Virtual Receptionist Services Are Running Rings Around the Telephone!
Virtual receptionist services are services that have become very popular as technology has grown through the years. This is usually a 24/7 answering service available to pick up customer calls during hours when a business is closed. It is especially helpful to small businesses or businesses just staring out, as they will never miss an all-important call that could cost them a sale or a new client. Virtual receptionist services are available at all times to answer customer’s questions and help with complaints. Customers and clients are appreciative of the fact that there is a live receptionist who answers the phone every time they call. This increase in customer satisfaction speaks volumes for the company, especially when the virtual receptionist demonstrates a courteous and caring demeanor. A live operator answering service will always go over well with customers who don’t want to wait until tomorrow.
Virtual receptionist services have become extremely popular because of the high volume of calls they can handle round the clock at a fraction of what it would cost to hire someone to do the same job. It is estimated that approximately 45% of customers will decide against purchasing a product online if their questions are not quickly answered. Up to 59% of customers would rather purchase their product or service from another company than to deal with a negative customer service experience. Another 55% of customers asked said that they would pay a higher price for a positive experience with customer service. And everyone would much rather reach a live phone answering service when they call a company for assistance.
Approximately 24,467 people work for the 1,107 telecommunications businesses that are located in the United States. By employing virtual receptionist services, businesses provide a strong first impression when customers call and are able to reach an after hours answering service acknowledged by a live receptionist. There are some virtual receptionist services that will even take orders, schedule appointments, and provide a free starting quote for the customer. In some locations the service will provide not only a live phone answering service but email and texting services as well.
The cost of virtual receptionist services varies according to the type of service the client needs. A 24 hour answering service offers several levels of service to perspective clients. Some will charge by the minute, and some will charge a monthly fee in addition to the minute-by-minute charge. Once the client decides which level of service will suit his or her needs best, they will be charged accordingly. They can choose a voicemail option or a live answering service. Prices for each will vary.
In addition to answering questions and addressing customer concerns, clients can choose to have the virtual assistant transfer calls to the appropriate employee. There are services that will offer a live operator to handle more complex customer calls, above and beyond the typical questions and answers. Another level of service allows the receptionist to make outbound calls, making sales appointments and handling other functions normally done by traditional receptionists.
Some of the clients who rely on virtual receptionist services are small businesses who cannot yet afford to hire someone to do receptionist work in the office, health care providers who need virtual receptionists to transfer calls and send messages, and contractors who are out of the office a good part of their day.
A feature that many of virtual receptionist services now offer is the availability of bilingual operators. Calls can be taken in Spanish and French, and interpretation of dozens of additional languages is also now offered by some virtual services. Some companies offer unique services such as live web chat for questions picked up through mobile channels or the web, and a full call center that deals with not only day to day customer service, but also handles disaster recovery. Answering the phone has come a long, long way! Good references. For more information see this.