If you don’t yet have a receptionist for your flooring business, it’s high time you consider hiring one. This is the person that will be responsible for greeting customers, handling calls, and taking care of other needs for your business. Ultimately, a receptionist can do just about anything that you desire, with the goal being freeing up your time so that you can focus on clients and flooring jobs.
Perhaps you’ve got a small business and feel that you don’t necessarily need someone in this role. Maybe you feel like you’ve got things under control—but do you really? You can’t do it all, and today’s customers demand a different level of service. Think about all the calls, inquiries, and customer requests you get in a day. Consider how much time it takes to answer each request, and whether those requests actually require your expertise, or if a receptionist could provide a better solution.
Today’s consumers demand better. They want instant answers, and they expect the Internet to deliver. The average online visitor expects to get a response from businesses within 24 hours and the sooner, the better. When you have a dedicated receptionist, you can live up to these expectations and deliver the service that your audience demands.
A receptionist is useful for several reasons, so long as you hire the right person for the job. They will handle all kinds of administrative and communication needs, juggle tasks, and provide an array of solutions for your business, no matter what you have in mind.
Of course, a receptionist isn’t going to be able to provide customers with exact quotes for jobs, but they can provide pricing info, schedule an estimate, and otherwise help and guide them along the buying journey. If someone calls with a flooring emergency, you’ll ensure they get first-rate service, right away, even when you’re not the one picking up the phone.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what a receptionist can do for your business, how to choose the right individual, and what your business can do to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to communications and customer service.
This is the question that is on everyone’s mind: how much will I spend on this investment? An in-house receptionist in the United States earns between $11 and $14 per hour, on average. For a flooring business, you’ll probably be able to find the right individual in this range. Some industries or businesses need more specialized receptionists or agents, which could cost as much as $20 per hour, but that probably isn’t necessary here.
Remember, too, that you’ll also have to factor in the cost of hiring and training a new employee, which averages around $4,000 in the U.S. currently. This can be an expensive investment for those who are on a limited budget, but it doesn’t have to be. And, if this doesn’t fit your needs, perhaps you’ll want to consider outsourcing or partnering with a third-party team that can field the tasks for you.
This isn’t a hugely competitive job market, but you’ll still want to do your due diligence to find the right person for the job. That begins with changing your mindset—this is an investment, not an expense. Whether you choose to hire in-house or outsource, it’s all money well-spent.
Several different benefits come from having a dedicated receptionist. For starters, you’ll be able to pick and choose to create a custom set of designated tasks that they handle, or you can delegate all frontline communications to them. A receptionist can handle phone calls, written communications, scheduling and other admin tasks, and more. They can even assist with improving workflows at the front desk.
Hiring a receptionist can give you someone to handle all kinds of tasks, including:
A receptionist could even help you manage social media and online customer service. There’s very little that a receptionist can’t do when it comes to helping your flooring business.
One other consideration here-- do you need a receptionist that can also accept and/or process payments for your customers? Many flooring businesses have digital payment solutions in place, but they may still require some manual involvement. Instead of doing all the work yourself, you can add this to the list of receptionist duties-- just one more way a receptionist can benefit your flooring company.
The first part of your decision comes in deciding whether you’re going to hire someone to work in your business as an employee or if you’re going to outsource to a third party. Then, you have the choice of choosing a single receptionist or administrative professional or working with an outsourced team of agents that can handle everything for you.
The right decision will depend on the needs of your business. There is no “right” answer here—there are pros and cons to each decision that you’ll want to consider. If you have a larger flooring business, you might be well-suited to hire a full-time receptionist to field calls and handle other tasks. If you have a limited budget, outsourcing might be the more affordable option, and a way to get more for your money.
When you are trying to decide which way to go, consider:
The answer is going to be different for every business, but these factors will help you figure out what’s going to be best for your flooring company. And now, let’s look at the second part of your decision.
Once you’ve decided where your receptionist is coming from, you’ll need to know what you want from them. That starts by looking at what a receptionist does (see the section above) and then comparing that to what they can do for your business. There’s not one “best” receptionist for everyone—you have to figure out what’s best for your flooring company specifically. What do you want? What do you need?
Our biggest advice here is to focus on soft skills as much as hard skills; time management, multitasking, self-motivation, and other soft skills are invaluable and often harder to “teach” than hard skills like typing, answering phones, and so forth. Of course, you’ll want most employees to have these kinds of skills to bring value to your business. In the receptionist role, it’s all the more important.
Communication is their job. They’re also responsible for organization and administrative work, as needed. You can check out their software experience, online prowess, and ask what kind of phone systems or other communication experience they have. Remember that a quick learner with good communication skills and a positive attitude can go a lot further than you think.
While formal education and training are helpful, it’s not necessary for this role, per se. What is necessary is to find people who have skills like:
These assets are going to get you a lot further than just hiring someone with a technical resume that sparkles. Reception is an area where personality goes further than technical prowess, after all, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re weighing the right factors when hiring someone for this role.
In case there’s anything that we missed above, or for those who want easy answers to the most pressing questions when choosing a receptionist, we’ve collected a list of the most frequently asked questions. This will help you get a little more insight and think about what you’re getting when you invest in this role.
If you’ve started noticing that things are slipping through the cracks, or if you don’t have the time to field all the calls and messages coming your way, it’s probably a good time to hire someone to help. Ultimately, if you’re asking whether you need a receptionist, the answer is probably “yes”. These professionals can free up your time and give your business a more professional image.
There are several different types of skills that you can request from receptionists and administrative professionals. Use the skills we’ve talked about above, like time management, communication skills, multitasking abilities, and so forth. Also consider their typing skills, Internet savvy, administrative abilities, and so forth. List what you want, explicitly, and then invite people to contact you to learn more.
Flooring is a specialty industry, so while having someone with experience might be nice, it could be difficult to find. Fortunately, receptionists don’t necessarily need to have dedicated industry experience here. You’ll want to focus more on their admin and receptionist-based skills because for the most part, people can learn the rest on the job.
Some business owners errantly assume that they don’t need a receptionist if they’re an online business. However, you’ve still got people calling and contacting your business, so it could still help to have someone manning the front lines. You can gain a lot from having a receptionist in your business, regardless of whether you have a physical flooring store or just an online presence. Don’t sell yourself short because you’re ill-informed.
Online businesses might need receptionists more than the average physical business—either way, this shouldn’t be a reason to stop you from hiring someone.
Smith.ai offers dedicated virtual receptionist services to businesses of all kinds. As one of the more popular ways to outsource, third-party services give you the chance to get more for your money than hiring a single person for the job. The difference in hiring an independent contractor is that they are usually a single person handling the tasks for you, which may or may not be ideal for your business.
As we mentioned, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to hire a receptionist for your business. However, if you want a comprehensive solution that allows you to take your mind off the details, the virtual agents at Smith.ai should be on your list. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to handle phone calls, live chat, SMS messaging, and so much more.
And don’t forget admin tasks—we can also create a strategy that includes services like lead intake, scheduling, payment collection, and more. Then, we’ll help you collaborate to create a strategy to manage it all seamlessly, no matter how big or small your needs may be.