How to choose the best virtual receptionist service for your small business

Dan Marshall • 7 days ago • 3 min read

When it comes to your small business, first impressions count. However, when it’s only you, or just a small but busy team around you, it can be hard to ensure you’re always available for incoming inquiries. Some businesses just do not require a full-time receptionist, or might not even have the budget or the infrastructure to hire one. That’s where a virtual receptionist service comes in. With a virtual receptionist service, your business has a person that’s always ready to take calls – whether it’s all of them or just the ones you and/or your team are unable to get to. In this article, we’ll discuss what a virtual receptionist service is, how it can benefit your small business and how to pick the best provider for you.

What is a virtual receptionist service?

Broadly speaking, a virtual receptionist service or an answering service provides your small business with someone to answer your calls. But they’re also so much more than that! Virtual receptionists are specially trained to handle any possible call that could come into your business; from new inquiries, existing customers and even complaints. You instruct your receptionist on how you want your calls handled, and they will act as a seamless extension of your small business, helping you to provide your customers with first-class service.

How can a virtual receptionist benefit your small business?

There are many benefits to introducing a virtual receptionist service to your small business. In the current climate, we all know rising costs are on everyone’s mind. A full-time hire can be an expensive option for small companies, especially with fluctuating call volumes where there may be times there aren’t any calls to answer. Opting for a virtual receptionist means, regardless of call volumes, there is always someone on hand to help customers with their inquiries, and avoids unnecessary overhead costs that come with permanent in-house hires.

Another great benefit is round-the-clock availability. No matter the time of day or night, a virtual receptionist is always on hand to support your small business, meaning customer calls are answered every time and callers are very rarely put on hold. Especially beneficial if you’re a one person operation, you can relax in the evenings knowing you don’t need to be attached to your cell in case a call comes in. The option to have someone on hand 24/7 to answer calls can also help with productivity. You can get stuck into what you do best, without the distraction of incoming calls, with the assurance you won’t miss out on any business.

The benefits really are endless, but we’ll leave you with one of the most important ones before we move on – your professional image. Bad customer service can have a big impact on your business and create a poor reputation of your brand and what you stand for – all of which are hard to recover from! Having a professional and friendly receptionist on hand can give the illusion your business is bigger than it is, as well as boost your credibility. Every call can be dealt with in a timely fashion and with the right level of attention and care.

How to choose the best virtual receptionist for small business success

Where to start? Typing in the search term ‘best virtual receptionist for small business success’ brings about a whole host of options. What you need to consider is exactly what you need from the service, your business goals and even the sector you sit within. Some virtual receptionist services are geared towards smaller businesses, or perhaps different sectors or goals, and so establishing what you’re in the market for can help you narrow the options down. An example of this would be deciding you want to be available to your clients 24/7. Not all companies offer this as part of their virtual receptionist service, some might class it as an extra cost – all things to take into consideration.

When thinking about what you need from a virtual receptionist service, you’ll need to think about how you want your calls to play out. Do you just need someone to answer the phone and take a message? Or do you want to offer a personalized service, where you can set customized call greetings, recognize repeat callers, integrate the system with your CRM and book appointments all in one? Whatever you’re looking for, we have options for every business here at VoiceNation.

To find out more about VoiceNation’s Virtual Receptionist provision for small businesses, give us a call on 866-766-5050 and chat with our team today.