So, you’ve decided to hire a virtual receptionist service. Good call: as we’ve reported, “Now more than ever, companies are switching from in-house receptionists to virtual answering services. Since virtual receptionists are 1/10th the cost of a traditional in-house receptionist, it makes sense to outsource your calls and scheduling.”
But how do you decide on a service? There are a lot of factors to think about when considering different virtual reception services. However, if you narrow your focus and find a service that embodies crucial customer service traits, your search will get much easier.
While you are shopping around, here are the 3 traits that are essential for a virtual receptionist and the questions you need to ask to find the best fit for you.
Your virtual receptionist needs to be friendly, as they are the first line of contact for potential clients.
It’s commonly reported that you only have 7 seconds to make a first impression, but that only applies to meeting someone in person. When interacting over the phone, you only have your voice to rely on. Your potential customers will be making a fast impression of your company based on the first few moments of conversation with a virtual receptionist, so every word needs to count. Your virtual receptionist needs to be enthusiastic, polite, and helpful. In our recent article about creating a customer experience, we explained that “Word choice alone has an enormous impact on the success of any given interaction…using positive, action-driven language will make all the difference.”
The question to ask: Can I listen to a test call?
The best way to find out if a service will fit your business needs is to put yourself in a client’s point of view. Find out how your potential clients will get treated by “shopping” each service you’re interested in.
Your virtual receptionist needs to understand your business inside and out. A lot of answering services have generic receptionists for all clients. However, those receptionists aren’t trained in specific industries. You should look for virtual receptionists who are trained in verticalized teams in specific industries. That way, you can be sure your customers are getting all of the information they need. Services should provide this information when you’re asking questions about signing up.
The question to ask: Does your service have experience in my industry? Ask for concrete examples of different clients in your industry. Some information will certainly be confidential, but the company should be able to explain the process they use for different clients in your industry.
The whole point of a virtual receptionist service is so you can enjoy life outside the office. You’d be surprised to learn that many answering services only cover regular business hours, or stop answering the phone at 6. At that point, you might as well keep answering the phone yourself!
Using a virtual receptionist service is an excellent way to stay on top of leads, follow up with new clients, and make sure your customers can reach you at any time. Look for a VR service that is available 24/7/365, to make sure you never miss another lead.
The question to ask: What’s your service coverage? Does after-hours coverage cost more? (It shouldn’t!)
The whole point of a virtual receptionist is making sure clients are able to access the information they need about your business, regardless of time or day. Find out what the service is offering, and pay attention to the fine print.
Move Forward to Find the Perfect VR
There are lots of options for virtual reception services, but choosing the right option for you is crucial. While features like CRM integration, onboarding and scheduling, and lead qualification are all excellent benefits (which you should look for!),
This is just a starting point, but now at least you know what to start looking for. There are a lot of options out there for your future virtual receptionist service, and lots of features that can enhance your business, like CRM integration, scheduling, and bilingual services. More important, however, is who is answering your calls. You need a service you can rely on, and that service has virtual receptionists who are friendly, knowledgeable, and accessible.
Ready to get started? Contact Nexa Receptionists and see what our virtual receptionists can do to elevate your company to the next level.