Virtual Receptionist

What is a Virtual Receptionist?

Virtual receptionists streamline communication with customers and help enhance customer support systems. In this article, we’ll explore what a virtual receptionist is and how they help businesses.

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A virtual receptionist is an automated, interactive voice technology built into a business phone system that answers and addresses customer calls. They manage incoming calls, provide account information, route calls, and schedule appointments.

A virtual receptionist can be customized with predefined protocols or custom instructions in various languages. The key difference between virtual receptionists and in-house receptionists is that they work remotely from a call center, provider’s office, or at home.

How Does a Virtual Receptionist Work?

A virtual receptionist is a kind of automated voice technology that’s designed to answer customer queries. With configuration, it delivers a professional and friendly experience for callers.

Most virtual receptionists offer advanced capabilities like bilingual support, and they’re HIPAA compliant. They can be customized to answer calls, troubleshoot, or transfer calls to other departments.

Virtual receptionists can also be programmed to take messages or prompt voicemails, freeing up on-site teams to focus on other important work.

What Do Virtual Receptionists Do?

A virtual receptionist can do more than just answer calls. Here are other tasks they can help with:

Taking Messages

Virtual receptionists record all messages received and relay them to appropriate recipients. Not just messages, they’ll also save voicemails, so no messages get lost.

Answer FAQs

Since voice receptionists are well-trained, they’ll professionally answer the most frequently asked questions without reference, saving businesses valuable time.

Offer 24/7 Support

Virtual receptionists work 24/7, including weekends, unlike traditional receptionists who only answer calls during set open office hours. This ensures businesses never miss a sale or important call.

Call Routing

A virtual receptionist will attend calls and will route them to the right person or department, ensuring all calls are answered efficiently and quickly.

Client Intake

Virtual receptionists often integrate with the CRM software to track communication history and automatically capture client information.

Live Chat

Most virtual receptionists offer live chat, where they guide customers and help with product information. They can also handle multiple customers, ensuring everyone receives a timely response.

Lead Screening

Spending time on unqualified leads results in wasted efforts. A virtual receptionist will use the criteria provided by the user and screen leads on the first call and filter them accordingly.

Schedule Appointments

This is one of the main features of virtual receptionists. They’ll arrange the meetings, confirm the time and date, and even send reminders to participants.

Filter Spam Calls

Virtual receptionists also block unwanted calls like spam and robocalls. Users can create a block list by uploading individual or bulk numbers to block.

How Much Does a Virtual Receptionist Cost?

A virtual receptionist costs around $30 to $3,000 a month, depending on the provider. If you select a per-minute rate, you’ll be charged on your monthly call volume.

If you consider monthly payments, you’ll be allowed a prepaid package with a set limit of minutes. With this, there will be monthly minimums on how many minutes you can use.

You can also go for tiered pricing, where you pay only for the services you want. If you only want automated call directing, choose a low-tier package. For advanced services like live agents answering FAQs, choose a higher-tier package.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Receptionists

Let’s look at some pros and cons of virtual receptionists:

Prospros

  • Save on hiring, equipment, supplies, and office space
  • They offer tailored responses and handle inquiries professionally
  • Virtual receptionists work around the clock
  • Cater to different languages
  • Virtual receptionists are prompt, improving customer support

Conscons

  • They lack the personal touch of an on-site receptionist
  • They follow scripts, so they can’t solve unique queries
  • They’re not fully versed in the operation of a company

Bottom Line

By outsourcing customer support services, companies can save time, money, and staff resources and attract loyal customers, and as far as options go, companies are certainly spoiled for choice.

FAQs

Are virtual receptionists worth it?

What is the difference between a virtual receptionist and a live receptionist?

References

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Krishi Chowdhary

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.