Is it really a shock that poor customer service impacts the customer experience?
The negative impact on the reputations and bottom lines of brands and organizations will only increase as consumers focus their purchase intent on experiences rather than the overall product or service.
This doesn’t mean you can have a subpar product or not deliver on your particular service; it means that the initial point of contact that a potential client has with your business has to be exceptional.
HAS. TO. BE.
Each year U.S. businesses lose $41B due to poor customer service. One of the most common mistakes? Not answering your phone or keeping someone on hold.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your first point of contact is exceptional is with a virtual receptionist service or business answering service.
What is a Virtual Receptionist?
A virtual receptionist service is an extension of your business and takes the place of a traditional receptionist. They perform many of the same tasks as a traditional receptionist and more. This service continues to increase in popularity because of the ability to handle a higher call volume than a traditional in-house solution, 24/7/365, and costs substantially less.
Consider this: The median salary for a receptionist in the U.S. is $30,025 while virtual receptionist services cost around $240 a month.
How Does a Virtual Reception Service Work?
It is essentially live phone answering at the highest level. Highly trained customer service experts take incoming calls to your business and cheerfully answer them with your personalized business greeting 24/7. They provide callers with specific information related to your business; description of services, directions to your office, and can take messages and ensure they are delivered to the right person in your company.
But that isn’t it.
Premium answering services offer a slew of options to truly make them an extension of your brand such as:
Live Call Transferring – Your friendly virtual receptionist lets you know who’s on the line and can connect you live, wherever you are. That’s of course if you want to take the call. They can also take a message.
Custom Call Handling – Virtual receptionists can handle sales calls, schedule appointments, answer Tier 1 IT support questions, sell raffle tickets, and more. If your business needs it, odds are a premium service provider can accommodate. They can even make outbound calls on your behalf!
Delivering Messages – Messages can be taken and delivered in all forms. Voicemails can be delivered to your inbox. Emails responded to on your behalf. Text messages delivered to you or responded to on behalf of the business. Your virtual receptionist service can collect any information you’d like and deliver it for your business.
Scheduling – A true virtual receptionist service is able to handle appointment scheduling on you and your businesses behalf and be able to follow up on those as well with personal reminder calls to your clients.
Software Integration – CRM integration allows a virtual receptionist to become a lead generation and customer service tool. From Salesforce and Infusionsoft to Clio and Dentrix, your virtual receptionist service can truly become an integral part of your business.
Reasons to Hire a Virtual Receptionist
Missed calls will kill your business.
The Era of Call-Fueled Marketing and Social Customer Service is here. If you aren’t answering your phone, you’re missing out on new business from people who are ready to buy and irritating them and your current clients in the process. And don’t think for a second they won’t run to the internet to let everybody know.
The fact is that 75% of incoming calls to small businesses go unanswered. Can your business and pocketbook handle missing these potential customers?
With a virtual receptionist service you can ensure that those calls get answered, and business opportunities are not flooding away from your business to your competitor. It also allows you to concentrate on what matters most…running your business.
Compared to traditional in-house options (at $30K a year) a virtual receptionist service makes sense for just about any business. So if you’re ready to provide fantastic customer service and grow your business, consider a virtual receptionist.