From professional answerphone solutions to specific landlines and phone extensions, a virtual receptionist service can help retain valuable customer leads. Here's the expert guide from eReceptionist.
Ever lost out on a job because you couldn’t answer your phone in time, or were on holiday and had everything switched off? For many sole traders and small businesses, a receptionist would be great, but hiring one simply isn’t feasible. Now that virtual receptionists are on the increase though – could technology do the hard work for you, pointing customers and callers to the right place, at the right time?
Rory Whelan, marketing manager at eReceptionist explains the benefits:
From the start of the telephone age, large businesses have enjoyed the benefits of internal switchboards. Usually when you call one of these large companies you’re either answered by a receptionist or given a list of options for how to direct your call. And that’s always been an advantage for bigger companies – the call is directed to where it should go, saving lost calls (and lost revenue).
But it’s also good customer service. A j2 Global® survey has shown that 59% of new customers will not leave a voicemail if the call isn’t answered. When customers (or potential customers) call, they expect to speak to someone (especially having chosen to call instead of using email or social media). Big businesses know that answering calls is critical to productive engagement.
This is great for larger businesses, but what about the sole trader relying on their mobile phone or a small/medium-sized business? When first starting out, most businesses find connecting with customers easy but as the business grows, the call volumes increase and service levels tend to suffer.
That’s where a virtual receptionist service such as eReceptionist can help retain great customer service. A virtual receptionist service allows your calls to be answered and routed using the cloud, so that your customer gets answered and your business gets the opportunity.
Because the latest generation of virtual receptionist products give you control over when and how your calls are answered and routed; you can have a greater degree of confidence in calls reaching the right person, at the right time. Essentially, a virtual receptionist works in exactly the same way a traditional office-based receptionist or switchboard operator works – taking a call and trying to connect it with the right person or department.
Based on the way your business works, a virtual receptionist will try all the numbers associated with a person or department. If it doesn’t reach you on your desk phone, it’ll try you on the mobile. If you are not available – in a meeting or away on holiday, it’ll transfer an incoming call to a colleague. The call will keep being transferred until your customer gets an answer.
A system such as eReceptionist offers all the benefits of a real life receptionist or an expensive big box PBX system (a Private Branch Exchange, used by companies as a private telephone network), but at a fraction of the cost. All your calls get a professional answer and are routed to where they need to go. There’s no additional hardware or software to be installed or support. All you need is a phone line and that includes the mobile in your pocket. You don’t need lots of technical skills either – a virtual receptionist can be set up in five minutes.
A good cloud-based virtual receptionist service is built to tackle the areas you need help with, configured to work around all aspects of your business.
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