What Is A Virtual Receptionist?
When people are talking about a virtual receptionist are usually talking about one of two things. The first type which is most commonly referred to as a live answer virtual receptionist, is typically an answering service that you pay for from a third-party company, that has a call center where you get a live person acting as a secretary to handle all of your incoming calls,. The second type, which is what you focus on primarily in this article, is an automated way of creating a professional greeting and answering service for your inbound calls, and leverage virtual phone system to reduce overhead and payroll of actual employees.
In some cases when people refer to a virtual receptionist, they may also be talking about a virtual office that comes with live answer services, mail, etc.
What Do We Mean By Automated Answering Service?
When I talk about automated answering services, typically it setting up a VoIP system parentheses which is a virtual phone system for your business in parentheses, in order to leverage your business’s phone system ability to give customers a personalized experience when they call in, but without needing employee interaction
A good example of this is when you call a large fortune 500 company, and you’re met with a directory selection or call extensions for different departments. However, the one area that most businesses fall short in setting up their automated phone system, is giving it a personalized feel so the customer has the impression that they’re being catered to instead of pushed off onto some automated system.
The best way to do this is to use custom greetings, have professional greeting scripts created, and set up your virtual phone system in a way where the customer doesn’t feel alienated right from the beginning. The easiest way to do this without using a live answering service is to plan out your call flow in a way that’s customer service oriented.
A good example of what not to do, is to set up your automated phone system greetings whereby as soon as customers call in there met with a blank a bank of generic options… Such as press one for sales, press two for support, press three for billing. This is a horrible way to set up your call flow if you truly want to deliver a good experience for your customers.
A better set up would be to have a custom greeting that greets all customers saying quote thank you for calling ABC services…
Live Answering Service VS Automated Virtual Receptionist
Of course there’s no real substitute for having a real live person on the other end of the phone, but you can get really close if you set your phone system up and away where your automated virtual receptionist flow mimics a live answering service.
Any VoIP system for small business is capable of setting up an automated virtual receptionist style call flow, or better known as auto attendant. Typically most businesses set this up just like I mentioned above, where they have a service directory of personnel with unique extensions, and then a generic default greeting where anyone calls and can select their department extension of their choice.
In my opinion there leaving a lot of money on the table by not sculpting extension greeting scripts and hiring professional voiceover actors to generate better custom greetings that represent their company. As a mention in the beginning, nothing will take it the place of a live answering service with a real-life secretary on the other end the line. But a really well done automated phone system, can easily provide the feeling of great care and service when calling in
How To Setup An Automated Virtual Receptionist Without Expensive Software
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need expensive virtual receptionist software in order to have a high quality automated virtual receptionist for your business. If you already set up with one of the most common VoIP providers, you should arty have a decent idea of how to do this. The biggest change be to your custom greeting and initial call flow, and just making a simple change to how the customer is directed through your company can dramatically change the customer experience.
Our goal is to mimic exactly what would be like if we had a live receptionist answering all of our calls, but as business owners would like to be able to save on expenses as much as possible right?
So the first thing that you want to do
Virtual Receptionist Services With Live Answer
There are several good virtual secretary services would live answer but her perfect fit for anyone looking for virtual receptionist. Of course all these third-party companies come with a significant increase in cost compared to using a toll-free 800 number service with auto attendant, but if you absolutely have to have live answer any of these companies would be a great fit for your business. To see the extended list of live answer business services click here.