile, you can apply those savings to other, more pressing parts of your budget.
4. Optimize Human Resources
A remote receptionist service can improve your business’s efficiency with time as well as with money. Instead of employees and managers having to interrupt their workflow to answer calls, you have a professional third party answering every call, freeing up your valued workers to focus their energies on those tasks requiring their full and immediate attention and unique expertise.
Typically, a virtual receptionist will either direct calls to the appropriate staff member or take a message. If, however, the remote receptionists are able to answer common, simple queries, they may be able to resolve callers’ concerns themselves without even needing to bring a company staff member into it.
5. Increase Availability
A virtual receptionist service can help you extend your business’s customer service hours, making you more available to people who may, themselves, work traditional hours.
By making a representative of your business available in the early mornings, late evenings, over the weekends and perhaps even holidays, you give your customers greater opportunity to reach out to you when it suits their schedules best or when they need you the most. Knowing they can rely on you to have a person on hand to respond to their calls can make customers feel respected, appreciated and more inclined to stick with your business whenever your competitors come knocking.
Remote receptionist services also provide consistency of availability that in-house receptionists can’t provide with the same certainty. In-house staff can call in sick, come in late, go on break or get distracted by other calls, outside matters or in-their-face demands. Virtual receptionist services have none of those inconveniences or distractions stopping them from answering every call into your company as it occurs with the same high quality of service, care and attention for each.
6. Streamline Simple Tasks
Some routine tasks can consume a lot of a receptionist’s time that the receptionist could better spend on more complex and urgent matters. A virtual receptionist, in addition to answering your calls, can handle some of these simple, routine tasks, such as scheduling or confirming appointments.
By incorporating shared calendars and automatic notifications into the procedure, you can make sure that all relevant staff members get kept apprised of all scheduled commitments and scheduling changes in a timely manner. By providing scheduling reminders as well, your virtual receptionists can also reduce your proportion of last-minute cancellations and no-shows.
7. Bilingual Customer Support
According to Psychology Today, the latest research shows that close to one-quarter of all Americans are bilingual, speaking another language than English either natively or fluently and, in many cases, primarily. Yet, it can often be difficult to find an in-house receptionist who’s bilingual, and when you find one, he or she can be expensive to hire.
By contrast, when you contract with a service that staffs bilingual workers, you can be sure that anyone calling your company who speaks a language other than English will find customer service of the same high caliber in the language with which they’re most comfortable.
Do you want to increase your company’s customer satisfaction levels and retention rates while economizing and optimizing your business’s precious resources? Learn more about how virtual receptionists can help you improve and elevate your company. Contact us at AnswerHero today.