The term ‘virtual receptionist’ might conjure the image of a friendly voice, taking calls, giving positive customer service, and pleasantly assisting your current clients.
Smith.ai provides that experience. But we provide a great deal more, too.
In fact, Smith.ai is the best sales enablement tool you didn’t know you had.
You may already know Smith.ai, or you may be deciding whether to hire a virtual receptionist or a full-time receptionist. But who you choose to answer your incoming calls and messages is who you're choosing to serve as the front line of your business's sales operation.
The question we want to help you solve is: How do you maximize conversions from your inbound calls and new leads?
When potential new clients call your business, they expect you to pick up the phone, offer an immediate and substantive answer to their sales questions, and provide the next steps they need. Answering a call and taking a message for call-back doesn't cut it anymore.
82% of your customers expect an immediate response to a sales inquiry
Whoever answers calls for your business needs to pick up every time, and know how to address your client's concerns — they called for a reason.
And clients are no longer contacting you via phone alone. Many leads prefer different mediums of communication like website chat, Facebook messages, and texts. If you don’t have the functionality built to handle these channels or staff trained to operate them, you're a step behind. Any channel closed means clients will choose to hire your competitors instead.
More than 25% of unique leads came in after hours in businesses with 24/7 responsiveness
Plus, with remote work booming and more and more businesses “always on,” we have long since left the era of before- and after-hours. Google doesn’t play the national anthem and turn off search at midnight like the TV networks of old.
Digital marketing specialists already demand 24/7 answering so they convert every last viable lead. When they're working with you on SEO and lead generation, they'll recommend the same for you.
It might seem overwhelming, but in order to compete in today's world, you need to be available to provide quality answers to new lead questions, via phone, text, web chat, and Facebook, day and night.
You need to capture new contacts immediately when they express interest in your business. People may be comfortable with information from an ad or a website, but they want to buy from a person.
When someone contacts your business with questions, it means they are likely to become a paying client. Are you always available to answer queries immediately? If so, prospects will quickly convert to clients and even gain more trust in your brand.
50% of lead generation budgets are spent on leads that are never contacted
But trying to field calls, chats, and messages yourself is time-consuming and, let's face it, draining . A lead's experience with your product or service may be brand new and as the complexity of your offerings increase, so do their questions. It’s no surprise that 50% of lead generation budgets are spent on leads that are never contacted — and 79% of all marketing leads never convert to sales.
Should you feel bad for missing calls? Of course not. You’re busy doing your job. But that also doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands and say, “Oh well.” These are good leads, potential clients, and dollars and cents that are left to wither on the vine.
Consider a scenario. Let’s say you’re the proprietor of an outsourced IT services firm. You help small businesses avoid the high cost of a full-time in-house IT professional by helping them build and maintain their IT systems. This doesn’t just require you to be on call for current employees at all times; to grow your business, you need to be available to answer potential client questions, too.
But that’s a challenge. Clients love you and you’re a great advocate for your business, but the time you take answering phones, much less selling, eats into your availability to give the top-notch service those clients love.
So you decide you need to hire a receptionist. But in addition to the weeks or months you're spending to properly train them on your CRM, intake processes, different clients and inquiries — time deprived from your day-to-day work — your on the ground representative is just answering phones. They aren't a salesperson.
"Wait a minute," you might say. "I’m hiring a receptionist, not a salesperson.”
But a sales development representative is exactly what a small business like yours needs your receptionist to be. Your receptionist is the first person that a potential new client speaks to. They are responsible for having the right responses to sales inquiries, or you risk losing the sale. Whether or not they have a sales mindset, your receptionist is a member of your sales team.
Your receptionist is the first person that a potential new client speaks to. They are responsible for having the right responses to sales inquiries, or you risk losing the sale.
The receptionist you've just hired, however, likely lacks the experience and the desire to find the motivations of your potential clients and drive them to convert. In time, they'll answer your phones well, but will they ever have the instinct to tell a promising new client from someone kicking your tires?
Plus, now you’re managing someone — with all time and effort that entails — and a receptionist will need breaks, vacation, and simply can’t be available 24/7.
We've already seen some of the ways traditional responses fall short of catering to the many needs your leads have. But that's not the only way for you to solve these problems. In fact, Smith.ai is the omni-channel sales development representative that will level-up your business.
With Smith.ai, you’re relieved of the vast majority of that training and management burden. You have a team ready to work with leads and clients when they’re ready, 24/7. And Smith.ai virtual receptionists will not just message your business in the same thoughtful, friendly way you would — they will ask the crucial questions and get the information you need to convert a new client. That’s the experience that comes from taking many thousands of calls, and helping those callers become new clients for the businesses we support.
That's the experience a traditional receptionist just can't match.
In addition, Smith.ai applies an iterative process to our receptionists’ work with your business: We work with you, learning from our interactions with your clients, recommending process changes, and growing with you. A virtual receptionist is not a distant, impersonal voice: They’re one of a team supporting you, helping you grow your business with the same professionalism and drive you'd expect from any trusted employee. As one client noted, "We really aren't a customer — Smith.ai is a partner in my practice."
Most importantly, Smith.ai receptionists will not only cover all of the calls, chats, texts, and Facebook messages you might be missing. We will also help you grow the leads you capture by up to 50% or more — by being available to answer, helping you sort of the wheat from the chaff, collecting the critical information that allows you to prioritize your follow-up, and by giving your company the same reach as the big guys: 24/7 across every channel.
Call and chat answering may be the task you set out to solve, but true sales enablement is the gold standard of any receptionist, in-office or virtual. Smith.ai enables you to convert calls and chats into what you really need — sales, clients, and money coming in the door.
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