Call Answering vs Virtual Receptionist: When to Use One or the Other or Both
As an entrepreneur you know how difficult it can be to perform the many different roles in your startup. On the same day you may have to implement a new marketing strategy, sort out some payroll discrepancies, make a few sales calls and get samples delivered. Meanwhile the phone keeps ringing and there is nobody to answer it because everyone else is busy too.
But the fact is that answering the phone should be a top priority because it is the single most important point of contact with your company. By not answering you are not only losing potential customers, but also driving your existing customers away. Neglecting the phone is not a solution at all because you are essentially neglecting your customers.
A better solution is to get someone to answer your phone for you. And in today’s hyper-connected world the best and most cost-effective thing you can do is to hire a call answering service or a virtual receptionist. But what is the difference between these two, when to use either one, and when they can be most effective when working together?
Call Answering Service
A call answering service is a fantastic way of ensuring that every single call into your business is answered and each one is redirected to wherever you want it to go. This means that you will only get those calls which add value to your business instead of having to deal with spam or prospecting calls. With a call answering service you get a dedicated phone number, a live person who answers each call following excellent customer service guidelines, screens and forwards calls according to your instructions, and even manages your voicemail.
A virtual receptionist also answers, screens and redirects your calls, and is a customer service expert. The advantage is that a virtual receptionist can also make outbound calls, set up appointments for you, process orders, take on some administrative tasks, and is trained to manage complex call flows.
When to use both?
By hiring a virtual receptionist you are basically getting all the benefits of a call answering service as well. But if you truly wish to take full advantage of both options then you should get them both. By getting a call answering service and a virtual receptionist you are essentially maximizing the more complex capabilities of your virtual receptionist while making sure that no call goes unanswered.