Like most companies, your business is probably starting out small. This can be a detriment when you’re pitching prospects who want to know they can trust your product as much as they can trust your brand before committing to the sale. If you look small, it’s going to be difficult to get potential customers to drink your kool-aid.
One of the easiest ways for any small business to look big is to have a receptionist answering and screening calls. Think about it. If you call a company and the owner answers the phone, that company has 100% succeeded in looking small. If you call the same company and a receptionist answers to screen the call, that’s big business style. Now, most small businesses don’t have the resources to hire a receptionist. It’s just not cost effective unless that receptionist is wearing a few other hats. Lucky for you, virtual receptionists can perform the same functions as an in-house receptionist for a more affordable cost. You look big. You save money. You win! Here are 5 tips on how to setup your personal virtual receptionist service to make you look large and in charge.
Where your normal in-house receptionist might not be able to answer every single call that comes in, a team of virtual receptionists can. And, with a virtual receptionist service, you get more than one agent answering your calls at any given time, which means your callers won’t be re-routed to voicemail, a busy signal, or have to sit for 5 minutes on hold. No matter when your customers call up your business, a professional receptionist will be there to help answer questions, take messages or transfer calls accordingly.
Depending on the types of calls your business most often receives, you can also set up custom protocols that closely match your in-house procedures. For example, prospective sales calls can be transferred to your top sales team members, upset or frustrated callers can be transferred to your customer support team, and requests to speak with specific people can be routed accordingly.
If your virtual receptionist is set up to try and transfer every phone call, chances are not all of them will result in a connection. Instead of having your agents get creative and come up with different responses each time a connection doesn’t go through, implement standard responses. That way no matter who is handling the call, the response is always the same. Here are some of the replies we recommend:
Pro tip: If you’ll be using your virtual receptionist 24/7, you may also want to consider creating different scripts to be used during business hours and after hours. If you set up the same response to be used around the clock, it won’t make sense to tell callers that “Mrs. Jackson is in a meeting right now” at midnight.
Aside from answering calls and greeting customers, receptionists are also great at answering questions on the behalf of the company. While a virtual receptionist won’t be able to greet any customers who walk through your doors, they can certainly help answer any questions callers may have, which means less follow-up you and your in-house staff have to worry about. All virtual receptionist services should be equipped with standard FAQs like where your business is located, your hours of operation, the services that are provided and the costs of said services. However, it’s also helpful to include more advanced information for questions that will undoubtedly come up. Depending on the type of business you run your questions will differ, but here are a few examples to start:
If your virtual receptionist account is set up to transfer all calls, you’ll want to make sure you have a back up plan in case you or other team members are not available. Instead of trying the line once and letting the caller know no one is available, implement a protocol in which the receptionist asks the caller if they’d prefer to be transferred to another team member. That way your callers have the option to either leave their message for a return call, or they can speak with someone else and get assistance quicker than having to wait for a call back.
If your aim is to setup a personal virtual receptionist service, then you have to allow your agents the freedom to stray away from the status quo of a standard, dry, virtual receptionist experience. Here are some ways you can personalize your customers’ experience: