5 Ways to Handle a Virtual Receptionist in a Small Business

If you are just starting out with a new business, it is most likely pretty small. Maybe you are the only person who answers the phone, responds to emails, and coordinates logistics. This can make doing the more important “big picture” work a lot more difficult.

This article will discuss how a virtual answering service, also known as a virtual receptionist, can help you manage your business more efficiently. Since it is one of the easiest ways to make your small business look big, having a virtual receptionist means that you, the owner, won’t need to be picking up every call. Rather, you’ll be doing more important things: big business style!

Screen Your Calls

One of the main benefits of having a virtual receptionist is having the ability to screen calls as they come in and transfer them if needed. Sometimes you’ll just get curious individuals, calling to talk your ear off for 30 minutes with no intention of buying a product from you or requesting your service. You can avoid calls like these while simultaneously making sure that the important ones don’t fall through the cracks.

Your important customers won’t be re-routed to a voicemail or have to sit on hold, but instead will be greeted by a professional-sounding receptionist that understands you and your business’s needs because you set it up! Setting up your phone answering service in this way means that no calls will go unnoticed if they are important.

Keep Response Protocols

In order to avoid having missed connections, you’ll want to set up your answering service so that there is a specific directive for every type of inquiry. This may take some time to set up, but once you have it dialed in, you will thank yourself later. This is so that when potential customers call, you will have a response that is always the same for each specific inquiry.

For example, for a complaint, you can route the call to customer support. For potential sales, route the call to your top salesman, which might end up being you!

Equip Your Answer Team

Whether you are using a full-on, in-person team that works remotely to answer your calls or an entirely virtual answering system, make sure that you equip whichever system you are using with all the basic information about your business. This will help more than 75% of callers at the end of the day, where they might have their questions answered without even needing to speak to a business employee.

Depending on the type of business or services you offer, your FAQs could range anywhere from insurance to appointments. A quick guide for your receptionists will help them tremendously as they work to be the front lines of you and your company.

Have Backup if Not Available

In the case where you are unable to connect with your customer, your virtual assistant should have a backup plan to keep them on the line. If you or a team member are not able to answer the phone, this could impact the success of your business if you don’t have a way to help the customer every time they call.

Give your callers the option to leave a voicemail or speak with someone else, that way they can leave the call knowing that someone will return their call or answer their question. Always give the customer a clear and precise answer and good directions.

Give Your VR’s Freedom

At the end of the day, having a virtual assistant is just another way to give your business both a hands-on and hands-off feel at the same time. Since you will be working with professionals that know how to handle a phone, give them a bit of wiggle room when it comes down to the grey areas. This way, you can personalize your customers’ experience.

For example, you can remove automation completely, so that there is always a human answering the phone, or implement personalized greetings so that your callers will think that they have reached your business more directly.

In conclusion, remember that the best way to up your phone game in the small business world is to make things more personal and helpful. This will certainly make you and your customers happy for years to come.

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