Small business often feel like they are in a proverbial Catch-22. They don’t have quite enough call volume to justify hiring a virtual receptionist but they have too much to keep up with the hourly interruptions of incoming calls.

What’s a small business owner to do? Get a new perspective.

There are clearly ‘limiting beliefs’ around virtual receptionists. (The name of the service probably has something to do with it.) While many entrepreneurs would enjoy having a more professional phone presence for their business, they don’t always see the ROI because they don’t see the bigger picture.

The bigger picture looks like this: Virtual receptionists can do more than answer phones, if you need them to. In fact, virtual receptionists can handle a number of administrative tasks for your small business. For example, a virtual receptionist can handle customer service inquiries, take product orders, making sales calls and much more.

A virtual receptionist also gives you analytics, so to speak, that can be valuable to your company’s growth efforts. You get a report that offers the inside scoop on your incoming call history. That can help you track how customers are responding to promotions you may be sending out via e-mail or through some other marketing channel. If you sent out an e-mail blast at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and saw call volume spike for the next two days, you can put two and two together.

As you can see, there’s more to a virtual receptionist than meets the ear. In other words, it’s not just about screening calls or presenting a professional business image. Those benefits are vital, of course, but there is also value in knowing you can rely on a virtual receptionist to handle other phone-oriented tasks – and you don’t have to worry about them calling in sick. With a virtual receptionist, you can have your phone lines covered.