Four Ways a Virtual Receptionist Frees Up Your Schedule
This post was originally published here and has been reposted with permission.
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Virtual receptionist services may offer the unexpected solution to the problem of running your business remotely while still offering an exceptional customer service experience.
When the world shifted to remote work in 2020, it forced small business owners to pivot and devise new ways of communicating.
Because, no matter what—global pandemics, regional lockdowns, civil unrest—customers still expect businesses to be available and reachable.
While this assumption of around-the-clock service and easy communication could be seen as an obstacle, virtual receptionist services provide an efficient and affordable solution.
A virtual receptionist, also known as a live receptionist, is a real person who works remotely answering incoming calls or chats, sending messages, making outbound calls and scheduling appointments.
Here are a few other tasks and responsibilities a virtual receptionist can cover:
• Resolving customer queries
• Customer support
• Following up with leads
These administrative professionals are trained to understand how your business works, offering you freedom and flexibility, not to mention peace of mind knowing your customers are well-served even if you aren’t in the office.
Here are four important ways virtual receptionists free up your schedule so you can run your business better.
Virtual receptionist services eliminate interruptions allowing you to focus on your business
In any economic climate, good customer service is important. But if you’re running ragged from doing it all how can you be at your best?
Small business owners wear many hats, but handling administrative details doesn’t have to be one of them. An easy way to free up more time to focus on running your business is allowing a virtual receptionist to act as a gatekeeper and protect you from unnecessary interruptions.
Removing avoidable tasks from your plate allows you and your employees to work on business-building activities, which will maximize your time while still serving your customers.
Never miss a lead, even when you’re not in the office
Sure, some situations require your immediate attention, but many if not most do not. Whether you’re out with a client or away on vacation, a virtual receptionist ensures your inquiries are handled in real time, responding to messages and incoming leads so you don’t have to.
You can also trust your virtual receptionist will act as an effective screener, sending through only the most important calls and emails.
Knowing your administrative needs are covered, you can relax and focus on whatever it is most pressing. Removing the stress of wondering if you’ll miss an important call not only frees your mind but it will allow you to be present and engaged on the business at hand.
Handle incoming inquiries 24/7
While there is a place for automated responses, chatbots and answering machines, calling a local business and speaking with a real, live person can be a big relief for a customer.
A good virtual receptionist makes sure inquiries are answered and handled well. Because they’re trained to understand your business, they’re prepared to give accurate information and provide excellent customer service.
While there is a lot of grace for the communication hurdles many businesses are facing, answering questions and being available is one of the easiest ways to set your business apart and make a positive impression on your customers.
Maintain a professional, consistent experience across all channels
There are many ways a customer may choose to reach out and contact your business and a virtual receptionist can cover all of these channels, maintaining a consistent experience. Being reachable and responsive reinforces your professionalism and signals your trustworthiness to customers.
While it’s easy to assume people will look something up online before contacting you, many customers prefer reaching out directly with their inquiries so it’s important to answer these simple requests as soon as possible.
No matter if it’s a social media message, an incoming phone call or a website chat support request, virtual receptionist services provide valuable administrative backup while streamlining communications.
There are many reasons small business owners choose to outsource tasks. A virtual receptionist ensures incoming requests from customers are handled at any time of day, with accuracy and empathy. This allows you to focus your attention on your biggest business building activities while trusting your customers are well taken care of, even when you can’t be in the office.