What is a virtual receptionist? A virtual receptionist is someone, officially trained in customer service skills and phone etiquette, who answers your call for you from your office or home. They answer calls from your business name, deliver information, move callers to voicemail, check messages, and forward calls per your instructions. They do all these and more! They can be reached twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, and 365 days per year.
Many businesses are turning to virtual receptionist for a variety of reasons. Some businesses are growing and need to hire more staff and virtual receptionists allow them to outsource the work to lower-paying temporary workers without losing valuable time doing contract work or hiring in-house temps. Other businesses, however, cannot afford or don’t have time to train their own call center employees in how to handle calls, so they outsource the work to a virtual receptionist company. Still others simply don’t want to spend the money on permanent employees and can outsource the work via remote controls from the office.
There are many legitimate uses for a virtual receptionist service. Smaller businesses that need an answering service can use one of the many virtual answering services that offer call answering, as well as other services such as text message answering, voicemail answering, email answering, or just getting help answering calls. For larger businesses, like restaurants or offices, they often outsource their customer service departments to outsourced answering companies, since this is usually what they deal in anyway. But a virtual receptionist service can be a useful addition to any business if used properly.
The most common way that businesses use virtual receptionists is to simply outsource the phone answering to a company that offers it. There are a number of reasons that this might make sense. For instance, smaller businesses with less than twenty employees might not have time to hire a fulltime receptionist, but hiring a service with many different answering options can cut down on the number of full-time employees necessary.