Entrepreneurs often feel like they’re drowning in too many responsibilities.
From financial management to keeping customers happy, it’s a never-ending cycle that leaves you feeling both exhilarated and exhausted. Like many other overstretched entrepreneurs, you are trying to balance everything with your small team.
But it isn’t working; you need additional support.
A virtual receptionist can help take some of the load off. Here’s everything you need to know about virtual receptionists and how they can elevate your service-based business.
What is a virtual receptionist?
A virtual receptionist uses software to keep track of (and respond to) calls, messages, and other customer interactions. Virtual receptionists can also:
- Manage social media accounts
- Manage calendars, appointments, and emails
- Prepare reports
- Schedule appointments
How much does a virtual receptionist cost?
One of the best perks of hiring a virtual receptionist is that you only pay for the time you use, with hourly rates ranging from as low as $2 to as high as $30 per hour. According to Payscale, the average hourly wage for a virtual receptionist in the US is $16.44 per hour. To give you some context — the average base salary for a full-time receptionist in the US is $15.52, but that doesn’t include benefits such as health insurance, vacation leave, etc. Your total payout for a full-time receptionist will be more per year than the payout for a part-time receptionist.
How can virtual receptionists improve a business?
You’ll get the most out of your virtual receptionist when they’re aware of what’s happening in your business. The line of communication should consistently be open between them and your team. Bear this in mind as you read the list of benefits below.
Provide a great customer experience
Nearly 52% of consumers tell their friends and family not to buy from a brand because of a negative experience they’ve had. These negative experiences typically include waiting too long to be helped, dealing with an unpleasant representative, and never getting an issue resolved. Virtual receptionists reduce these pain points by putting the customer first. They ensure each customer who calls receives answers in a quick and efficient manner in order to help your business to thrive.
Virtual receptionists have extensive customer service experience. They know how to answer the phone with a smile and resolve customer concerns in the most efficient manner. Also, virtual receptionists know how to adjust their greetings and customer interactions to suit your brand’s style, thus helping your customers have great experiences that keep them coming back.
Transfer calls correctly
Virtual receptionists can help vet the quality of the leads that reach out to your business. This helps you save time and close more deals since you’ll only be speaking with leads who are most likely to become paying customers.
Also, experienced virtual receptionists use warm transfers to better handle customer complaints. With a warm transfer, customers don’t have to repeat the problem each time someone answers because the people they speak to make each other aware of the problem before transferring the call.
Gives you time back
A study shows that 40 percent of small business owners spend 1 to 3 hours per day talking on their phones and dealing with business-related issues. A virtual receptionist is able to handle all calls, only transferring when necessary. This gives you more time as a business owner and allows you to focus on running your business.
Which industries can benefit from a virtual receptionist?
As a business owner, your time is spread thin when trying to get your business off the ground. Because you don’t have the luxury of being a household name yet, it’s crucial that you give customers an authentic brand experience. With a virtual receptionist, you can be sure that a customer’s first interaction with your brand is a positive experience. On top of providing great customer experiences, virtual receptionists also handle administrative tasks such as managing calls and scheduling appointments, so you can focus on running your business.
Attorneys need time to focus on their cases to provide the best service. A virtual receptionist can handle the firm’s inquiring clients so attorneys can focus on current clients. You won’t have to feel pressured to answer each incoming call (or worse, miss calls) while also trying to give your existing clients the best service. Overall, you and your team will be more productive and better able to represent your clients in the boardroom or courtroom!
While the in-office staff handles current patients, virtual receptionists can handle incoming calls/inquiring prospects. Front desk staff typically take 8 to 12 minutes to deal with the signing in and appointment setting of patients in the office. Imagine you have 10 patients in one day; that’s 80 to 120 minutes lost. Other patients could be calling during that time with their calls going unanswered. With a virtual receptionist, calls can be rerouted if they go unanswered for a few minutes, thus covering what may have been lost during that time gap.
Some medical practices get over 20 calls per day from patients, with only a small percentage of those calls being related to pressing situations. A virtual receptionist can help you screen those calls and transfer them to the right people.
Spa owners can’t give clients the time they deserve while trying to handle inquiries from other patients. With a virtual receptionist, spa owners can give their undivided attention to clients for appointments knowing that the receptionist is handling other inquiries and setting future appointments.
This is particularly important for spa owners who’re running their spas solo. A virtual receptionist can help you streamline appointment setting, answering calls, and dealing with customer queries so that your day runs smoothly from one patient to the next.
Other Service-based Businesses
Beyond the businesses specified above, any type of service business can benefit from a virtual receptionist. Virtual receptionists give your business time back so you can focus on providing excellent service while receptionists continue to grow your business through outstanding customer service.
You have two choices when it comes to your business — keep yourself in a frenzy trying to manage administrative tasks or hire a virtual assistant who helps you save time and money. Option two will give you peace of mind and the freedom to grow your business. Learn more about how Smiledog virtual receptionists can elevate your business for enhanced customer experiences.