A virtual receptionist does a lot of positive things for your business. They are less expensive than full-time employees, they save you time from having to answer phone calls yourself, and the good ones can even identify trends and patterns from your call data. But we’re not here to discuss those factors today.
While opinions vary, it is our stance that there are two factors that stand head and shoulders above the rest. The first advantage to having a virtual receptionist is the ability to be available to customers 24/7, even if you aren’t open. The second virtual reception advantage is the consistent professional presence on your front line. Let’s explore what makes these advantages crucial to your small business.
24/7 availability with virtual reception
The best way to illustrate the value of 24/7 availability is through a scenario we’ll play out below:
Let’s say you’re an electrician; you may be a single person operation or have a small crew – it doesn’t matter. It’s 6:30 pm on a Tuesday and you just sat down for dinner with the family. A customer calls looking for assistance, but you know that quality time with family has no substitute, so you let it ring. You call back after dinner is over and the dishes have been cleared away. Unfortunately, the caller has already found another electrician. In all likelihood, they moved on to the next option as soon as they hung up. Even existing customers aren’t willing to wait it out these days, a study conducted by Super Office shows, customers expect a response within 60 minutes.
To really simplify it, a missed call is a missed opportunity. Each call you miss is a potential customer walking past the door and to a competitor. You might be thinking “I don’t have a family to worry about – I've got my phone with me all the time – I never miss a call, take a hike virtual receptionist!”. However, answering your own calls has difficulties as well.
Professionalism with virtual reception
When your personal cell phone doubles as your work phone you lose the professional, consistent response every business needs. The experience your customers have on the phone sets the tone for your business.
Answering the phone like it’s a casual encounter with a friend simply saying “hello!” isn’t going to cut it. Customers need to know they’ve reached the right person without having to ask. A professional response also lets customers know that you’re the real deal, not some guy working out of his mom’s basement (even if you are!!). Not every business can afford to have a professionally trained receptionist working around the clock, in fact, most can’t - which is why a virtual receptionist helps even the playing field for all small business.
When customers call, they should be greeted the same way they would if they were calling a multi-million-dollar business. After all, first impressions do matter.
If that isn’t enough, a MarketingLand study found that 74% of customers are likely or very likely to switch to a competitor after a poor phone experience, and a further 30% will actively complain about it on social media – ouch!
Recap virtual reception benefits
A virtual reception service gives you around the clock availability, it gives you a fighting chance against the “big guys” and it helps keep your company clear of social media rampages.
If you’re tired of missing calls and losing customers to competitors, get in touch with us. Our solutions experts get you up and running in no time so you can enjoy time off without having to worry about the next call. For more information on our pricing and packages please visit our website. Our team of highly trained virtual receptionists have a secret weapon that continually results in “wow” reactions from customers, check out our recent featured blog to see what’s making the difference.