Technology is everywhere. I just say my 14 year old daughter’s science project online, quiz grades, homework incompletes and all. I will deal with that B+ later. Now, I am the last person to suggest some high tech solution to improve your life or business and by using the word “virtual” my mind shuts down and spins off into a sci-fi wormhole. If you are “tech” challenged like me, allow me to explain. “Virtual” as defined by Merriam-Webster, “Having the essence or effect but not the physical appearance or form of; very close to being something without actually being it”.
Let’s say you have just opened your doors for business and the phone is ringing off the hook – you hope. Whether you are medical office, law firm, property management office or a real estate agent your best work is done while personally assisting your patients, clients or tenants not by being your businesses or practice’s secretary.
With the growth of small businesses on the rise the focus should be how to ensure these small businesses are still operating in 5-10 years from today. Enter my friend technology, but not what you think. Here are four reasons why a virtual receptionist makes sense. Cost, ease of transfer, training staff only once and a voice of professionalism; Get a receptionist, a virtual one.
1 - COST
Let’s get to the point! Consider the cost for one employee’s health care benefits which an employer can expect to pay 83% of those premiums and that employees hourly wage, paid sick days (in some states) and paid vacation (in most states). You got a number in your head? Now factor in the cost of managing that awesome employee and supplying office space; it becomes clear that whenever possible a virtual receptionist may be the answer.
2 - EASE OF TRANSFER
When you get into the office and before you start returning calls from last night, hit *72 or #83 or whatever it takes to “forward” your lines. You do this with the knowledge that your trained virtual receptionist is ready to pick up any business call. Some phone providers make it easier than that. You can set up auto-forwarding with many providers. If you are running late to the office, this feature takes the pressure of manually forwarding off the table. Slow down and get that morning cup of coffee that you deserve. Your phones and your business are in good hands.
3 - TRAIN ONCE
That wonderful receptionist you hired has found another job in her field of passion. Well, back to the classifieds or maybe not. With a virtual receptionist there is no need for re-hiring or re-training. If your receptionist is sick and a temp comes in, your morning may be spent showing him or her around your phone system and office protocols; not with a virtual receptionist. Get a call center that understands your business and you will have an entire staff that can “speak“ your language and take sick days out of the equation.
4 - VOICE OF PROFESSIONALISM
Running your business should not include you answering every call. Now, don’t get me wrong – you are the face of the company, but you don’t have to be the “voice” of the company. A knowledgeable and friendly voice on the phone goes a long way to putting the caller at ease. A virtual receptionist gives you that professional polish that most people come to expect when they call a business. Remember, when someone calls your business they may not know your staff size or office square footage, but they do recognize professionalism. In a kind voice ready to assist them.
Go Virtual and get growing.