As a new business starting up, you may be operating on a shoestring budget and trying to do everything yourself in order to save money. While this tactic can help you control costs, you can miss important telephone calls or get behind in your business correspondence since you’re doing everything on your own. To help you avoid these problems, you can hire services like virtual receptionists to help you with your new business.
Why Hire a Virtual Receptionist?
There are many reasons you should hire a virtual receptionist to help you get work done. Some of the duties they do for you include:
- Answering Telephone Calls
- Taking Telephone Messages
- Sending Out Brochures
- Answering Inquiries
- Placing Orders
Answering Telephone Calls
Probably one of the most important duties of a virtual receptionist is being able to answer telephone calls to your business in a timely manner. When small business owners are busy or need to leave their offices to meet with clients, they may allow their calls to go to voicemail. However, many people do not like leaving messages on voicemail and will disconnect the call rather than leave a message.
There are many reasons for people not liking to try to communicate with a business through voicemail. In many cases, they may have a complicated matter to discuss with you and do not want to condense the message to only a few words. In other cases, if they need to place an order, customers may just hang up and seek out other companies that sell the same products or services, especially if they have immediate needs.
Instead of risking business to voicemail, you can hire a virtual receptionist to answer your telephone calls. Hearing a real voice will usually prompt people to leave messages or they can have simple questions answered by the service. This prevents many hang-ups and gives you the chance to retain clients instead of losing them over their calls going to voicemail.
Along with answering the telephones during normal business hours, you can hire a telephone answering service to answer calls after hours as well. If you have a business that provides emergency services, such as a plumbing or towing business, a receptionist can answer your calls and route true customer emergencies directly to you. If the call really isn’t an emergency, they can take a message so you can call the customer back.
Taking Telephone Messages
Along with answering your company’s telephone calls, the virtual receptionist can take messages for you and deliver them according to their urgency. Most people feel better about leaving messages with live people rather than voicemail because they feel that someone within the company knows about the issue and they will hear back much more quickly than they would if they left a voicemail message. When the receptionist takes a message, they can route it in one of four ways:
- Direct call to you
- Fax machine
The way a message is sent to you will let you know how important it is and its urgency. If you receive a message via SMS on your smartphone, then you know you should return the call as soon as you can. By having your messages prioritised, you can get back to the more urgent ones first, instead of wading through all of your messages like you would have to do with voicemail.
As they are taking messages, if trained to do so, the reception service can answer general questions or fulfil requests instead of leaving them for you to do. By having the service complete simple tasks for you, you will have more time for more important matters. In addition, your clients will have their answers or requests fulfilled immediately, which means they don’t have to wait for a call back from you for simple matters.
Sending Out Brochures
Depending on the type of business you have, you may get frequent requests for product brochures or even catalogues from customers. Instead of having the reception service accumulate those messages for you to fulfil those requests, you can have the service fulfil all requests for brochures or other similar information as they receive them. Your customers will receive their brochures, catalogues or other product information faster and you can do other more important tasks for your business.
Many of the telephonecalls to your business may be for routine information, like asking about your business hours, whether you have certain products in stock or, depending on your business, you may receive requests for information from media outlets. Instead of forwarding messages to you with requests for simple information, you can have the receptionists answer those questions right away. The advantages are that you will not be inundated with simple requests, your customers will get the information they want immediately, and the media can get the answers they want as well.
If a regular customer calls to place an order for products or supplies they buy from you, the virtual receptionist can be trained to place simple orders for your company. Your customers will be less frustrated because they won’t have to wait for you to return their call to place an order, and they will get their items quicker. In addition, you won’t have to sort through your messages to look for orders, and risk missing some orders to fulfil them yourself.
By hiring a service to handle reception duties for your business, you will have the advantage of working with a company that has a well-trained, professional staff available to help with your business. They will have the professional experience you require in handling telephone calls, answering inquiries and fulfilling simple requests for information or placing orders for your customers. You can schedule their services for your normal business hours or you can have your telephones monitored 24 hours a day, every day, depending on your needs.
Having a virtual receptionist makes your work day easier because you won’t have to try to do everything yourself. This frees you to take care of the most important job of running your business. A virtual service can help your business succeed and grow.