When you hear the term “virtual receptionist”, you may be a little confused as to what we actually mean by the term, what they do, and how they work.

As interesting as it would be, we aren’t referring to a holographic receptionist taking your phone calls and recording your messages.

What we actually mean instead is that we’ve employed a team of professional call handlers to provide round-the-clock coverage for your business, without actually stepping foot inside your office.

But what does a virtual receptionist do?

A virtual receptionist can do many tasks for a business, including taking calls, answering questions from customers, taking down messages, scheduling your calendar and appointments, and be the first point of contact for your business.

How a virtual receptionist works

Employing a good receptionist is the key to every business. But it’s key to understand how a virtual receptionist works and what they do before you consider employing one. Below you can find out more about how virtual receptionists work, what they do, and why you might want to choose Message Direct.

They’re often the first point of contact potential clients will have with your company, so it’s fundamental that they’re on the ball with answering the phone and dealing with customers politely and efficiently.

Despite this, this is where many businesses fall short.

At Message Direct, our experienced virtual receptionists are trained to the highest standard possible, answering calls on behalf of businesses as if they were their very own in-house receptionist.

With a virtual receptionist, you can rest assured that your incoming calls will be dealt with the highest level of professionalism.

Here are just a few reasons why employing a virtual receptionist could benefit your business:

  • When requested, our team will provide round-the-clock coverage seven days a week: This means that your customers will never be sent to voicemail (even if they’re calling outside of regular business hours!) and will always receive the customer service they deserve.
  • Our team are committed to answering all calls within 6 seconds: This is the quickest response time in the industry and means that your customers will never be put on hold.
  • Your dedicated virtual receptionist will record your messages and send them over to you immediately: Meaning that you can deal with tasks as and when you have the time. Whether you prefer email or SMS text message, we’ll take your preferences into account so you can manage your working day as you please.

Whether your in-house receptionist is going on holiday for a few weeks or you just don’t have the resources to hire someone full time, opting for a virtual receptionist could help your business deal with incoming calls much more effectively.

Your customers will never be left disappointed, and your business’ reputation will stay firmly intact.

Why your business could need a virtual receptionist

Are you starting a new business venture? We think our virtual receptionist service could help you get started. Here’s why:

Cut the costs

Starting a business is a whirlwind of learning, adapting and grafting. Regardless of where you’re starting from, you’ll want to be sure you’re not spending money unnecessarily from the get-go.

The long-term vision for your brand-new business might be for a full team of in-house and even international staff, and that’s a great thing to have in your mind!

However, you have to work from the ground up. Having someone available full-time to answer phones doesn’t need to cost you upwards of £20k a year.

Message Direct are offering your brand-new business a full-time virtual receptionist service for a fraction of that cost.

Focus on the most important things, without missing opportunities

The power of employing a call handling service is that it will put your mind at ease.

There will be lots of things to dedicate thought and time to over the initial weeks, months and years of your new business venture – don’t cut the time these important things demand.

By outsourcing telephone answering for your business you give yourself breathing space.

With Message Direct’s call answering and message taking services, our professional operators will answer your calls quickly and efficiently, behave on the phone as if they are your personal receptionist or PA, greeting the caller with the highest level of telephone etiquette.

When you subscribe to our message taking services, we’ll offer you the following message delivery options: Email, sms text message, or fax. Leaving you to pick up messages at your convenience, and the convenience of your new business.

Stay in control of brand reception

By limiting the phone answering capabilities of your new business to the resources you have in-house (which may just be you!) you are leaving a great deal of customer communications up to chance.

When it comes to developing trust between your company and its clients, professional telephone liaisons are key.

Telephone exchanges create a sense of immediacy, presenting your business as proactive and on the ball. This is fundamental for customer satisfaction, but it’s also extremely important for B2B exchanges.

Can virtual receptionists work for a remote business?

What do you think of when you hear the term “office”? For many people, a typical office environment conjures images of busy employees typing away at desks, drinking coffee and answering phone calls.

In today’s digital age, however, this is quite often not the case. The rise of “digital nomads” and remote workers means that anywhere with a wi-fi connection can become an office.

But what implications does this have for customer service? How can digital nomads keep their business running smoothly without a sense of stability?

Here are 3 ways that hiring a virtual receptionist could help your remote business thrive no matter where you are.

  • Keep your customers happy 24/7: As the location of your office changes, so may your time zone. Remaining accessible to your customers is key to maintaining a positive relationship and business reputation, but this isn’t always possible if their daytime is your evening. Hiring a virtual receptionist to answer your calls will keep your business running during international business hours without you being interrupted by phone calls all night.
  • Reduce your workload: If you’re running a business remotely, chances are your team is small and your workload big. You may be running it completely alone, in which case it’ll be even more difficult to manage your workload and find time to relax. Hiring someone to take your calls will give you the freedom to work uninterrupted and tackle your messages at a time that’s convenient for you.
  • Retain your freedom: The idea of hiring extra staff can seem daunting if you don’t have a stable working environment and don’t want to be tied down to one area. Fortunately, our team of call-handling experts work from our Message Direct office in Dorset to provide virtual receptionist services all over the UK – meaning that you don’t need to stay in one place! Whether you’re working from a beach in Thailand or a cafe in London, our professional telephone services can help maintain stability and keep your customers happy.

Hiring a virtual receptionist can develop your business

When you’re running a business it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Remove some of the stress by outsourcing your phone calls to a virtual receptionist.

This will allow you to spend your time more efficiently on important tasks to help your business grow such as developing new products

Nowadays, customer experience is key. A positive experience will result in return customers which will help your business to develop!

Whereas a negative experience such as an unanswered phone call could cause them to choose not to use your business again. A virtual receptionist means you can ensure round-the-clock coverage, seven days a week, so that calls will be answered even if they are made outside of normal work hours.

Using a virtual receptionist will also guarantee that your customers speak to someone who is professional and polite who is committed to talking to them (they won’t be rushing to get them off the phone).

This will make a massive difference to your customers’ experience.

A virtual receptionist ensures a consistent, branded experience for your customer every time. During your busy times you or your staff might forget to mention the name of your company or your current special offers but a virtual receptionist will not.

Hiring a virtual receptionist is also much more cost effective than hiring a full time worker. You won’t have to pay for holiday or sick pay.

You also won’t have go through the effort of advertising a vacancy and hiring an employee which can be expensive and time consuming.

In addition, you won’t have to spend time training your employee as virtual receptionists are already fully trained, saving you time and money that can be better used to help your business grow.

Another bonus is that you won’t have the added expense of a desk and equipment for your receptionist.

This is a particularly effective idea for small businesses or startups who might not have a permanent base yet. The time and money you would’ve outlaid on hiring a full time worker can be better spent on developing your business!

Why choose Message Direct for your virtual receptionist?

We were one of the first companies to offer virtual receptionist services when we launched in 1994. We continue to be a leader in our industry and we have extensive experience serving a wide range of industries.

Our clients range from carpenters to website builders and everything in between.

We will assign you a dedicated account manager who will always be on hand to ensure your service is running smoothly. If you are experiencing any problems or you’d like to change how your calls are answered you know who to call.

We will give your business a virtual phone number that reflects your geographic location so your customers will assume they are ringing a physical office rather than our call centre which is located in Ferndown, Dorset.

We are committed to answering all calls within six seconds – the fastest response time in the industry.

What does a virtual receptionist do? Well, we hope we’ve made things clearer for you, so why wait? Call 01202 653001 today and discover how your business will grow when you hire a virtual receptionist.