What is a Telephone Answering Service
Answering calls really is an essential part of any business. Receptionists handle phone calls, work switchboards and they are able to complete almost any administrative task with ease and efficiency. The importance of a quality receptionist should never be underestimated. Your receptionist is the first person that your customers will speak to and their impression could make or break your business. For this reason, you have to make sure that you hire someone who is competent and who understands every aspect of your organisation. The traditional location for a receptionist would be at a desk, at the front of a building. That being said, we now live in the 21st century and things have changed a lot over the years. Receptionists now have the resources required to work from any location in the world, while also being able to provide the employer with the exact same service they have grown to depend on. This level of flexibility grants benefits to both the employee and employer. Receptionists who work from remote locations are known as virtual receptionists. If you are not familiar with the concept, then there's a high chance that you are already intrigued. After all, virtual receptionists are increasing by the year and the industry is now more competitive than ever. If you want to hire the best VR for your business, then it all starts with developing a solid understanding of the industry and how a virtual receptionist could help you.
What does a Telephone Answering Service Do?
First impressions are important, and this is especially the case in the world of business. A good receptionist will make sure that your customer's first and last experience is always spot-on. They will greet your customers properly, with an engagement that is both professional and courteous. If your customers were to have a bad experience with your receptionist then this could change the way that they feel about your entire company, and this is obviously something that you'd want to avoid.
A good receptionist will do way more than just meet and greet your customers. They will handle a huge range of other jobs as well, such as:
Handling incoming calls, redirecting existing calls and sending emails to the right departments.
- Answer basic or general enquires that relate to the business.
- Keep track of employee schedules and arrange appointments.
- Distribute job vacancies, appointments and other forms of data
There are over one million receptionists who currently work in the US. 46% work in the industry of healthcare and social assistance. It's a role that is necessary and popular, but not every business has the capabilities or financial resources available to employ one. That's where virtual receptionists come in.
What is an Answering Service?
The world of technology is rapidly expanding and evolving. This has helped businesses to adapt their working process. Business owners can now work much more efficiently and affordably, with a higher level of flexibility. A lot of people wonder how a position as crucial as a receptionist can be turned into a virtual role, after all, shouldn't a receptionist be based on-site?
The Role of a an Answering Service
When you look at business communication as a whole, you will soon see that the majority of it takes place over the phone, or through other modern forms of contact such as email. This ultimately means that you don't need to have a member of staff physically present in the building. It makes more sense to have a receptionist who is qualified, and who can work remotely. After all, when you hire a receptionist who can work remotely you can free up physical space in your business and you will have a much higher level of flexibility as well. The main reason for this is because you won't have to worry about providing them with a desk, office chair, telephone or any other equipment they might need to get the job done. As if that wasn't enough, they can also work even when your offices are shut for the night, if you were to hire a receptionist who operates in a different time zone.
Most importantly though, a virtual receptionist can take care of absolutely any duty that a standard receptionist can. In fact, sometimes they can provide you with additional services that you didn't even know you needed. Another benefit is that they can provide you with a service regardless of where in the world they are. The only thing that they need is an internet connection so that they can connect with your system.
The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Receptionist
Being able to have your phones manned by a virtual receptionist is a very exciting prospect to say the least. That being said, when you run a business you have to make sure that you are providing value in every decision you make. If there is going to be no pay-off, then you will be wasting your time, money and resources. So that brings about the million-dollar question, does a virtual receptionist actually offer any kind of pay-off? You'll be glad to know that the answer really is a resounding yes. There are so many benefits to hiring a virtual assistant and if you want to find out more about that, then just take a look below.
Hiring a receptionist is not cheap. A lot of businesses skip out on hiring a receptionist to try and save money. They choose to handle the incoming calls themselves or they leave it to the rest of their staff members. This adds an unnecessary amount of extra work and it also means that they will be responsible for far more than what's in their job description. As if that wasn't enough, you also have to worry about how they are taking the calls. Are they providing a consistent service? Are they greeting customers in the right way? Are they leaving them on hold for too long while they try and get their assigned duties done? Expecting your staff to handle your calls is a severe test of their resources and their time. It also means that they won't be able to spend as much time doing what they are best at as well. There is a solution to this though, and that is hiring a virtual receptionist. They will be able to keep your productivity high and they can also work with you to make sure that you are functioning at the highest level possible.
The average salary for a receptionist who works in the US is around $29,000. When you hire a virtual receptionist on the other hand, the cost is much lower. The cost is around $20 per month when you go through the Ivy Answering Service. There is no contract either, so when you compare the two you will soon find that it is possible for you to get all of the benefits without having to worry about hiring an in-house employee. You won't have to pay their 401K plan, the equipment they need to use, the maintenance of that equipment or even their sick pay. These costs soon mount up and over time, you may even find that they seriously hinder and impact your profits.
A Higher Level of Customer Service
A telephone answering service will provide you with a fantastic level of customer service, from start to finish. The best benefit that you will get when you hire a virtual receptionist is that they are trained to provide a fantastic service. They understand both your employees and your customers. They can also work with you to convey your brand ethos. Answering your company calls in an understanding and professional manner is crucial and when you hire a virtual receptionist from Ivy Answering Service, it's a given.
Running a business is a complicated endeavour, even when things are quiet. This complexity often leads to issues with organisation, but when you hire a virtual receptionist, you will soon find that they can minimise issues like this effectively. Your virtual receptionist is capable of taking much more than just your calls. They can schedule employee holidays, arrange appointments for your customers and also place orders for stationary.
One of the main headaches that employees have when hiring a receptionist in-house is trying to find someone who can cover them when they go on a lunch break. You may find that you have to appoint other team members to handle your calls and this can really affect your business. After all, they may not know how to deal with customers in a professional manner because it's not really the job that they signed up for. On top of this, your customers will be getting a service that is inconsistent as well. This is the last thing that you need, but when you hire a virtual receptionist, you will soon find that this is never a problem. If they are not available for any reason, or even at a certain time, then you can feel confident knowing that you have an entire pool of workers who are ready to take that slot.
One of the most obvious benefits of a telephone answering service is that they don't take up any physical space. A traditional receptionist will have to have a specialist area set up and as you probably know, renting space isn't cheap to say the least. To make things even more complicated, you won't be using every single square foot you are paying for. When you free up your receptionist space, you will have much more room to store your stock or you can even use the room to try and provide your team with a games area. Little things like this can really boost morale and it can also help your team to work much more efficiently as well.
Your workforce duties can add up and sometimes you may find that your team fall behind. This will lead to your team putting out a poor performance and this will really impact your customer experience, and this is the last thing that you need. When you have a virtual receptionist who can pitch in, your entire workforce will be able to achieve whatever they need, and your business will run like a well-oiled machine as a result.
Common Questions that Business Owners Ask About Virtual Receptionists
So as you can see, a call answering service can help you with just about anything you need and they can also give you a level of support that you never knew you needed. If you have a few questions about hiring a virtual receptionist from Ivy Answering Service, then take a look below.
What Happens to Phone Calls that are Made Out of Hours?
After-hours phone calls will be answered in your business name. A voicemail will then be recorded and sent to you via email so that you have a record whenever you're back in the office.
How Would A Receptionist Know what to Say?
You can login to the Ivy system and type in whatever greeting you would like our talented team of receptionists to say. Can my Answering Service Answer Questions regarding my Business?
Absolutely, simply enter the information you would like our receptionists to know so that they can provide the relevant information to your callers, if this is required.
How many Calls can my Receptionist Take?
At the end of the day, it is completely up to you how many calls your receptionist takes. We can set up diversions so that we only answer calls you can't, or we can take them as if we were in the office as one of your team members.
If you have any questions about our phone answering or virtual receptionist service then please get in touch with us today. Our team can then work with you to make sure that you are being given the service that you want, and at a very affordable price. We can also learn more about your business needs, while also helping you to find a solution that effectively meets them.