In the cleaning business, most companies start small and handle a lot of their own administrative tasks at first. However, if things go well, there will come a time when you’ll want to consider investing in help for things like answering calls, scheduling services, fielding inquiries, and more.
After all, if you’re doing your job right, you’ll have plenty of other things to do. A receptionist will be dedicated to managing the front desk and making sure that your visitors, clients, and others get the attention and service that they deserve. And today, that’s more important than ever before. The Internet has created a world where people can get instant answers and can find the best resources in a matter of minutes. If your business doesn’t deliver as quickly and efficiently, you’re not going to see the growth you deserve.
If you’re an individual or small company, you are probably one of your top employees-- do you really need to be worrying about phone calls while you’re elbow-deep in greasy oven cleaning? Who’s going to schedule services when you’re busy with a client consultation? Can you really expect to be able to be available if you’re always on the job? Choose your battles here, and stick to the cleaning. Hire a receptionist to handle the rest.
Remember to focus on what you need versus what’s available—you’re not stuck hiring a receptionist and springing for a salary and benefits unless that’s the route that you want to choose. Thanks to technology, you can choose to hire someone remotely or even work with a third-party virtual receptionist service to get everything that you need.
While you’re cleaning houses, make sure that you’ve got someone on board to de-clutter and keep your front desk clean (virtually and physically, of course). In this guide, we’ll cover all the details to help you make the best decision when you need a receptionist, and help you think more about what you want so that you can help yourself more with this investment.
Receptionists can do so much more than just answer phones. Today, they’re kind of a Jack-of-all-trades for a business and that’s something that you need to embrace in every way that you can. Let’s talk about that first.
What do you want a receptionist to do for your cleaning service? That’s the real question here. Receptionists can fill several roles and handle many responsibilities. And thanks to modern technology, you can even get people to do it all virtually and still get the solutions that you deserve. Beyond answering phone calls and acting as the first point of contact for your clients, a virtual receptionist can also:
If you choose a receptionist or service that’s available after hours, you’ll impress your customers even more. Take emergency cleaning calls for things like fires and other disasters, have someone to field panicked midnight spill calls, and even ensure that last-minute appointment changes or cancellations aren’t missed. Life happens, and today, it happens around the clock. If your cleaning service is always available, your business will definitely stand out from the rest.
In deciding to hire a receptionist, you’ll want to put some thought into all the ways that they can help your cleaning service. You might not realize it at first, but they do offer a lot more potential. Especially today, thanks to technology, receptionists are more versatile than ever before. If you use that to your advantage, your business can thrive in all kinds of ways.
This is a big question, but it’s one that you’ll have to answer for yourself. We can help you by providing some valuable insight, though, starting with whether you actually need an employee that is dedicated to your company and available when you need them. Several smaller companies today find that they’re not really equipped to take on an employee, or perhaps they don’t need that level of commitment. However, they do need some assistance in the areas a receptionist would handle, so it’s about figuring out how best to proceed.
Do you need an in-house employee that sits at the front desk, greeting anyone that comes into your business? If not, outsourcing might be a better choice. It will give you the chance to find better talent, as well as to find more affordable rates and costs. You’ll avoid paying benefits and other overhead costs, and you’ll still get the same high-quality service, just remotely. It’s worth considering.
Speaking of better talent, that’s another reason to go with outsourcing. You can find receptionists and services around the country (and even around the world) that offer top-rate customer service, administrative support, and more. This is a lot more than you’ll get from hiring someone locally or sticking with a single person.
As with every decision here, it’s about taking the time to evaluate these things and decide what’s going to be best for your cleaning business. Some companies find that hiring a receptionist is a must, even with the added cost of a salary, benefits, and onboarding. Others realize it’s not necessary and stop feeling held back because they can find more affordable solutions by outsourcing.
Decide what’s going to be best for you.
Speaking of that salary and benefits, let’s take a look at what that entails. It’s hard to get an estimate of outsourced receptionists or virtual receptionist services, but we were able to dig up some salary information on receptionists in the professional services industry. Cleaning businesses fall under the “professional services” industry, which has an average hourly rate of around $13-$14 per hour in the United States, currently, based on Indeed.com’s latest research.
But then, you’ll also have to account for any training and onboarding costs, which can amount to thousands extra. You will also need to consider ongoing overhead for office space, equipment, supplies, etc. It can all add up pretty quickly, and you haven’t even decided who to hire or how to hire them yet. But don’t panic—you don’t have to spend that much.
This is where a lot of people turn to outsourcing. When you choose a remote receptionist or a virtual receptionist service, you’ll be able to get all of the same services (and possibly several more of them) for a fraction of what you’d spend on a salary, onboarding, overhead, and other costs that come with an employee. Plus, you’ll often get a more dynamic solution, more help, and a lot less to manage on your own because the outsourced receptionists will take care of themselves.
This is an investment, not an expense. Remember that in your search for the right solution. However, you should also remember that regardless of what you think you can afford, there’s a receptionist out there for you. Just keep these things in mind.
Regardless of how you go about sourcing a receptionist, you’ll want to make sure that they are capable of certain things. Hard skills, such as hardware or software competency, can be taught to most candidates. However, you can’t teach things like personality and motivation, so it’s often best to focus on soft skills when you’re hiring a receptionist for your cleaning business.
Soft skills are things that relate more to personality and character—things like the ability to multitask, problem-solving skills, motivation, self-management abilities, and so forth. They all come in handy for any job role, but especially for the receptionist. Although there may be a list of factors that you want to consider on your own accord, you’ll also want to add the following to your list.
Find a receptionist (or service) with:
We could go on for days, but this is a good start. And remember to keep communication skills and admin duties at the top of your list, too, because those will come in handy in any receptionist that you choose. When you outsource, consider a receptionist (or team of them) that can integrate with your software and keep everything streamlined, too, because that will make it even easier for you to add a receptionist to your cleaning service.
Now that we’ve covered a little bit of everything, let’s wrap up by taking a look at a few common questions and their answers that come up when companies are hiring receptionists. Some of these will reiterate topics we’ve already covered, while others may offer additional insight. Either way, you’ll have a much better idea of how to hire the right person for the job.
If you’re here or even considering adding someone to your team, you’re probably on the right track. Think about the services a receptionist could deliver and how that could benefit your business. Imagine how much more time you’d have to spend on other tasks. If you’re missing calls and struggling to keep up with admin tasks, it’s probably time to get help.
It’s certainly helpful if your receptionist has worked for other cleaning companies in the past, but it isn’t a necessity. After all, you can train them on the specifics of your business. You can’t teach skills like personability, the ability to solve problems, critical thinking and organizational skills, attention to detail, and so forth. Those skills will be far more valuable than any cleaning industry background.
There are plenty of options to get a virtual receptionist or part-time service to take care of some admin work, phone calls and emails, or other needs for a short period. Whether you need to fill a gap between employees or you just need a service that’s available to field after-hours calls and chats, third-party receptionist services are waiting to help you with everything that you need.
An answering machine is great, and inboxes aren’t going anywhere, but what about clients who have middle-of-the-night cleaning emergencies or who work odd hours and just want to get in touch on their time? Perhaps you’re not available on the weekends, but you want your clients to be able to schedule cleaning services and get answers to urgent questions. These are all valid reasons (and just a few of them, at that) to consider hiring a receptionist or using a service that’s available 24/7.
When you want more from your receptionist solutions than one employee can provide, consider partnering with the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai. Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer calls, field live website chats, respond SMS messages, and so much more. We can also help with scheduling, new client intake and lead follow-up, and even payment collection.
When you work with us, you’ll get the professional face your brand deserves on your terms, and we’ll even help you create the perfect strategy to manage it all. Whether you just need temporary help or you’re looking for a full-service receptionist solution, we’ve got you covered.
Learn more when you schedule a consultation to discuss exactly what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do to improve your cleaning business, from calls and chats to admin tasks and more. You can also reach us at email@example.com or (650) 727-6484.