How Can a Live Virtual Receptionist Increase Business Productivity?
Solopreneurs and small businesses have more to do than ever. A few months ago, a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank found than 3 in 10 small businesses said they will fail before then end of the year without further governmental assistance. Minority-owned businesses are in worse shape: 8 in 10 say they are in poor financial condition.
Solopreneurs and Business Owners Are Overwhelmed
It isn’t because they aren’t working hard enough. Small business owners work twice as much as regular employees. Almost 4 in 10 of them work over 60 hours per week. The list of tasks for a business owner—or for a solopreneur—are lengthy: finding and recruiting top talent, managing finances, forming partnerships, developing new business, and tracking and managing projects. These are just a few of the tasks on the overflowing plate of business owners and solopreneurs. Handling incoming calls, emails, and texts, managing administrative tasks, scheduling meetings, and managing calendars can consume valuable time and energy.
For these and other tasks, virtual receptionists can help increase business productivity—offloading tasks that enable business owners and solopreneurs to focus on running their businesses, fostering business partnerships, and developing new business. Virtual receptionists originated in the 1990s and have become increasingly prevalent. Beyond brewing coffee and cleaning up after meetings, virtual assistants can do everything that an on-site receptionist can do. But unlike full-time, on-site receptionists who cost upwards of $37,000, virtual receptionists are used only when they are needed—on-demand.
How Virtual Receptionists Can Improve Business Productivity
The following are some of the ways virtual receptionists enable businesses and solopreneurs to increase business productivity:
1. Incoming Calls
Incoming calls from customers, partners, and prospects can become a huge distraction and drain productivity. They often don’t come at the most opportune moments as well. Virtual receptionists can field these incoming calls—pushing those that aren’t urgent into voice mail and routing others that need rapid responses to the right person on the team. Selecting a virtual receptionist system like Davinci Auto Receptionist that transcribes voice mail to email and text is important. This enables businesses to get voice mail in real time and to respond to those calls using the communications channel that is most effective—email, text, or phone.
2. Incoming Emails and Texts
Fewer and fewer individuals and businesses elect to use phone as their mode of communications. Email and text are often their preferred communications mechanism. But emails and texts can quickly accumulate and become overwhelming. However, like incoming calls, businesses and solopreneurs can outsource email and text to virtual receptionists who can respond with basic inquiries and route those that are a response from someone in the business to the appropriate person on the team.
3. Scheduling Appointments
Managing a calendar of meetings can be an onerous task and consumes valuable time. With customers, partners, and even employees scattered across multiple time zones and even outside of the United States, managing a calendar can quickly become quite complex. For busy solopreneurs and business owners, live receptionists can field incoming calls, emails, and texts for meetings. No longer do businesses need to juggle between meeting requests and shuffle around meetings to fit everything into packed schedules.
4. Managing Outbound Calls, Emails, and Texts
Inbound calls, emails, and texts are just part of the communications conundrum for solopreneurs and businesses. Outbound calls, emails, and texts can be just as disruptive and time consuming. Live receptionists give them the ability to confirm meeting times, rearrange schedules, order supplies, make and change reservations, and place orders.
5. Providing Customer Service and Order Processing
Customers expect rapid responses when they request answers to questions and resolution to problems they’ve encountered. Pushing them to voice mail or putting them on hold can quickly erode relationships and turn happy customers into detractors. Waiting hours for responses to emails and texts can be even more frustrating. The same is true for processing orders. Customers want real-time responses—regardless of the communications channel they use. Order processing can be handled by virtual receptionists. And in many instances, they can deliver the customer service response that is needed.
6. Delivering Administrative Support
Running a business requires a lot of administrative tasks—accounts payable, accounts receivables, tax filings, and many more. These can add up to an intimidating pile. Virtual receptionists can provide solopreneurs and businesses the ability to whittle away at these tasks. Employees and vendors get paid on time, taxes and business licenses are filed on time, and responses to positive and negative customer reviews.
7. Managing Business Development Outreach
Business development requires a concerted effort and focus, but this is difficult for busy solopreneurs and businesses that are overstretched. Targeting the right prospects requires multiple channels—text, email, the website, phone, and more—and covering all of those different bases can be impossible. Business development becomes something that is done in starts and stops. Virtual receptionists can provide a solopreneur or business with their own on-demand business development team, one that is paid based on the amount of time they spend receiving and making phone calls and sending and answering email and texts.
8. Staffing Live Web Chat
When customers and prospects come to a website, live web chat is a requisite. But virtually no solopreneur and many businesses do not have the time or resources to staff live web chat. A live web chat service like Davinci Live Web Chat Service gives them the scale to engage—reactively and proactively—to customers and prospects on their website. This improves customer satisfaction while reducing bounce rates and improving conversion rates.
9. Extending Business Hours
As work continues to evolve, the traditional eight-hour workday is deconstructed, and businesses expand across time zones, live receptionists allow businesses to extend their operating hours beyond the traditional eight-hour workday. This results in happier customers and even additional business.
Stop the Business Interruptions with Virtual Receptionists
Interruptions can be a serious drain on productivity for solopreneurs and businesses. Research shows that these can cost upwards of six hours per day in some cases. Constant emails, phone calls, texts, and more can suck the life out of a business. This is where virtual receptionists can help. Davinci Live Receptionists offer solopreneurs and business leaders various ways to improve productivity and ensure that they maintain focus on running their businesses.