Entrepreneurs and small business owners wear many hats. On any given day you could be in sales, marketing, finance, operations, customer service — or everything all at once.
It’s a lot to ask.
For smaller companies who aren’t ready to hire support staff, it’s easy to get bogged down by mundane tasks and constant distractions, like answering emails or picking up the phone. These tasks are fundamental but the problem is, they pull you away from what you should be doing: growing your business.
Your ‘big picture’ vision can easily become clouded when you’re stuck in the day-to-day running of your business.
So what’s the answer?
Above all, you need to find ways to streamline your operations and automate or delegate as many tasks as possible. The good news is, that’s not as challenging as it sounds. It’s a worthwhile exercise to track your time and identify the tasks that take up most of your time — and we’re willing to bet that a good chunk of the blame lies with your cell phone.
So, here we’re going to explain why a virtual receptionist service could be just what you need to get back on track, and how it can help reclaim your precious time.
How a Live Receptionist Service Helps You Win Back Your Valuable Time
First off, what is it?
You’ll find many different virtual receptionist services on the market but the general offering is pretty similar. In this context, it’s a live call answering service carried out by a remote team of receptionists, who answer your incoming calls throughout the working week.
The number of calls they answer is usually predetermined by the number of minutes you pay for. This may range from a basic level of 50 live answering minutes per month, through to unlimited answering, which is ideal for growing companies with a high call volume.
Your virtual receptionist will answer the call in your company name, and then deal with the call according to your instructions. For instance, he or she will take a message and email it to you, or forward the call to your cell phone, or arrange a call-back between you and the caller at a mutually available time.
As you can imagine, this service can significantly support your business and help you recoup the time you would otherwise have spent dealing with callers (let’s not forget, not every call is a valuable client — many of them are nuisance spam calls or ‘robocalls’).
While your receptionist is doing all that, you’re free to focus on other important areas of business, such as building new client relationships, speaking to investors, or working on your five-year plan. More time ultimately means more revenue.
Good Customer Service Wins (and Keeps) Clients
Saving time is a massive benefit, but a virtual receptionist service can bolster your brand in many other ways.
As every entrepreneur knows, good partner relations is the cornerstone of any successful enterprise. It relies on clear, consistent communication and professional customer service, which is often in short supply for entrepreneurs wearing multiple hats.
With a virtual receptionist service, you get customer service support and client liaison that’s personalized to your brand. Depending on your choice of provider, you could also get appointment scheduling included, too. It’s just like having your own personal assistant, minus the full-time salary and HR responsibilities.
This brings us onto another important benefit of the live receptionist service: flexibility.
As an outsourced service, you only pay for the time you need, which is absolutely vital for small businesses or new startups. If you do need more call answering, you’ll find that a virtual receptionist can grow within your company.
As your needs increase, you can ramp up your subscription and add more live answering minutes. Of course it works both ways, and you can decrease your commitment if necessary, too.
Many businesses find this support invaluable because it saves them time and projects a professional image to existing and prospective clients. What’s more, new leads and inquiries from prospective clients will be dealt with quickly, leading to a potential increase in customers and higher ROI.
For busy, distracted and time-poor entrepreneurs, a flexible virtual receptionist plan makes a lot of sense. It gives your clients and callers the service they deserve, while saving you — and your business — precious time and money.