What is a Virtual Receptionist and Why Do You Need One?
Our friends at Easybee are here with a guest post that adds a new layer to the important question: What happens after the call connects?
You’ve secured your memorable phone number that helps increase response rates, but how do you take those inbound calls and make sure nothing falls through the cracks – while also keeping the operations of your business going? Enter the virtual answering service.
What is a Virtual Receptionist?
A virtual receptionist is a service that answers calls from your prospects and customers with a unique script created by you, the business owner. It's more than an answering service, it's an extension of your team.
Just like a receptionist who would sit in your office, a virtual receptionist can answer the phone, route calls based on caller needs, answer simple questions, and schedule appointments, among other tasks. By using a virtual model, costs are significantly reduced compared to traditional call centers, making it an affordable service for businesses of all sizes.
7 Benefits of Using a Virtual Answering Service
- Voice connection matters for business. Even in a world that's becoming more and more digital, businesses still rely on the phone to keep in communication with their customers. This is especially true for sole proprietorships such as real estate agents, attorneys, and home repair, where the business model relies on personal contact with customers. Only 20 percent of callers will leave a voicemail. The other 80 percent move on to the next company. Even in our heavily online world, the majority of consumers prefer to contact businesses by phone whenever possible.
- Free up time to focus on operations. You’re the expert in your business operations, so why waste time on clerical tasks? By leaving administrative tasks such as answering the phone and managing your calendar to a team of focused professionals, you're free to complete other necessary tasks crucial to your business's core mission.
- Gain capacity to sell more. Selling is about relationships, and relationships take time to build. Leaving the task of answering the phone to a virtual receptionist minimizes interruptions and helps you reclaim productive time. You will be able to give your prospects and customers your full attention and not worry about missing new opportunities.
- Staff up quickly. Marketing campaigns and new promotions often result in a spike in phone calls, and a team of virtual receptionists can manage call overflow efficiently and effectively. Many virtual receptionist providers have flexible plans that are based on number of minutes of usage needed per month to adapt to your changing business needs.
- Cover after hours. You want to be available to your customers when they need you, but you don’t want to pay for staff overtime if the phones aren’t ringing. A phone answering service can answer your calls and notify you of any urgent matters or take a message for your team to respond to the next day.
- Greater customer satisfaction. You can work with your provider to define service level agreements that ensure your customers are thrilled with your responsiveness. For example, Easybee is committed to answering 90 percent of calls in four rings or less.
- Smooth communications, no matter where you are. Your business may take you out of your office – whether it’s to your customers’ homes or to a courtroom or to meet with a supplier. With a virtual receptionist in place, you never miss a call and the experience is seamless for callers. A good virtual answering service smooths communication between you and your clients and prospects.
The key to providing excellence on the phone starts with simply answering it. More than two-thirds of callers don’t call back if their call is not answered in person. Having a virtual receptionist is the perfect plan to ensure you stop missing new opportunities and build stronger customer loyalty.
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