A virtual receptionist is a live person who manages customer calls and provides administrative support, such as scheduling appointments or answering common caller questions. Businesses hire them to avoid losing business because of missed calls — which BT estimates costs companies about PS1,200 each — and to ensure customers can get help when needed, regardless of whether it’s during or out of office hours.

In-house administrative professionals have many different responsibilities, so it’s rare that they can focus on customer communication. They may be handling projects, coordinating events, managing accounts payable or human resources duties, or preparing for meetings and presentations. Considering the average admin professional’s wage is in the £25-£30 per hour range (plus benefits), it’s a safe bet they’re not available to answer phone calls 24/7, especially when the business is busy.

When a small business outsources its phone management to a virtual receptionist service, it can expect an experienced team of virtual receptionists. These professionals will ensure that each incoming call is answered courteously and transferred accordingly based on the business’s preferences. They can also schedule appointments, take messages, make outgoing calls, and interface with calendar management systems to schedule and confirm meetings. In addition, virtual receptionists can often speak multiple languages to accommodate callers from a variety of regions and backgrounds.

Unlike an answering machine or phone tree (“press 1 for sales,” for example), which many callers dislike, virtual receptionists will be familiar with your business and can help customers quickly and efficiently. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and improve loyalty, and can save your business time and money in the long run by reducing the need for resolving calls from dissatisfied customers or prospects. virtual receptionist

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