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  • Ann-Marie Farquharson-Clarke

A VIRTUAL RECEPTIONIST?

Updated: Apr 6

A Virtual Receptionist by definition is the same as your typical in-house Receptionist, with the exception of not being physically located in an office. Persons in both roles perform similar duties such as answering and directing callers, greeting clients and taking messages, among others depending on your business needs. A Virtual Receptionist is an experienced and trained professional, who adds value to your organization, keeping you organized and focused on the ‘actual’ day to day operations of your business.

AN OVERVIEW OF SERVICE

The type of service you receive from your Virtual Receptionist will depend on the agency you choose, as well as your business needs. You will find many virtual assistant agencies offering remote reception services. The service offerings, while similar, might be a little different from agency to agency.

Four basic services performed by a Virtual Receptionist are live call answering, responding to general inquiries & providing basic customer service, scheduling, and managing inbound and outbound calls.

Businesses generally require the use of a Virtual Receptionist to carry out most of the above tasks, but most businesses will request this service when they are faced with an influx of calls.

Call overflow is the number one reason most companies hire a Virtual Receptionist. Having an overflow of calls can have detrimental effects on business operations such as loss of new sales, not being able to focus on revenue-generating tasks and possibly losing clients due to poor customer service.

In an era where everything is digital, it is important for businesses to remain relevant in order to survive. Employing or contracting a Virtual Receptionist will provide that added value to customers, hence increasing loyalty and customer retention.

Technology plays an integral role in how a Virtual Receptionist carries out their functions. Integrated Visitor Management Systems and Virtual Video Systems not only enable a Virtual Receptionist to answer and direct calls or take messages, but also allow them to provide remote, face-to-face interactions, adding a personal touch to the service provided, despite the absence of their physical presence.

With an increased number of people now working remotely, there have been quite a few call streaming apps popping up on the market. These apps allow businesses to maintain a seamless workflow, and quality in their delivery, whether they have remote employees or have contracted the services of a virtual company.

Here are four popular call streaming apps (virtual phone number apps), reviewed by wpbeginner, which we believe are great, in the event you are thinking about outsourcing the services of a Virtual Receptionist. While some of these apps require a paid plan, there are some that are free as well.

  1. Nextiva - This business phone app is built for remote work and provides instant communication. Nextiva makes managing your virtual number effortless on any device including your desktop/laptop computer, mobile phone, tablet, or desk phone. Along with the regular features of any phone number app, it has advanced features such as call queuing which ensures calls are routed to the right department or person. They also offer virtual fax options for sending and receiving faxes.

  2. Ring central - Provides businesses with different cloud-based business communication solutions which include message, video, phone, contact center services and more. They also offer a Call flow option, so calls won't be left unanswered, as well as video conferencing (sharing of desktop), which is excellent for team meetings and collaboration.

  3. Grasshopper - If you are a start-up or small business owner, this app was developed with you in mind. While not as affordable as other options, Grasshopper combines all essential features in one package with call-forwarding, voicemail, business texting, business VoIP and WiFi calling, automated greeting, and more. They offer virtual business numbers, vanity numbers, local numbers for different regions, as well as 800 and 833 toll-free numbers to choose from. Business and personal calls can be kept separate on the same device without you ever missing a call.

  4. Google Voice (FREE) - This app is part of Google Cloud-Based and provides a phone number which allows calling, texting and messaging, and can be used on your smartphone as well as computers. It’s free as long as you use it to communicate between your Google Voice number and other U.S numbers. Features are limited, but with a paid version you are able to access more advanced options. According to their policy if the number used is ever disconnected, that number cannot be used again in the app.

  5. Freshcaller - Empowers remote support and sales teams to collaborate in real-time and resolve complex issues. Virtual leaders can monitor call volumes and service level attainment, while keeping track of important conversations.

With a Virtual Receptionist you will never have to miss another call or possible sale. If you want to get back your time so you can focus on your business needs, getting a Virtual Receptionist might be your solution, contact checklistca today and find out how we can help you.

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