5/17/2022

How to Know When It Is Time to Get a Virtual Receptionist [8 Signs]

Running a business is not an easy undertaking. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), about half of small businesses will survive in their first five years. The NFIB Business Optimism Index identifies inflation as a pressing concern for small businesses; one-third of businesses list it as the most important problem in operating their business—the highest since 1980. 

Cost-effective, On-demand Virtual Receptionists

Typically, when a business reaches a certain size—whether in terms of revenue, number of employees, or number of customers—a decision is made to hire a part- or full-time receptionists to field incoming calls. But for many businesses, the threshold may be much lower than they believe if virtual receptionists are put into the equation. Virtual receptionists are on-demand, and significantly less expensive than hiring a part- or full-time receptionist. Businesses purchase engagements that align with the number of calls, emails, and texts they receive each month. This pay-for-what-you-use model also provides businesses with the ability to scale virtual receptionists up and down. 

Virtual receptionists are on-demand professionals who field incoming calls, emails, and texts, manage voice mail, route calls, and manage online faxing. Premium virtual receptionists include other services such as scheduling appointments, making outbound calls, processing orders, performing administrative tasks, online chat, and administering customer care. Not every virtual receptionist service includes premium capabilities like Davinci Live Receptionists, and thus it is important for a small business to weigh its requirements against the service and geographical reach of the virtual receptionist provider.

8 Signs That Your Business Needs a Virtual Receptionist

So, for businesses evaluating virtual receptionist options, what are the signs that a business is ready for a virtual receptionist?

Missing Phone Calls, Emails, and Texts from Prospects

Small businesses and entrepreneurs have piles of work to do—sales, marketing, operations, customer support, accounting and taxes, human resources, and more. Without a receptionist to handle incoming calls, emails, and texts from prospects, there is a good likelihood that you will miss some prospect inquiries. This can result in lost opportunities and revenue. Virtual receptionists are always on and ensure that all of your prospect calls, emails, and texts are received and answered.

Overwhelmed and Stressed Out

A recent national survey found that 42% of small business owners admitted that they experienced burnout in the past month, with nearly one-quarter saying they were currently experiencing burnout. There are numerous reasons for this appalling rate of burnout. Needing to juggle too many balls in the air at the same time is certainly one of the contributing factors. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can mitigate this impact by offloading some of the tasks to virtual receptionists.

Calendaring and Scheduling Problems

Managing the calendars for a growing team and scheduling meetings can consume a lot of time—and it can become quite complicated coordinating everyone’s calendars and changes that inevitably occur. Without support, calendaring and scheduling can become tangled and confusing. Different members on the team can get doubled-booked, end up in meetings that are a lessor priority than other meetings, and even miss critical meetings. 

Virtual receptionists can field incoming calls, emails, and texts as well as make outbound calls and write emails and text to coordinate calendars and schedules. With the support of virtual receptionists, small businesses and entrepreneurs can offload the worry of managing calendars and schedules. 

Too Much Time on Administrative Tasks

When a business starts to grow, the number of administrative tasks begin to grow at the same time. The hours spent on things not directly related to business growth and customer care can be draining and negatively impact revenue. Virtual receptionists are a great help for scheduling deliveries, travel planning, assisting customers, providing meeting support, and checking voicemail. Simply working harder isn’t an answer; worker smarter—which includes delegating minute administrative tasks—is the solution.  

Slow Customer Support 

Every small business and entrepreneur want to deliver stellar customer services. But when you are pulled in different directions and have a full plate of responsibilities, it is difficult to ensure all of your customer emails, calls, and texts are answered quickly and completely. Well-versed in the industries and businesses they support, virtual receptionists give small businesses and entrepreneurs on-demand, always-available professional customer service. This allows them to improve customer satisfaction and grow opportunities and revenue with existing accounts. Research shows that satisfied customers who get answers to their calls, emails, and texts quickly and thoroughly are upwards of 5x to 25x worth more than the cost of acquiring new customers. 

Inefficient and Delayed Order Processing

Order processing is important for many businesses. Many small businesses cannot efficiently handle order processing in a timely manner. Virtual receptionists can take incoming overs over the phone or via email and text. They also can log into an e-commerce site and notifications to gather payment information from customers and submit shipment and billing address details into a shipping system, and even manage the logistics of shipping orders to customers. They can also handle incoming inquiries regarding order and shipment status.

Reduced Sales, Insufficient Number of Leads

Small businesses and entrepreneurs can become overwhelmed in satisfying customers and suddenly find they have no incoming funnel of new leads and opportunities. Business growth can slow or even stop as teams and individuals struggle to scale their businesses. Virtual receptionists can manage ongoing as well as short-term marketing and sales programs—outbound calls, emails, appointment scheduling, and calendar management that sustain revenue growth by generating new leads and opportunities. 

Website Disengagement—Sales and Customer Support

Maintaining an omnichannel engagement model is important in today’s digital world. Customers—both B2B and B2C—want options when engaging with businesses. Preferences depend on the individual as well as the nature of the inquiry. Regardless, live web chat is an engagement method that nearly every customer wants as an option. It isn’t always possible to make a call, and it is often easier to interact with a business via live web chat instead. Though not all organizations offer live web chat services, some do such as Davinci Live Receptionists. Being able to facilitate e-commerce engagement and answer customer support questions via live web chat improves customer satisfaction and increases online orders. 

Scaling Your Business with Virtual Receptionists 

Virtual receptionists are cost effective and you only pay for them when they are engaged. They make small businesses and entrepreneurs look like big businesses, enabling you to compete with much larger organizations. Organizations need to look for a virtual receptionist provider with industry expertise, a team that can scale over time, and one that offers a breadth of service capabilities. With the right virtual receptionist in place, small businesses and entrepreneurs can focus on growing their business and delivering great experiences to their customers.

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