Are you feeling swamped by daily calls from potential clients – that you don’t know which ones to prioritize? Is managing your daily schedules too much of a hassle for you lately? Then what you may need is a virtual receptionist!
What is the Role of a Virtual Receptionist?
In essence, the role of a virtual receptionist is to answer and/or forward their client’s phone calls, short message texting (SMS), or voicemails and handle leads. They also handle administrative tasks like taking care of invoicing, scheduling appointments, and managing your schedule.
Their role is very similar to their office-based counterparts, the main difference being that the former doesn’t need to go to the office to work. And unlike call centers, a live virtual receptionist can handle more tasks than just call handling.
Outsourcing for a virtual receptionist service enables small business owners to focus on their business needs and smoothens business operations.
How Does a Virtual Receptionist Work?
As their title suggests, a VR does their work via virtual office. You contract them to perform a specific type of work, which in this case is virtual receptionist service, while working remotely.
Now, you’re no longer constrained by the limitations of your local talent pool when looking for candidates. After all, you can look for excellent VRs globally.
This also means that VRs are similar to freelance agents that can also work for other clients besides you. They can work full-time or part-time, depending on your arrangement.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Virtual Receptionist?
Hiring a live virtual receptionist confers several benefits on you and your business, which include:
A Virtual Receptionist Streamlines Customer Service Communications
A VR, particularly an excellent one, can customize your company’s answering service to your customer’s questions and concerns. They’re especially trained and experienced in customer relationship management (CRM) to ensure they can provide your clients the best customer service possible.
And since many of them are in different timezones, they can assist callers after business hours. Unlike in-house receptionists, who are only available during regular working hours, a couple of VRs can pull off 24-hour shifts to give your company an edge over your competition.
In addition, if you’re serving foreign clients, having a bilingual or multilingual VR is an additional advantage.
Let’s say you have a Spanish-speaking client; having a VR that speaks Spanish will help your company better understand -and address- their needs.
What Features Are Most Important in a Virtual Receptionist Service?
When hiring a VR, there are some features you need to consider.
The first of which is whether you want your answering service to be automated or not. Getting an AI VR may seem the cheaper option. However, there are various customer concerns that only a real person can address with satisfaction, like troubleshooting.
Next is training. A VR should be able to manage your phone system and answer phone calls, respond to emails and voicemail, and schedule appointments. They must also know enough about your business to be able to provide accurate information to your clients, such as your company’s phone number, business address, operating hours, etc.
Another feature to consider is pricing. As previously mentioned, a virtual receptionist service can be cheaper than an in-house one. However, you shouldn’t forget to inquire about the total costs involved in hiring one to guard against any hidden expenses.
Finally, the virtual receptionist service should provide detailed reports and analytics to help your business track call volumes, response times, and customer satisfaction. These allow your business to make data-driven decisions to improve customer service.
Reasons to Use a Virtual Receptionist
Here are some of the most common reasons why companies hire a VR:
Free Up Internal Resources
Having a VR enables you to focus on your company goals as they will handle answering incoming calls and other administrative tasks for you. This helps free up your time and energy so you can focus on the things that only you do best- taking your business to the next level.
Unlike AI, which merely follows its programming, a VR can provide personalized greetings to your most important clients and customize their response to each one. They can even do this in various languages too.
In addition, they provide your callers with accurate, friendly, and quick responses, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Offer After-Hours Support
When you have a VR, time is no longer a constraint when it comes to answering customer queries. They can provide after-hours support to your clients, ensuring clients receive exceptional service at any time.
This kind of support helps secure new leads and retain the satisfaction of your current clients.
Streamline Appointment Schedules
A VR can manage your bookings and set reminders, so you’ll never miss a meeting. And in the case of a cancellation, they’ll also be the ones who will reschedule your appointments.
Appear More Professional
Do you want to gain new clients and keep current ones? A VR can help with this by being a direct point of contact for customer inquiries and answering them efficiently, professionally, and promptly. This, in turn, provides a great first impression to new clients and increases their trust in your company.
Virtual Receptionists Save You Money
Instead of spending more on an in-house receptionist, why not outsource your answering service needs instead?
They both do the same job, and since your dollars will go much further in the Philippines, you can pay competitive wages while also saving on costs.
Virtual Receptionists Give You Flexibility
Another reason you should hire a VR is that they can customize their services to suit your business’ needs, whether it’s managing various inbound calls, rerouting calls to the appropriate departments or individuals, and providing customer support even after business hours.
Virtual Receptionists Are Expertly Trained
In Remote Staff’s case, our VRs are carefully selected and trained to answer all kinds of calls and perform various administrative tasks that will help streamline your operations.
Virtual Receptionists = Peace of Mind
With a VR on your team, you won’t have to worry about missing any calls or meetings again. They’ll be the ones to answer your calls and provide appropriate information for customer queries, along with scheduling and reminding you of your appointments.
Virtual Receptionists = Customer Satisfaction
A human VR provides a more natural and friendly yet prompt and efficient customer service than AI ones. This increases your customer’s satisfaction with your company, which increases the likelihood of them availing of your services again.
What Makes Remote Staff Different?
With so many outsourcing companies out there, why should you outsource your VRs via Remote Staff? Here’s why:
Even before the pandemic struck in 2020, Remote Staff has matched several companies with the appropriate remote contractor for their needs. We have over fifteen years of experience perfecting our process of hiring and retaining remote talents and teams.
Not only do we provide you with the best remote contractor for your needs, but we also pave the way for smoother integrations between you and your VR.
You’re Covered… Wherever You Are
It doesn’t matter which state your business is registered in; thanks to the advent of remote work, we can provide you with the right talent anywhere.
And since our talent pool is throughout the Philippines, you’ll instantly have access to a wider pool of world-class talent.
Expand Your Business Capacity
Having the right VR enables you to handle more clients in a more efficient and productive way.
This way, you have room to instantly scale up your business’ capacity as needed.
We Value Your Trust
In the BPO industry, trust is everything. We at Remote Staff constantly strive to keep your trust by providing you with quality remote contractors.
Beyond that, we also strive to smooth your integrations with your remote contractor, so you’ll have a productive working relationship with them right off the bat.
And on the off chance that we can’t find a highly-skilled remote contractor for you within the first few months? Don’t worry. We’ll refund your initial deposit in full.
No Lock-in Contract
We understand that not all work relationships work out well for both parties. That is why Remote Staff has a no lock-in arrangement.
If, for any reason, you want to terminate your remote contractor’s employment within the first six months of employment, you can do so with a two-week notice. After six months, you can end the contract with thirty days’ notice.
Flexible Customer Communication, Designed With Your Business in Mind
Our goal is for your business to grow with the help of the remote contractor we’ll match you with. To that end, we are committed to providing flexible customer communication solutions tailored to your needs.
Our in-house team is trained to handle your concerns promptly and effectively, helping you focus on what matters most.
Win Back the Workday
By outsourcing your answering service needs to our top-notch remote talent, you’ll be able to stay on top of the day by focusing on activities and decisions that will really move the needle forward.
Increase Customer Loyalty
By hiring VRs through Remote Staff, you can rest assured that your customers receive quick and personalized service, leaving them more satisfied -and likely to continue patronizing your company.
Grow Your Business
Remote Staff’s streamlined hiring process, training, and management services enable companies to find and retain the best virtual receptionists, which enables you to scale faster and more sustainably – reducing labor costs and helping you grow your business.
How Much Does a Virtual Receptionist Cost?
The average hourly pricing of a VR ranges from $6.04 to $8.60. This varies depending on the skill and experience of the candidate you hire. Of course, freelancers’ rates may differ from the ones mentioned previously.
What Are the Benefits of a Legal Answering Service?
Hiring a legal answering service gives you the benefit of 24/7 availability, efficient call forwarding and call routing, and more personalized customer support.
It also lets you focus on vital business matters while ensuring your company’s compliance with ethical and regulatory requirements. This ensures you won’t run into any legal issues that may require you to seek the services of law firms.
What Are the Possible Problems You Might Encounter While Working With a Virtual Receptionist?
Some clients hesitate to hire a VR since they’re not clear about how to administer their virtual staff’s payroll. Then there’s also the common concern about monitoring a remote member of the team from afar. How do you know they’re actually working during their shift, right?
Fortunately, Remote Staff’s many years of experience have equipped it to come up with solutions. We take care of all payroll concerns for each client and ensure that their VRs receive their salaries on time and in full. Remote Staff also makes use of an up-to-date tracking software that’ll keep track of your employee’s productivity for you.
What is a Virtual Answering Service?
A virtual answering service or virtual receptionist manages inbound calls remotely. They also resolve basic customer needs, schedule appointments, take the customer’s phone number for future contact, and other administrative tasks.
What Qualifications Should You Look for, for Your Virtual Receptionist?
Some traits of a high-quality VR you should look for include strong organizational and communication skills, the ability to multitask and work without supervision, and knowledge of Microsoft Office tools such as Word and Excel.
Does It Matter if Your Virtual Receptionist Works From Home?
Not really. So long as they have the appropriate tools and skillset, you won’t notice a difference between an in-house receptionist and a virtual one. In fact, they can even improve your customer’s experience if they’re highly skilled.
John Carlo Pagsolingan is a carefree yet hardworking writer with aspirations of becoming a teacher in the future. He believes that remote working isn’t just a substitute; but is a legitimate alternative to face-to-face work. Learn more as he writes about the advantages of remote work and tips for aspiring remote workers.