With many people working from home, the concept of a physical office is slowly dissolving.
But many job roles are tied to physical offices.
Think people in facility management, the cleaning crew and the receptionist who is the face–and voice–of your business.
The receptionist plays a bigger role than simply interacting with people entering an office. They answer inbound calls and direct them to the appropriate people and departments.
Without the vital receptionist resource, you won’t have time to do anything else but become a full-time call centre agent.
Your business will ultimately suffer.
The good news is you can still get a receptionist even though you may not have an office. In partnership with Alliance Virtual Offices, I’m discussing what a virtual receptionist is and the benefits this service can bring to your company.
Cue the virtual receptionist
Fundamentally, a virtual receptionist operates similarly to an in-person receptionist.
But they conduct receptionist services remotely and often in teams.
Beyond helping callers to get in contact with their end-user, they can also support in scheduling appointments and providing basic information like operating hours, office maps or upcoming events.
Benefits of a virtual receptionist
Most virtual receptionist operations come with a dedicated business number and a virtual phone system (to facilitate ease of call transfers).
That is a much more professional front than providing your mobile number on marketing materials.
If your business is call-heavy, a virtual receptionist can help you screen and filter calls and reduce the number of distractions at work. They can also ensure that every call is answered in your company name with a custom greeting.
And for those of us with busy schedules, the virtual receptionist schedules meetings and appointments straight into your calendar based on your real-time preferences and availability.
How much do virtual receptionists cost?
Alliance Virtual Offices has affordable Live Receptionist plans starting at only $95 per month.
That plan comes with 50 live answering minutes and a dedicated business phone number. You can upgrade your plan to include custom recordings and scheduling services.
The Pros and Cons of a Virtual Receptionist
Virtual receptionists answer customer calls Monday through Saturday. Customer calls are always answered by someone. Staff absences, vacations, or local infrastructure issues have no impact on your caller experience
You won’t have to pay sick pay, holiday pay, or a pension for a receptionist, lowering your employee overhead costs significantly. Most providers provide a “pay as you go” option, in which you only pay for the minutes you utilize the virtual receptionist. But this can add up.
Alliance provides transparent pricing that comes with a monthly flat fee with a flat number of call minutes, making your plan as straightforward as possible.
By filtering out all but the most important calls to your team, a virtual receptionist saves you and your team time. Because your team isn’t swamped with spam calls, they can respond quickly when a genuine request comes in from the virtual receptionist desk.
Detached from daily operations
Your virtual receptionist has no idea if you are on annual leave or serving quarantine notice unless these updates are shared with them in a timely manner.
Who should use a virtual receptionist?
If your business has medium call volumes (100 calls a month), a virtual receptionist would be a great fit for you. But any business can benefit from the streamlined day-to-day workflow that a virtual receptionist can provide.
Consider a virtual receptionist if you want to provide a professional image to your customers and not be encumbered by a daily high call volume.