Today’s companies are finding themselves in need of more outsourced services than ever before. Thanks to technology, these solutions are readily available. Remote receptionists are becoming a preferred choice for those who want to have dynamic phone services without having to dedicate in-house staff to the task. Just who are these virtual agents, though, and what kind of services can they provide? More importantly, how much cash are you going to have to fork out for these specialty providers?
The short answer: Virtual receptionists can do just about everything you need, and they’re more affordable than you think.
Throughout this article, we’ll discuss the remote receptionist, including their job role, available services and solutions, and how they are an investment, not an expense. We’ll show you just how affordable they can be, including examples of the packages available from our very own team of virtual receptionists at Smith.ai.
A remote, or virtual, receptionist is in a different location than the company or organization for which they are taking calls. Here's how receptionists can take calls for a business remotely:
Basically, a remote receptionist is answering calls in exactly the same way an in-house receptionist would. If you don't currently have a receptionist, and you're answering your own calls, a receptionist service can take the work of fielding phone calls off of your hands in the same way. These services are completely customizable, which means that you can scale them to fit your business' needs. Read on to learn more about what virtual receptionists can do for your company and why it’s best to consider outsourcing to dedicated remote agents.
The reason that so many companies are turning to this option is that it offers everything from standalone answering services to full-service receptionist solutions. Plus, you can choose from a variety of customizable plans designed to fit the needs of your specific business.
This receptionist can handle many of the same functions and tasks as your in-house staff, including taking incoming calls, recording messages, call transferring, and even making outbound calls, assisting with scheduling, and more. These agents can take the burden off of your business so that you can focus your efforts on client satisfaction, future growth, and other areas that need your attention.
Virtual receptionists can take care of things like:
The role of the remote receptionist is varied and dynamic. They can essentially handle all of your phone communications, whether you have a single phone line in your small business or you have a multiline system that includes 100 phones. There’s no job too big or small, and they can even help create systems that will grow with your company over time.
That’s a big perk for people who are looking to improve their operations. Not only will virtual receptionists take care of all of your communication needs, but they can help your business improve in other areas of the client experience, as well.
When it comes to deciding what’s best for your business, you have several things to consider. The choice between using remote agents and in-house staff for reception and customer service is all about figuring out what’s best for your business. Despite all the technology available in the world today, most clients will still prefer to speak with a live person.
You need the human element. It’s not a question. Your only choice is whether you use in-house or outsourced remote receptionists. Let’s look at some of the benefits that come with choosing to go the remote route.
Remote receptionist services offer several similar features, but they also have some variations on what they can do. It will be important for you to find what it is that you’re looking for, but you should always stick to answering services that include the following critical features:
Live answering — We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. People like talking to people. Even with all the technology available today, you need receptionist services that offer live answering by real agents. This adds a layer of professionalism with that personal touch that your clients demand. It also allows you to create custom greetings and call handling guidelines.
Message services — It’s a fundamental service, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. Taking messages is one of the most basic forms of virtual reception services. Your remote receptionist company can handle taking caller information, including their contact details and why they are calling, and then passing messages along to the right parties.
Appointment scheduling — Several virtual receptionist services also offer integrated appointment scheduling and calendar tools. This can help schedule appointments within your own specified parameters for time and location, and you’ll even be alerted when a new appointment is made. There are several different features of this service and it can be integrated with all kinds of other software.
Call transfer and patching — These receptionists will be able to route calls directly to the right party, or to a specific number that is outlined in your service agreement. They will handle all call transfers and ensure that people who need immediate assistance, get it.
Response time — Today’s clients don’t want to wait. In fact, 13% say no hold time is acceptable, while nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they will only wait 2 minutes or less before hanging up. When you choose remote receptionists, you can trust that they will always be available to answer the call, transfer it effectively, and keep response times as quick as possible.
Availability — Can you afford to hire enough staff to have them available when your clients need them? The best virtual receptionist services offer fully customizable service schedules, including 24/7 availability so that your clients never have to go without the answers or assistance that they need. Often, these services provide much better availability at a fraction of the cost.
Proper agent training — The entire point of outsourcing to remote receptionists is that you are giving the job to people who are experienced and properly trained. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a company that trains employees well, both in the hiring phase and as an ongoing practice. If the company is going to be your clients’ first line of contact, they must be the best.
As many as 75% of people calling your business will immediately hang up if they’re connected to voicemail. Even if these features aren’t enough to sell you, that fact alone should be proof that you need remote receptionist solutions that are available whenever a client needs something.
Our virtual receptionist team has been leading the industry in providing North America-based remote support for businesses of all kinds. We set up our virtual services to appear as the face of your business, with your clients never knowing they’re not reaching you first. Plus, virtual agents can be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering solutions like:
While a traditional receptionist is available during office hours, a virtual agent or team of agents can be available at all times. They can even work weekends to keep up with busy clients who can’t reach out during the week. This ensures that you never miss an opportunity to deliver stellar service or land a sale.
We offer a team of live agents that can be trained to act as receptionists for your company specifically, like an extension of your existing team. We do have some AI integrations and technology additions, but the biggest focus is our humans: trained, experienced receptionists who can field any and all calls that come their way.
If you’re ready to step up your phone communications and streamline your day-to-day operations, remote receptionists might be just what you need. Contact the team at Smith.ai to discuss your situation and see how we can create a customized solution that suits the needs of your business. Whether you need basic overflow assistance or a full-service receptionist solution, we’ve got you covered. Call us now to schedule your consultation.