What Is a Virtual Receptionist and What Value Can They Add to Your Team?

In this digital age of websites, chatbots, and contact forms, most people still value personal, human connections. Speaking to a real live personal representative is infinitely preferable to navigating endless phone loops or bantering with nonsensical chatbots.

And yet, as accommodating as we may try to be to current and potential clients, we still can only do so much. We can’t answer the phones ourselves and keep all our plates spinning. And even if we can afford to hire a live receptionist to answer the phones, we can’t keep our employees at their desks 24 hours a day, can we?

Fortunately, there’s hope. A professional virtual receptionist can bring an increased human connection to your customers and clients, with the added benefit of picking up some of the slack for you and your team.

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What Is a Virtual Receptionist?

Answering the question “What is a virtual receptionist?” is simple. As the title indicates, virtual receptionists work off site—whether from home or from a call center.

The primary tasks of a virtual receptionist include:

  • Answering phones
  • Taking messages
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Responding to questions
  • Handling other procedural or administrative tasks

What is a virtual receptionist? They could very well be the answer to your staffing issues.

3 Benefits of Choosing a Virtual Receptionist

Because a virtual receptionist’s work is done remotely, you’re freed to focus on daily tasks that can only be addressed onsite.

And that’s not all. Virtual receptionists come with added benefits.

Benefit 1: Easy Position to Fill

For many business owners, a virtual receptionist is actually one of their first hires. Bringing a virtual receptionist onboard gives business owners the freedom to focus on the parts of their job that require their attention and unique expertise.

Whether you have never had a traditional receptionist before or are simply between receptionists, choosing a virtual receptionist as your next hire allows you to open the position to any experienced candidate. You are no longer tied to a limited pool of local options.

This approach expands your search and gives you more options to choose from.

Benefit 2: A More Cost-effective Option

In most cases, virtual assistants cost less to employ than full-time receptionists. Many are also based overseas in a virtual office, further bringing down the cost to you, since the value of the American dollar is currently at a 20-year high against other global currencies.

Without the need for extra office space or longer business hours, you can now make sure each incoming call from a potential client is answered. You’ll never miss an important call again or lose out on an opportunity to grow your small business.

Some people may be wary of hiring an overseas virtual receptionist, fearing difficulties with communication and expertise. However, many international virtual assistants are not only fluent in English but are also experienced in specific industries such as healthcare or marketing and exhibit high levels of professionalism.

Benefit 3: Extended Office Hours

If people learn about your services through an online search, it’s highly likely that one of their next steps will be to call you. In fact, 70% of mobile searchers use the “click to call” button to contact a business. Many consumers would rather talk to a real person and get their questions answered quickly than toggle through a website searching for specific details that may or may not even be offered online.

This is a huge benefit virtual receptionists can offer. They can answer calls outside your own working hours, providing greater coverage and service for current and potential customers.

And this matters more than you might think.

People who work full-time jobs themselves are more likely to call your business when they’re off work—which means weekends and evenings when your staff is out of the office.

Even today’s tech-savvy consumers are more likely to want to make a phone call and talk to a real, human person rather than read online or fill out an online contact form.

The reason? Most people are now working from smartphones with tiny screens.

Calls to businesses have significantly increased in response to the mass adoption of mobile phones. Filling out a form on a five-inch screen is a much clunkier experience than calling a business directly from a search result or a Facebook ad. (Harvard Business Review)

For the most part, people calling businesses directly are looking to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Confirm hours of operation
  • Schedule appointments or make a reservation
  • Inquire about the availability of specific items or services
  • Ask about pricing options
  • Check for deals
  • Confirm location or get directions

Having someone available to answer these questions increases your chances of accommodating new customers or clients exponentially. With an improved customer experience, you increase customer loyalty and ensure they’ll turn to you again and again.

Different Types of Virtual Receptionists

When it comes to virtual receptionists, you have options. Depending on your needs, one or the other may be a better fit.

AI Virtual Receptionists

AI virtual receptionists provide digital answering services. They’re widely available and generally less expensive than both in-person receptionists and offsite, embodied virtual receptionists.

On the plus side, because AI virtual receptionists are not human beings, they are not bound by the same limitations people are. They can answer the phones 24/7 without taking breaks, and they can provide a wide array of automated services with acceptable accuracy.

An obvious downside to AI virtual receptionists, however, is that they can only help in narrow, specific ways. While they can answer basic questions, they’re not able to handle complex questions or—importantly—provide the human touch so many people value.

Live Virtual Receptionists

An offsite live, virtual receptionist can provide the same services that an AI virtual receptionist can—and then some. More than just an answering service they are a virtual assistant who can take each customer call, answer questions, make appointments, and fulfill requests. They can answer more complicated questions and provide real, human connections and better customer service.

While the services of a live virtual receptionist generally cost a bit more, many consider them well worth the investment.

My Mountain Mover Virtual Receptionists: Experience the Difference

Here at My Mountain Mover, we can provide you with well-trained and experienced remote receptionists.

All our receptionists—from our medical receptionists to virtual receptionists who specialize in sales, business, or e-commerce—are ready to come alongside and support you in your endeavors.To hear more about how My Mountain Mover’s virtual receptionist service can provide your clientele with the much-needed human touch, please feel free to contact us today. We look forward to connecting with you.

Fortunately, that’s where a social media virtual assistant from My Mountain Mover can come in.

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