Small business owners are feeling the pinch of an increasingly competitive global economy. Even if you cater to a local client base, you’re likely still at the mercy of macro forces that are beyond your control.
When you’re carefully watching every dollar — alright, every penny — it’s a challenge to think rationally about investing in the future of your business. It’s easy to fall into a short-term trap: reacting to each new problem as it arises, failing to plan beyond next month (or next week), and ultimately allowing circumstances to dictate your company’s success or failure.
Unfortunately, today’s customers are more demanding than ever. Steeped in a culture that promises instant gratification and customized experiences, they have little patience for businesses that can’t cater to their whims. The concept of “not available” doesn’t exist in their collective mentality.
Catering to these heavy demands is prohibitively expensive for many cost-conscious companies. Fortunately, small business owners who worry about the financial ramifications of hiring new employees or extending their hours have a powerful new ally in their corner: virtual receptionist services. If you’re struggling to square your customer service circle, consider these four arguments in favor of using a virtual receptionist.
- Virtual Receptionists Handle Everything That Traditional Receptionists Do
Virtual receptionists are experienced, competent professionals with access to phones, Internet-connected computers, fax terminals and other critical business equipment. They’re adept at using scheduling software, spreadsheets, word processing programs, and more.
In other words, they’re capable of handling everything that regular full-time receptionists do. The only difference: they work remotely, often hundreds or thousands of miles from their clients’ offices. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t bring a host of other advantages to the table.
- Virtual Receptionists Are Always Available
Since virtual receptionists work in teams at dedicated telephone answering service facilities, they’re not limited by biology or scheduling. Companies that use virtual receptionist services don’t have to worry about their receptionists breaking for lunch, stepping away from their desks to use the bathroom, or not showing up to work due to illness or personal issues. In short, virtual receptionist services can be more reliable than in-house alternatives. This is particularly important for small businesses and professional offices that lack the resources to build in-house receptionist teams.
- Virtual Receptionists Create an Aura of Professionalism
Even if they’re hundreds of miles away, virtual receptionists give businesses and professionals a critical air of professionalism that allows them to impress their clients and boost the likelihood that a given call will lead to a sale (or revenue-generating service). Virtual receptionists understand the specific needs and pressures faced by each of their clients, meaning they’re equipped to both handle all routine inquiries and fill all the mission-critical functions of an in-house employee.
- Virtual Receptionists Cost Less Than Full-Time Receptionists
Despite the indistinguishable quality of service and superior availability relative to internal receptionists, virtual receptionists cost far less than their on-site counterparts. This is because virtual receptionist services offer economies of scale that small and midsize companies simply can’t match. Faced with the option to hire a full-time receptionist or tap a virtual receptionist service, the latter is a no-brainer for budget-conscious businesses.
Do you use a virtual receptionist for your business?