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Taking on a Virtual Receptionist

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taking on a virtual receptionist
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Finding a good fit, and the things to be aware of before getting started.

Is a virtual receptionist for you? You may be thinking of letting go of some of the strain and freeing up some of your time by having someone else take on some of the operating aspects of your business.

There are a huge number of things you can outsource to a virtual assistant service, a key one being the role of receptionist.

What is a Virtual Receptionist?

A virtual receptionist does the same job as an in-house receptionist, such as answering phone calls, taking messages, and setting up appointments. The difference is that a virtual receptionist is not based at your place of business, but rather operates from a different location.

From the perspective of a caller, they are just talking to someone and having their questions answered.

They don’t know that the person they are talking to is not a full-time employee of the business they have contacted. For them, it is a seamless experience.

Why take on a Virtual Receptionist?

Virtual receptionists, also known as answering services, can improve your customer service while freeing up you or your staff to focus on more pressing tasks.

“These services allow small businesses to have a receptionist give personalized attention to small or variable call volumes without requiring the business to hire, train and manage a full-time employee, along with all the added expenses and burdens,”

Jason Junge, CEO of PointerTop.

All of this gives you the flexibility you need to be able to focus on other core areas of your business, whilst saving you money in the process.

Before onboarding

So, you’ve made the decision to hire someone to act as a virtual receptionist. What should you bear in mind before getting started?

Really it boils down to do you have a reasonably clear process you can hand over?

It doesn’t need to be complicated (although sometimes it may be), but it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of what needs to be said when someone calls, and what actions need to be taken.

Just what you’re doing already really…


This brings me to onboarding.

A good service will run through with you what your needs are and will discuss how the service will be managed.

They are there to do the best job possible, and a professional team will know what to cover and the questions to ask before getting started.

These include…

  • The nature of the enquiries you get, and the responses you’d like to frequently asked questions.
  • Will the receptionists follow a script, or are you happy with a ‘looser’ brief?
  • The process you’d like the receptionist to follow. For example, is the receptionist taking bookings? How you would like this done.
  • The tools you’d like you virtual receptionist to use(Such as Google calendar, Setmore, Zoho etc..)
  • Keeping you updated. Would you like a quick text each time someone calls through, or is a summary going to work better for you?
  • Handling those times when you may be needed for your input. For example, re-routing a call to you on a pre-arranged number, or letting the caller know you’ll be in touch later.

A professional virtual receptionist service will also be able to assist with any solutions that may benefit you.

There is a range of software and services available that you may not have come across before, and a good service should be both familiar with these and able to understand if they could be beneficial to you.

Here’s a quick look at some of the more widely used solutions.  

  • Cliniko – practice management software for clinics and allied health practitioners.
  • ServiceM8 – Smart job management for trades & services
  • Coreplus – Practice management now with TeleHealth
  • Power Diary – Practice Management Software
  • Acuity – Online appointment scheduling
  • Aroflo – Job management software for trade & field service businesses
  • Atlassian / Jira – Project management software
  • Calendly – Meeting and scheduling software
  • Google Calendars – Calendar and scheduling
  • Setmore – Scheduling software
  • Zoho – Business management suite

The ongoing relationship with your Virtual Receptionist

Lastly, you need to know that anyone you engage will answer your telephone calls in a warm and personable manner and will preserve your professional and caring reputation.

A good service understands that it is not only important to have a professional approach and good rapport with the people calling in, but it is also in having a great relationship with you as well.

When you first talk to a company offering virtual receptionist services are they open and polite and easy to talk to? This is the relationship a good service strives to create, foster and maintain.

Would you like more information?

At ProfitAbility Virtual Assistance we average over 800 calls a month for our clients and have the virtual receptionist expertise and experience needed to assist you.

We would be happy to talk to you about anything covered in this article, or with helping you arrange support for your business.

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