Running a business is, without question, a hands-on task. There's no program that can manage your employees for you, make strategic changes, or magically sell your product.
However, not all business-related tasks require a full time employee or hands-on time from you – companies routinely outsource and automate what they can, including accounting, call answering services, web design, and more.
Call answering services, also called virtual receptionists, are one of the fastest-growing ways to automate your business. By outsourcing call answering, appointments and booking, call forwarding, and message delivery, you can avoid hiring full time and give yourself additional time to focus on your highest priorities.
Here are 5 ways virtual receptionists can help automate your business.
Virtual receptionists are trained to answer incoming calls for your business in the manner that you specify. If you work with a reputable virtual receptionist provider, your callers will never know your receptionist took the call from a remote location. Answering phones is the main component of a full-time receptionists' job, so by outsourcing your calls to a virtual receptionist, you can begin to automate your business without adding people to the payroll.
Extended Business Hours
You may not be able to stay at the office as late as you'd like, and when no one is around to answer the phones, you miss out on leads and chances to deliver amazing customer service. Bringing a virtual receptionist in to cover the phones after-hours is a great way to “extend” your business hours and boost your customer experience.
Call Screening and Forwarding
How many times have you leapt to the phone, expecting an important call, only to find it's a telemarketer or your aunt Judy? Having your calls screened and forwarded to you can be a serious time-saver for your business. Virtual receptionists can be given instructions to forward calls from a list of approved people and take messages for all others.
Appointments and Booking
One of the most time-consuming tasks in businesses that regularly take and book appointments is the scheduling involved. Businesses that take appointments also experience a high percentage of no shows. Working with a virtual receptionist that provides appointment and booking services will not only save time, but it can help you reduce your no show percentage by up to 75 percent.
Coverage Only When You Need It
Hiring a full time receptionist means the receptionist will come to your office and wait for the phone to ring. They are paid whether they are on the phone answering calls or not. Hiring full time means you'll pay a salary or an hourly wage, benefits, paid vacation days, paid sick days and legally-required time off. A virtual receptionist, on the other hand, gets paid only for the time they are on the phone taking calls.
When you automate and outsource the tasks that don't require your specific input or action, you can save yourself a lot of time and concentrate on your highest priority tasks. Dealing with a company you trust is vital for this reason–you won't be able to relax and hand someone else the reigns unless you fully trust that they'll represent your business well.