Due to the changing business landscape—with rising inflation, increased competition, and developing global economic conditions—small businesses continue to cut costs to navigate and adjust through these adjustments. According to one Forbes article, 57% of small businesses reduced their spending in 2022—often by freezing hiring. While this reduces salary and training spend, it can leave many small and medium-sized businesses scrambling to keep operations running smoothly while giving their customers the service that they’ve come to expect. If this sounds familiar, then you may need a remote or virtual receptionist to help offset costs, while making sure your customers still receive exceptional customer service.
What is a remote receptionist? It is a receptionist who works as an extension of your team to:
- Answer calls in a timely manner
- Schedule appointments
- Take messages
- Transfer calls to the appropriate team member
- Provide information about your business and its offerings
These are just a few of the elements of hiring a virtual front desk receptionist, but what makes a receptionist a good fit for your business and how do you set one up?
Do I Need a Virtual Receptionist?
If you want to save on the cost of a full-time receptionist, but still have a great service experience for customers, a virtual receptionist is a great option. Not to mention there are other benefits, like 24/7/365 availability and bilingual receptionists, to consider. To decide whether your business needs a virtual receptionist, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you and your staff get more incoming customer calls than you can handle?
- Does answering calls distract you and your team from your other responsibilities?
- Do you have many customers or patients calling outside of normal business hours?
- Do you have customers or prospects who’ve complained about their experience because their calls weren’t handled quickly enough?
- Is your budget limited, with little room to hire another staff member to answer calls?
- Does your team make mistakes due to multitasking?
- Do you receive many spam calls?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may benefit from a virtual receptionist. Unlike with an in-house receptionist, you won’t have to worry about the startup time to get a virtual receptionist fully onboarded, which is important when you and your staff already have limited time as is.
What’s more, virtual receptionist pricing is often less expensive than the salary (plus benefits) of a full-time employee. For example, working with Berkshire Receptionists costs as little as $40 a month, and that’s for 24/7 live receptionist services. If you want to reap all the benefits of having someone answer your phones without using the additional resources for training and salary, then you need a virtual receptionist.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Receptionist?
As the first point of contact for current and prospective customers, receptionists play a crucial role in nearly every professional setting. In addition to a warm and friendly personality, an excellent virtual receptionist has a well-balanced combination of communication and organizational skills—as well as the patience and efficiency to perform multiple tasks at once. But what qualities should businesses look for when hiring a virtual receptionist? The 7 qualities of a receptionist who is high caliber are:
- Communication skills. A good receptionist will have the skills and experience to listen to customers well, answer questions and respond to comments clearly, and explain complicated industry-specific topics in layperson’s terms.
- Professional. Since a receptionist acts as the face or voice of your business, they should exude friendliness, respect, and positivity. An exceptional receptionist will provide assistance to customers while remaining courteous.
- Empathetic. Customers want your business to understand how they feel and work to find a solution for them. That’s why good receptionists must be empathetic in every customer call.
- Tech savvy. Because remote receptionists won’t just answer customer calls, but will also aid customers in scheduling appointments and making payments, they must know how to use the different technologies and applications that your business and your customers use.
- Dependable. A good receptionist will work at the times you need them, even if that requires them to work overnight or on weekends. What’s more, you won’t have to hold a good receptionist’s hand to ensure they’re completing all their work in a timely manner. When you work with Berkshire Receptionists, you’ll have a remote receptionist on hand to answer calls 24/7.
- Detail-oriented. When it comes to assisting customers, the devil is in the details. Each customer will expect a personalized experience, and paying attention to every aspect of a customer’s profile and concern is what makes a receptionist exceptional.
- Bilingual. Exceptional customer service means helping customers to the best of your ability. A bilingual receptionist can assist both English and Spanish speaking customers and prospects while removing an additional obstacle to good service—language barriers. With Berkshire Receptionists, you will have a bilingual receptionist working by your side for as little as $40 per month.
Finding a receptionist with these duties and skills doesn’t have to be hard. When you work with Berkshire Receptionists, you will gain quality receptionists that act as an extension of your team. Not only will they answer customer calls for you, they will provide your customers with the experience that they expect.
What Are the 3 Most Essential Skills Needed for a Receptionist?
There are a few important technical skills for receptionists that stand out when it comes to being excellent at their job. These skills include addressing complex problems, interpreting people’s needs, and maintaining the organization of your business’s information. Considering these fundamental skills, we’ll be able to better understand why they help a receptionist excel:
- Empathetic Communication: Building a positive and trustworthy relationship with customers requires the ability to empathize with their concerns and successfully offer solutions or reassurances. One important skill that contributes to the virtual receptionist’s client experience overall is the ability to offer personalized and focused service.
- Adaptability and Problem-Solving: A virtual receptionist routinely deals to a range of questions and concerns from customers. The receptionist’s adaptability to various circumstances and their ability to resolve customer concerns come from being trained for your specific industry—so they know how to handle your customers’ requests.
- Organization and Data Management: Organizational and general document and schedule management skills are essential for maintaining client confidentiality and security in an online setting. Plus it’s important for improving collaboration with your business and your customers, as well as shortening response times.
In general, these skills guarantee that customers have a positive experience and that your business operates smoothly—by being available to take calls 24/7, offer empathetic support, and quickly resolve issues. Using a remote receptionist service with these skills can ensure that customers have a good experience while demonstrating the company’s commitment to providing exceptional customer service. With Berkshire Receptionists, you’ll find that all of our receptionists are highly skilled and will act as an empathetic extension of your team.
How Do I Set up a Virtual Receptionist? With Berkshire Receptionists
Setting up a virtual receptionist is easy with Berkshire Receptionists. You merely have to:
- Meet with us to learn more and to explain what you need.
- Decide on the pricing package you want.
- Start offloading your calls.
When you work with Berkshire Receptionists, your customers are in good hands. Our receptionists are available 24/7 and can use over 5,000 applications that integrate with our platform, such as Google Calendar, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. They always communicate with your customers in a manner based on an individual’s preference, whether it be call, chat, or text message.
Give your customers the attention and experience they deserve. Work with Berkshire Receptionists and get started today!