The Difference Between a Telephone Answering Service and a Virtual Receptionist Service
Are you planning to outsource your reception? If so, there are numerous reasons why this is a great path to take. Compared to hiring a staff member, it can help your business significantly reduce its expenses bill. It supplies flexibility and resourcefulness, and it can also save you a lot of time and effort – particularly if you’re currently operating as a sole trader.
On the surface, you might believe these two services are exactly the same. Yet there’s a significant difference between the two, and it’s essential you know what this is before moving ahead. The following quick guide will clear things up. If the call cannot be transferred, then just the same as a receptionist will do a message is taken about the call and sent to the relevant person or department.
Virtual receptionist service
As the name suggests, this service offers everything that an on-site receptionist would provide – except it’s all done virtually.
Ideal for organisations that operate from multiple sites, all your calls are managed in the same way as an in-house receptionist. This means your switchboard is fully managed, allowing for calls to be transferred to you or another colleague.
Simply put, any inbound calls for your business are received the same way by a virtual receptionist. They are dealt with as if a receptionist had picked up the phone and transferred the call, with no drop in quality, no inconvenience. The most significant difference is that the task is delivered at a fraction of the cost.
Telephone answering service
A telephone answering service can effectively complete every task that a virtual receptionist does. The difference, however, is in the name: they answer the calls. Rather than picking up the phone and transferring a call, an answering service will follow your instructions to handle incoming calls in an efficient, professional manner.
This type of service is ideal for any business with limited phone availability. Rather than miss out on business opportunities, every call can be answered. This ensures relationships with customers are not damaged, while it can also increase the chances of developing new leads.
Even if you or an employee is sitting by the phone, a constant stream of calls can quickly kill off productivity. By using a telephone answering service, you can cut out this inconvenience, allowing you to focus on more pressing matters as part of your company’s day-to-day operations.
Which service is best for you?
This is dependent on your situation. If you’re searching for an extension to your current reception team or for someone to fill the gaps during off-hours, holidays, and absences, then a virtual receptionist service can more than fit the bill. A telephone answering service can be a massive benefit if you operate a small business where finances and resources are stretched.
In essence, there is no right or wrong answer. Whether it’s a virtual receptionist or telephone answering service, both options can fit in perfectly for all business types, both big and small.