Are you at a point where you’ve read up on our virtual receptionist services, and understand the benefits for your small business, but still haven’t moved forward? One of the biggest reasons for reluctance is because "getting started" feels daunting. Here are five simple first steps.
1. Provide access to your calendar
One of the biggest advantages people find in a virtual receptionist service is the precious time saved from fielding calls that could potentially drag out. While some conversations wrap up quickly, you’ll often need to schedule times for a call or an in-person meeting to either lock in an arrangement with a new client or discuss an ongoing project.
By giving us access to your calendaring program, we can set these appointments on your behalf while minding your schedule. Don't lose momentum and get distracted by a call yourself. We will collect all the details from the caller and book the appointment according to your directions. (We can even pre-qualify leads based on a set of questions you provide.)
Once the appointment is booked, you'll see it on your calendar and in the summary notes we provide after each call, which you’ll receive via email or SMS (your choice).
Don't have a calendar program? We recommend Calendly since it’s free, it's incredibly easy to use, and it works with Google, Outlook, iCalendar, and Office365.
2. Link to your CRM & intake forms
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software makes it incredibly easy to keep track of contacts, accounts, business deals, vendors, and more.
Smith.ai integrates with many CRMs, including Capsule CRM, Clio, and Lexicata, to name just a few. By connecting any of these applications to Smith.ai, we’re able to pass caller information directly into these systems, including post-call notes.
Often, CRMs offer the ability to create forms, which you can embed on your website or share with leads and clients through a link. If you have a new client intake form, you can share it with us and we'll complete it on a new client's behalf when they call. That way, you have all of their basic information ahead of your first appointment, so you can jump right in.
3. Share your business FAQ
Many times, callers will get in touch simply because they want answers to a few common questions. You may already have these answered on your website or social media, but not everyone will take the time to research the information on their own, which results in a phone call. Spare yourself the distraction and let us answer these FAQ. Just provide a list of questions and answers, and we'll use that to provide responses to callers looking for that information.
You can even provide a list of questions for us to ask interested callers to gauge if they're a good lead for your business, so that person who called just for a bit of information has the potential to turn right into a new client! If the caller qualifies based on your criteria, we'll do the new client intake and book the new client call or meeting. All that's left for you to do is follow your calendar.
4. Begin with virtual receptionists as a backup
Your business may work well with you taking most of your phone calls. However, a caller who gets your voicemail instead of you may feel disappointed or even disgruntled. If they’re an existing customer, they'll likely wait for a call back, despite the bad experience, but if the caller is a new lead, they're not waiting around — they're ringing your competitors. Most times, the first person to answer the phone gets the business.
If you're not quite comfortable with us answering all of your calls (we know, we've heard this before), at least let us prevent callers from getting your voicemail during business hours. We can set it up so that your receptionists only answer your phone after we've attempted to ring you (two rings is standard practice). This way, you can answer if you're available, but if you're busy, in transit, or away from your desk, your caller speaks to one of our friendly, professional receptionists instead of leaving a message. Savvy business owners know this is the sort of simple, small change to a process that can lead to a lot more business.
5. Auto-forward your emails
Do you have a web form on your website where people request your services or more information on your business? We can use these forms to provide a few different services for your company when these completed "contact us" forms are forwarded our way.
- Follow-up with a call-back: When a caller asks a question via your form, we will call them on your behalf and answer based on the FAQ you provided.
- Receive service requests: Sometimes, certain businesses utilize these forms as a first line for handling problems or service requests. If you use a ticketing system to handle service and support requests, we can create tickets on behalf of your customers, and they'll appear in the queue for your support staff and technicians.
- Monetize "bad leads" with referrals: If you’re a small business, your company likely has trusted businesses you work with, passing back and forth potential clients when needs better align with their services or yours. Often a fee is given when that referred individual becomes a paying client.
If we call back a new lead who completed your web form, and determine, based on your criteria, that they're not a fit for your business (perhaps they need a criminal lawyer and you practice family law), we can use your referral list to get them in touch with a business that can help them, effectively monetizing even your "bad leads."
As a business owner, it can be difficult to change your systems, but it doesn't have to be. With Smith.ai, getting started with virtual receptionists is easy and the payoff is immense. Call us at (650) 727 – 6484 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll discuss your business needs and get you started with our 30 day / 10 call free trial so you can get a feel for how Smith.ai virtual receptionists will help you to be more productive, profitable, and efficient.