What Is A Virtual Receptionist, And Why Do I Need One?

Virtual receptionist in office holding up banner

As a business owner, you’re probably pretty busy. Don’t worry – we all are. You have a lot of plates to keep spinning, from keeping on top of your admin, going out and meeting new prospects and actually delivering work for your clients. All of this means there’s often not time to answer the phone every time it rings, especially if you’re in the middle of something when it happens.

But missed calls can very easily lead to missed business, so a lot of organisations are trying to find a way that calls can be answered at all times, even if they are too busy to do it personally. One of the most popular options available is a virtual receptionist service. But if you’ve never used one before, you might not know what exactly a virtual receptionist does, or why your business might benefit from using one. So, that’s what we’re here today to talk about.

What Is A Virtual Receptionist?

They are a receptionist, but virtual. That’s pretty much it. Not a hologram or anything fancy like that. They are simply a person who handles all of your receptionist duties remotely. They can pretty much do anything, from answering the phones, taking messages, handling enquiries, make bookings and more. They will often work by providing you with your own unique divert number that you divert your published numbers to and allows any incoming calls to be routed to their phone, instead of yours. They will then answer the phone as you, and handle the call as if they were a part of your business. Virtual receptionists are perfect for almost any business owner who has struggled to answer the phone when it rings. Lawyers, dentists, hairdressers and small businesses of all shapes and sizes have all benefited from having that extra person to take calls and handle all of those little details for them. So, now that we know what a virtual receptionist is, we can look at what hiring one can do for your business.

You Never Miss A Lead: As a growing business, you want to make sure you can capitalise on as many opportunities as you can, and that means never missing a phone call. According to Forbes, 80% of prospects who call and get sent to your voicemail will simply hang up, not leave a message and never bother calling you back. Instead, they end up going to your competitors. But while you might not be able to answer every call that comes in, a virtual receptionist can. They can ensure every lead is caught and dealt with promptly, improving your chances of growing the business quickly.

You Look Bigger Than You Are: Perception is important in the business world, and how other business owners and customers view you can play an important role in winning business. While some will happily embrace you being a one-man band or smaller business, others will want the feel of a larger, ‘safer’ organisation to work with. A virtual receptionist helps create the illusion of size – answering calls in the businesses name, being another voice for your business and creating another point of contact, giving customers the impression that your business is bigger than it might actually be.

You Can Present A Professional Image: Your image affects how customers think about your business. It’s an important tool for building trust with customers, which is why you need a consistent and professional image. But you might not have a professionally trained telephone manner, especially if it’s never been a main part of your job. But in an increasingly competitive marketplace, any edge you can get over the competition is a welcome bonus. Customers want to work with businesses they feel they can trust, who give them the same reliable experience time and time again – which is exactly what a virtual receptionist can give.

Save Money: If you’re trying to decide between hiring a receptionist to work for you full time and hiring a virtual receptionist, let us help you out. A virtual receptionist will cost your business a lot less than a permanent, physical one. The average salary for a receptionist in this country is around £17,000 a year – a big ask for a lot of business owners. But a virtual receptionist costs just a fraction of that, and delivers the same amazing service. It’s a no-brainer.

Give You The Gift Of Time: Last but certainly not least, a virtual receptionist gives you back some free time. Without spending hours answering calls, booking appointments and fielding issues, you can focus on managing operations, juggling tasks and, you know, doing your job well. Without worrying that you’re too busy to answer the phone.

At Verbatim, we do exactly this. We provide a fully managed and tailored virtual receptionist service to businesses of all shapes and sizes across the South, providing professional service and peace of mind. All of our call handlers are expertly trained, and because we get to know you and your business, we can handle your calls exactly the same way you would – keeping your business consistent and professional. To find out more, just get in touch with the team today.

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