Both Virtual receptionists and telephone answering services are used by companies to help them get the customer support they need. These are two entities that are geared to answer questions that your customers ask and help deliver better customer service on your behalf.
However cost savings are a priority for most businesses, and could save thousands by using a virtual telephone answering service.
Virtual Receptionists and Telephone Answering Services are Different from a Receptionist.
The terms used by each of these services are quite different. On a fundamental level, however, telephone answering services and virtual receptionists are very similar to each other. They help your customers find out more about your business and help address their needs. Some telephone answering services offer both services.
Your receptionists also give you the great benefits that both services give you but they add to your costs greatly. For instance, in-house receptionists may need to be trained. You also have the added cost of holiday pay not to mention sick pay. There is no such requirement for virtual receptionists or telephone answering services. Both services offer similar kinds of support, regardless of the one you choose. Some telephone answering services offer a virtual reception as well.
You’re a Business and Need to Reduce Costs
Training an in-house receptionist may cost your business a sum that may not be feasible . According to a survey by PayScale, the average pay for a receptionist as of June 2018 is a whopping £16,060 per year. This translates to about roughly £7.50/hour. Ask yourself, are you willing to pay that much to have a full-time receptionist for your business?
From a cost standpoint, it seems inevitable that a virtual telephone answering service is the way to go. You can even utilise them for managing your diary. They can answer queries and schedule appointments for you.
Appreciation from Customers, with a “No Corners Cut” Telephone Answering Service
Your customers will also be able to appreciate having their concerns addressed when they call instead of being met with an automated message telling them to leave a voicemail. With the help of telephone answering service, you can be sure your customers calls will be answered and queries addressed.
Word of mouth and social media are powerful reckoning forces these days. When one customer is incredibly satisfied with how professionally your business handles their concerns, they are sure to spread the word. That allows your business to be visible to more people from your target market, increasing your chances of sales
Virtual Receptionists Embedded in a Telephone Answering Service Save Time
The lines between a virtual receptionist and a telephone answering services are blurred as there are many companies that provide both services. Telephone answering with the embedded services of a virtual receptionist can handle whatever your highly paid, resource intensive in-house receptionist can handle, and then some. For example, become your virtual switchboard and transfer calls to the relevant department or person, set and schedule appointments with customers and remind you and your customers about those appointments.
They are also very capable of offering help desk support and technical assistance. They can take sales orders for your company and answer your customers’ queries, even if they are technical in nature.
Telephone answering services usually screen your calls. They take messages from routine calls and tell your staff about urgent matters that need to be attended to. This allows you to get more work done in your business. Customers will also appreciate a responsive telephone answering service too.
They can take messages for you to respond to later if the call is not urgent or redirect the calls that are urgent to the appropriate department or person in your business just like a switchboard.
Less Workplace Distractions and Interruptions
There are a lot of distractions in the workplace that cause efficiency to drop significantly. The task at hand that was rudely interrupted by a supposed “urgent” phone call was probably more important. There is a certain momentum that develops when you start to do office work and that momentum is broken every time the phone rings. It can take 23 minutes or more to re-focus on your task after a distracting phone call
That is not to say that a phone ringing is the only distraction in a workplace, but it is one of the most common. An in-house receptionist will be subject to this interruption in the workplace and it will cause them to lose efficiency. However, when you have a telephone answering service with virtual assistant capabilities, you can minimise these distractions.
Minimising the distractions of phone calls is possible by having a reliable and trustworthy telephone answering service such as Telephone Answering by your side. They will help cut distractions and the costly mistakes that happen as a result.
Return Your Calls in Batches
The human mind is designed in a way to be able to focus intensively for short periods of time. This time usually occurs in the workplace when your employees are at their peak and so are you. It’s when you and your employees can intensively focus making better decisions in the process.
Your telephone answering service will make sure your callers understand that you will call them back when you are available so you can make the calls in a batch when your focus is at your peak without distractions. This way, you proceed from one call to the next with ease and stand a greater chance of closing the leads or answering the query without having to search around for the information.
Updating Your Database
You may have heard about big data. Big Data can tell you about specific preferences of an individual, so that products are marketed to them better. This is very important but the data that your receptionist gathers is needed in much the same way, but you can save time and money with a telephone answering service collecting and entering that data on your CRM.
This is incredibly convenient and if required schedule call backs to customers in your diary or CRM. This is much more efficient and cost effective than just having in-house receptionist managing the same for you. You can attach a friendly yet professional tone to your business with the telephone answering service as well.
The Take-Away: The Benefits of Answering Service Over an In-house Receptionist
To recap, you don’t have to pay the salary of a receptionist to be in your office taking calls, setting appointments, answering and scheduling calls. You can get started with a telephone answering service for a fraction of the amount that you pay for an in-house receptionist. The answering service can double as a virtual receptionist for you as well if they offer this type of service. Most telephone answering services don’t but telephone -answering.biz do.
Plus, you don’t need to worry about training individuals to take calls and schedule appointments or review their performance to adjust their method till they perfect it. You also don’t have to worry about time lost on holidays or sickness by the receptionist. With a telephone answering service, you can have customer support to ensure your business is answering customers’ questions. Plus, with all the technology at the call centres’ disposal, you need not invest in a dedicated telephone infrastructure.