12 Reasons you Need a Virtual Phone Receptionist Service
1. Never Miss a Call Again
Have you ever missed a call from someone who by the time you called them back went with your competitor? I've had this happen at a previous sales job and nothing is more frustrating and demoralizing.
Set aside the frustration of losing a sale, missing calls has a negative impact to your bottom line. You're likely putting a lot of money and sweat equity into getting people to call your business. Missing their phone calls won't give you the push across the finish line that you need to succeed.
Most people will call the next search result if no one picks up the phone or they get sent to voice mail jail.
A virtual phone receptionist makes sure this will never happen to you again. 24/7 live telephone answering coverage is your secret weapon over your competition.
2. Stop Answering Calls in the Middle of the Night
Right or wrong we don’t always stop working when we get home. We can’t all be our best at 1 a.m. when a prospect calls. Leave that to a professional live agent who will put your company’s best foot forward.
Are you passing around a mobile phone at night to answer? It's time to stop the madness (and employee burnout) and let a professional help answer your calls.
The call center agents can escalate (or connect) urgent calls to you or your on-call person. This way, you're always ready to help your customers and you can still get a decent night's sleep. Trust me, your family will thank you for hiring a virtual call answering service.
3. Save Money from Hiring a Receptionist
Another great thing about hiring a virtual answering service is saving money. Your savings of using a virtual receptionist over hiring a receptionist is startling.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, receptionists made an average of $13.65 per hour in 2017. This equates to an average annual wage of $28,487.55 for an in-house receptionist.
Compare that to the average annual virtual answering service cost of around $3000. It's easy to see why you might want to consider using one.
Plus, your phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week versus 8 hours a day and 5 days a week.
4. Virtual Receptionists Don’t Call Out Sick
Having someone call out sick can ruin everyone's day. Obviously, there's the good possibility that you might miss important calls. But, the hidden impact is that other employees get pulled away from their jobs to cover your phones.
Plus, there is no need to worry about how to cover your phones during vacations and holidays.
5. Focus on What You Do Best and End Distractions
Are you trying to do it all? Answering the phones, generating invoices, and doing payroll. It doesn't leave you much time to focus on doing what you do best.
As a small business owner, you need to focusing on serving customers and growing the business. This demands your complete attention. The secret for any busy owner is find the most efficient way to do this.
Pulling employees away from their primary jobs to answer phones is counterproductive. In fact, studies show that it takes 25-minutes to get back on track after an interruption.
A virtual answering service will handle all your calls. How does never having to answer another solicitor call again sound?
It will free you and your team up to focus on getting the real important work done.
6. Appointment Scheduling
How does having your schedule fully booked with sales presentations sound?
Whether you are in sales or not, making sure you maximize your time is key. Having a full calendar increases your efficiency and profitability. Give your customers the ability to schedule appointments when it is convenient for them, 24/7.
Appointment scheduling software syncs with most popular calendars like Google, Office365, and iCloud. This gives you real time access to your appointments on your phone. You also have the power to block off time to prevent appointments from being scheduled.
7. Telephone Order Taking
Missed calls mean missed orders. If you have an eCommerce website, it might make sense for you to offer the ability for people to place phone orders. There is still a good percentage of people who prefer to talk to a real live person instead of ordering online. Your virtual receptionist can then place the order using your eCommerce site.
Pro tip: If you don’t expect many telephone orders, don't expect deep product knowledge from the agents.
The greater the call volume, the more you can expect. One hundred phone orders a day would be a starting point. At this amount, it supports a deeper level of product knowledge about what you are selling.
8. A Virtual Switchboard for Your Business
Do you have staff that are dispersed across many locations or work from home? Using a virtual answering service can tie it all together. It offers a professional ‘front door’ to your business.
Level up your brand by having your phones answered and calls routed by a friendly voice. Phone calls can be routed based on caller need, departments or staff member requested, time of day, and any other criteria that you put into place.
Using your staff list and protocol, they handle calls in the most professional manner possible. Calls are routed depending on need, person requested, time or day.
Some of the call answering options that are generally available:
- Warm Transfer- The agent announces the call before connecting the caller to you.
- Unsupervised Transfer- The phone call is transferred immediately after the agent determines who the caller needs to speak with and does not stay on the line to announce the caller name to you.
- Messaging- As you might expect from an answering service, taking messages for staff that is not available. The message sent to you by your method of choice.
9. Level Up the Perception of your Brand
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. We’ve all heard this before and it remains true. You work hard to attract prospective customers to call you. The worst thing you can do is to banish them to a crappy voice mailbox on your mobile phone. Don’t tarnish your brand by sending the wrong message to callers.
Instead, put your best foot forward, using a virtual answering service to greet them with a warm and friendly voice. It will speak volumes to them about your business. Having a professional answer your phone adds instant legitimacy in the eyes of the caller.
10. Messages Delivered Where You Need Them
A virtual call answering service will make sure you and your team receives messages in the most efficient manner possible. There’s no need to dig messages out of a voice mailbox. Your time is valuable and you always have your messages and information at your finger tips.
Here the most popular message delivery options:
- Text messaging – SMS text messaging is a fast and reliable. With most answering services, you can text back with anything that you need or to acknowledge receipt of a message.
- Email – Messages are sent to one or many recipients immediately or in summary reports. Most services offer the ability to encrypt email messages.
- Secure Text Messaging – If you’re in an industry where encryption is required, these apps allow for encrypted text messages.
- CRM Integration – Messages and information take can feed directly into your CRM. This saves you from having to enter data by hand. This one has us excited. You can build out some sweet marketing automation around this to wow your callers.
- Dashboards – See messages in real time, update your instructions and on-call schedules, run reports, and even listen to calls.
- Telephone – Obviously, your messages can be relayed to you over the phone. One thing you should consider is that outgoing phone calls will burn through the minutes plan in a hurry.
- Fax – Messages can be faxed as received or sent as a batch at the days and times that are most convenient for you.
- Pagers – Yes, there are reasons that pagers exist. Typically, it is because of environmental conditions that affect mobile coverage. All answering services can send text pages to you.
- Voice Mail – Callers hand be handed off to leave confidential voice mail messages for you. These messages can then be sent as an audio file attachment.
11. No More Adult Day Care
OK, this one is a little tongue in cheek. But using a virtual answering service will save you from managing an in-house receptionist. You won’t be left to wonder what kind of job they are doing when you’re out at meetings.
Most award-winning answering services take extra care to make sure their training is top notch. This equates to a team of people who will always put your best foot forward on the phone.
Plus, calls are recorded. So you can be reassured that calls are being answered according to your standards.
12. Maximize your Pay Per Click Campaign Conversions
Pay-per-click marketing is a great way to generate clicks or phone calls to your business. Beware! If you are only answering calls during business hours, it means you’re only answering the phone calls from 20% of the time.
Maximize your ad spend by making sure leads get captured by a virtual call answering service. Your sales team will thank you.
Add call tracking software to the mix and it’s a winning combination. You will know which ads, pages, and keywords are driving inbound phone calls.
About Aaron Boatin
Aaron Boatin is President of Ambs Call Center, a virtual receptionist and telephone answering service provider. His passion is helping clients' businesses succeed. Melding high tech with high touch to provide the best customer service experience for clients is his core focus.