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What Is a Remote Receptionist and How Does It Work?

Virtual Receptionist Concept

Do you lack the resources, the money, or the space to have a receptionist onsite?

This is a common problem facing small and startup companies alike. If you think that you can skip investing in a receptionist for your business, think again.

Here’s the real skinny on excellent customer service. If you retain just 5 percent more of your customer base, that can affect your profits by anywhere from 25-95 percent. But how can you maintain your customer base? It’s not complicated. The solution is simple, and fortunately, the best way to keep your customer base is easy, too.

As a consumer, you know how it feels to be left on hold, sent to an answering machine, or transferred to multiple people before your problem is solved. It’s horrible to be treated like just another number at best, or an annoyance at worst. When it comes to keeping customers happy and making sure they return to your business, again and again, you want to make their experience with your company enjoyable, personable, easy, and quick.

In today’s business world, competition is more fierce than ever before. Before the internet became a household, everyday item, companies only had to compete with places in their locality. Now, not only do you have to compete with local businesses, but you also have to contend with companies in your niche from all over the world. It can be overwhelming.

But fortunately, the best way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to make the user experience a top priority. After all, you are serving people, not machines. People talk, and people will be loyal to businesses that give them a satisfying and convenient experience.

Did you know that when a customer has a bad experience, they will tell at least 15 people? But the flipside is also true. Customers who have a good experience with a company will be just as likely to tell their friends, family, and social network about it. And the younger the customer, the more likely they are to remain loyal to a company based on experience alone, the price of the products or service notwithstanding.

So, how can you ensure a stellar customer experience, and reap the benefits of same? The easiest way to ensure that your clients and customers enjoy their dealings with your brand is to outsource this crucial aspect of your business to a leading expert. Remote receptionists are the latest in enterprising companies arsenal of ensuring a top-notch customer experience.

If you’ve scaled your business to the point where you need a receptionist, it’s vital that you take the time to carefully consider and understand the benefits of hiring a remote receptionist. But first, we’ll explain what a remote receptionist is. There are different kinds of remote receptionists, and each one offers its own unique way of assisting your company with its growth.

What Is a Virtual Receptionist?

A virtual receptionist does basically the same thing as an in-house receptionist. They would answer essential calls and emails, set appointments, connect people within the company, and direct and field calls and queries to the correct people or departments. In essence, a remote receptionist is still in a customer-facing position, even if they are house off-site, and have never stepped foot inside the office.

When it comes to outsourcing your critical receptionist system, there are two options available that you can take advantage of one of two options:

You can hire a virtual, or remote receptionist for your company.

A virtual receptionist offers a personal touch to the customer experience. But, it is a pricier option than a robotic system. Virtual or remote receptionists do virtually the same tasks that an onsite receptionist would do.

You can use an automated answering system.

Automated systems can work if you’re just getting started and are on a tight budget. But keep in mind though, that mechanical systems lack the personal, humanizing touch that a virtual receptionist would offer. Plus, a virtual receptionist can easily pivot strategy when dealing with customers. The truth is, your customers are humans, and they have human needs and emotions that a robot just can’t address very well. In many cases, they won’t be able to address those needs or concerns at all.

It’s incredibly frustrating to go through an automated service that is clunky and robotic. A lack of flexibility and nuance in a computerized system can annoy customers and turn them off from ever dealing with your company again. The truth is, your customers deserve better than to be dealing with an impersonal robot.

Here at AnswerFirst, we understand and know all-too-well the frustration of going through an automated service that just doesn’t work for your customers unique and highly personal needs. Your customers are some of your company’s most important assets. Investing in a virtual receptionist is a way to show them that you care about their experience and are willing to serve them.

A virtual receptionist is an actual person who works remotely for your business. They’ll answer all incoming calls and direct them to the right place. Virtual receptionists can quickly respond to questions, comments, and offer all sorts of useful information and a human touch to communications and interactions that an automated system just can’t accommodate.

Why Get a Virtual Phone Receptionist?

There are many reasons to invest in a virtual receptionist for your business. The most significant benefit of partnering with a virtual receptionist is that he or she will significantly improve your customer service reputation. With more and more robots elbowing their pointy, metal arms into the workforce, one of the biggest concerns of recently surveyed consumers is that they won’t be able to speak to a human being when they need help with a company’s product or service.

While customers increasingly cite being able to speak to a human when they encounter a pressing need or concern as necessary, they don’t need to know that the receptionist has been hired remotely. It’s not important to your customers if the receptionist is working in your office or outside of it. All they want to know is if the receptionist can solve their problem quickly and efficiently.

What are the other benefits of hiring a remote receptionist?

Significant Cost-savings

When you hire an in-house receptionist, you’ll spend a lot of money training and retaining a dedicated employee. For small companies and start-ups, the cost of providing a competitive full-time salary, enticing benefits, desk, and office space, and paid time-off can make it cost-prohibitive to hiring a quality receptionist. If you’re still growing your business, it’s an excellent choice to outsource your receptionist job. Even established companies can benefit from outsourcing their receptionist duties.

Time-savings

The time it takes to source for talent, interview qualified candidates, hire and train a new employee takes a lot of time and staff resources. Time and staff resources are limited, and they aren’t something you can scale. But if you outsource your receptionist to a company that specializes in finding, training, and hiring talent, then you’ll save time and your staff’s energy.

Competitiveness

Think about it this way; if your direct competition is hiring a receptionist to take on customer queries and concerns 24/7, then doesn’t it makes sense for you to do so as well? Your ideal customers will come to expect 24/7 access to a knowledgeable, helpful person who can field their questions and assuage their concerns. Offering 24/7 access can make or break your customer loyalty and retention rates.

Remember, it takes much less money and time to retain a previous customer than it is to find a new one. If your customer has a bad experience or can’t get ahold of a person to answer their question, they might jump ship and head on over to your competitor’s store.

But by hiring a virtual receptionist, your customers will have access to a helpful person twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, without the associated hefty costs if you were to invest in an in-house receptionist. Some virtual receptionist services offer support 365 days per year, which can be incredibly beneficial for some industries and niches.

There Is Room For Growth

So your company grows, and you find that you don’t need to outsource your receptionist duties for the entire week. Outsourcing centers offer flexible contracts and arrangements to accommodate your needs.

Increased Sales

Studies show that an investment in customer service and support techniques as small as 5% can give you a significant ROI. When it comes to hiring a remote receptionist, you are investing in your company’s continued growth. You’re showing your customer base that you care about their experiences and that you’re a serious company that is committed to making a positive impact in your industry. With a minimal investment in this crucial component of your company’s infrastructure, you’ll see an ROI of anywhere between 25% and 95%. Other forms of marketing don’t even come close to that level of ROI.

How Does It Work?

Finding a virtual receptionist company that’s going to work for your needs doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. When you first begin researching different remote receptionist services, look for one that offers 24/7/365 support for your company. It’s crucial for your company’s reputation and your brand’s ability to stay competitive if your customers have continuous access to support services.

Also, look for a remote receptionist company that is based in the US. Although you may be tempted to choose an overseas company, these types of call centers can create communication barriers for your customers. That’s the opposite of what you want. After all, good, clear communication is critical for making the customer experience easy and enjoyable.

Once you have signed up with a reputable remote receptionist company that meets your needs, it gets much easier from there. When you partner with a remote receptionist company, you can rest assured that your business’ most important calls will be answered quickly and efficiently. Your new remote receptionist will direct calls exactly where you need them to go.

When you decide to hire a remote receptionist, you are making a crucial investment in your company’s future. Not having continuous, transparent, first-rate communication and support for your valued customers isn’t an option. In today’s competitive, fast-paced and highly connected business world, it’s a necessity.

In the internet age where a post can stay visible for days, months and years, and get shared to an untold number of people, bad reviews can stop your momentum and sink your business fast. But when you offer receptionist services for your clients and customers, your ensuring against lousy customer experiences and the risk of curating negative reviews and gaining a poor business reputation.

What will your remote receptionist do for you?

A remote receptionist is a key player in your company’s continued growth. Outsourcing a receptionist’s critical work will grow your business by enabling you to save time, money, and staff resources. Customer service and support will help you help you find and retain loyal customers.

Make sure your customers don’t have anything bad to say about your products or services. Positive word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to market your company and enable it to shine!

Are you ready to pull the trigger on hiring a virtual assistant?

We can help! Here at AnswerFirst, we’ve been helping companies like yours find and retain dedicated, knowledgeable remote receptionists. Our trained personnel are guaranteed to protect your company’s reputation, make your customer’s happy, and grow your bottom line.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our receptionist services can help you scale your business! Our representatives are available 24/7, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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AnswerFirst Communications, Inc. has provided quality answering services since 1985. We currently provide answering services, virtual receptionist solutions and customer service solutions to thousand of clients around the globe.
By |2018-11-26T21:22:43+00:00October 28th, 2018|ServiceFirst: Customer Service Blog|0 Comments

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