No Secretary, No Problem – The Benefits of Having a Virtual Receptionist

September 7, 2015 | Jennifer Goodwyn

Managing all or most of the day-to-day operations of your business can be a daunting task, and one you shouldn't try to tackle by yourself. To increase productivity and reduce costs, rather than hire a full-time secretary consider outsourcing phone answering services to a dedicated virtual receptionist. This will allow you to focus on the crucial elements of your business, without sacrificing a critical component of any venture--customer service.

What exactly is a virtual receptionist, you might ask? Simply put, a virtual receptionist is a person who performs the same basic duties as an on-site receptionist while working in another location. They are trained receptionists who will answer and forward calls during your designated business hours but do so remotely. Here are the five biggest benefits of having a virtual receptionist.

Cost-Effective Customer Service

Customer service is the backbone of any company. Even if the nature of your service is business to business, you still need to be able to respond to investors, clients and business associates in a timely and accommodating manner. Rather than hiring a full-time phone receptionist to handle your business calls, you can hire a virtual receptionist at a fraction of the cost. A virtual assistant will ensure that none of your calls are missed and that each call is properly conducted. On top of that, you won't have to pay for hiring, training, vacations, sick days and other payroll overheads that come with having a full-time, on-site phone receptionist.

Improved Customer Service

A virtual receptionist, or virtual assistant, usually comes with a background in customer service, meaning they may be more qualified to see to the satisfaction of your callers than yourself. And, since a virtual receptionist's sole responsibility is to answer questions, take messages and forward calls, they are generally more willing to spend extra time with each caller, going above and beyond to provide exceptional customer experience.

Increased Productivity

Leaving phone calls to someone else can increase your level of productivity. Rather than have to answer the phone and respond to business queries all day, you can work on more crucial elements of the business that only you can handle. While you're busy growing your company, your virtual assistant will be handling all of your calls in a professional manner. You can rest easy and go about your daily objectives knowing that your business is being represented through a professional phone answering service.

Calls Are Always Answered During Business Hours

Another benefit of having a virtual receptionist is that you're guaranteed to have someone answering your calls during your hours of operation. Why? Because with a dedicated virtual receptionist you never have to worry about the receptionist going on break or vacations. Or, if you have an in-house secretary, you know you have the option of a reliable replacement ready at any time he or she is on sick or vacation leave.

Present a Professional Image

Calls that are answered quickly, effectively and professionally give customers a good impression. A good impression leads to good word of mouth. Additionally, it makes your business look professional and, perhaps more importantly, legitimate. If you're the only one running the show, customers, clients and investors may be wary of doing business with you. A virtual receptionist gives the impression of a professionally-run company, and reflects your seriousness for your business and those you do business with.