The difference between a virtual receptionist and a live receptionist can be quickly highlighted with two of many aspects:
- Who pays them
- Where they operate
A live receptionist is someone who works under the company umbrella—typically in their office—whereas virtual receptionists are fully-remote professionals employed by a third-party. Both a live receptionist and a virtual receptionist can answer calls, schedule appointments, respond to live chats, and perform a wide variety of customer service tasks.
You may be wondering, “If both provide the same services, then why hire a virtual receptionist?” The answer to that can be summed up with a few words:
While a virtual receptionist and live receptionist offer similar services, there are several added benefits to working with a virtual receptionist company—all of which will improve the quality and consistency of your customer service. For example, virtual receptionists offer 24/7 coverage instead of the typical 9 to 5. Redundancy means you have a team of receptionists available rather than relying on one in-office person who can call out, get sick, go on vacation, or quit. Virtual receptionists also operate in their own systems, and can be paid either hourly, per call, per minute, flat rate, or pay as you go.
Keep reading to learn more about virtual receptionist companies, the skills they bring, and why a virtual receptionist may be the best choice for your business.
What Is a Virtual Receptionist?
A virtual receptionist is a remote communications expert that uses their customer services skills to boost your client relationships. Most people think of customer service help lines when they hear “virtual receptionist,” but these specialists can also:
- Schedule and confirm appointments
- Answer industry-specific questions for customers
- Provide basic education on business services and procedures
- Accept and process customer payments over the phone
- Work with other communications software, such as email
- Manage CRM platforms and other customer-centric software
- Perform call screening, routing, and even intake interviews
When a business hires a virtual receptionist company, they gain a team of experts who are dedicated to providing quality customer service—all under the brand who hires them. In other words, when virtual receptionists answer a business’s phones, they answer as if they’re directly in that business’s office. Virtual receptionists act as an extension of the companies they work for, with all the expertise needed to enhance that brand’s customer experience.
How Does a Virtual Receptionist Work for a Business?
When a business hires a virtual receptionist company, they are hiring a team of virtual receptionists who are dedicated to that business’s communications. This team then handles the bulk of communications for that business, acting as an extension of the business itself. And because phone systems can now be completely internet-based, virtual receptionists can work for any client, no matter where they’re located.
It’s worth noting that the best virtual receptionist companies do more than provide a cookie-cutter service. For example, at Berkshire Receptionists we train our receptionists for several completely different industries, such as law, healthcare, real estate, and home services. This gives our partners someone who is knowledgeable in their industry—someone who can effectively answer customer calls. Not only that, but because virtual receptionists have a higher headcount of receptionists than other answering services, we are able to answer all calls with a live voice. That means no voicemail, no automated menus, no waiting on hold, and no missed calls.
What Are the Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist?
Here are just a few pros of working with a virtual receptionist company like Berkshire Receptionists:
- Improve customer service with consistent, reliable call answering—including a 24/7 option.
- Offload important communications tasks to experts, reducing the strain on in-house staff.
- Solve frustratingly high turnover rates that often occur with receptionist roles.
- Save money with less dedicated full-time staff and less time spent training new receptionists.
In short, a virtual receptionist company like Berkshire saves money, decreases staff workload, and provides a premium customer service experience. What business would say no to any one of those three things, much less all of them?
Do I Need a Virtual Receptionist?
If you’re unsure whether your business needs a virtual receptionist, ask yourself these questions:
- Is quality customer service important to your brand?
- Do your customer inquiries require subject matter experts?
- Are you struggling to maintain consistency in your receptionist roles?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should consider hiring a virtual receptionist company—but only if they’re a premium service provider like Berkshire Receptionists. Our team holds experience and expertise in a wide range of specialty industries, from law to real estate and more. We’re proud to say our premium services make us the best virtual receptionist—for a small business, large enterprise, and everything in between.
Our receptionists are versed in a variety of customer service tools, including email software, CRM platforms, and payment processing, so you don’t miss a beat when fielding your customer calls. On top of all that, you can get started for as low as $40 a month!
When you’re ready to see how much better your business runs with a premium virtual receptionist service on your side, schedule a meeting with us. We look forward to hearing from you!