What is a virtual receptionist?

Have you found yourself wishing you had more hands-on-deck for your growing business? Have you considered hiring additional talent but are unsure if you have the means to make it happen?

It may be time to seek out some virtual help. With the rise of virtual offices and remote employees, startups and small businesses worldwide have been discovering the substantial benefits of bringing in a virtual receptionist.

Virtual receptionists are able to perform essentially all of the same tasks as a regular in-office employee; like taking messages, transferring calls, arranging schedules, handling customer service, and assisting with administrative duties.

Unlike a regular employee though, these responsibilities can be carried out remotely, away from the office. But how do virtual receptionists work, exactly?

How it works

One of the greatest perks of a virtual receptionist is the seamless hiring process and required operations with resources available to you. Several companies, like Elance, Guru, or VWorker, (recently renamed Freelancer), provide outsourcing services for positions such as virtual receptionists and assistants. These providers take care of everything from screening and hiring, to software sync, to virtual team payroll – so you can focus on growing your business, and know that only top quality candidates are being recruited to help things run smoothly.

Stress less

Because a virtual receptionist works from a remote location as opposed to in the physical office, you’ll never have to worry about his or her desk being unattended. Virtual receptionist providers use a special software to sync all computer systems and phones, to the remote devices of your VR.

Forget worrying about your receptionist coming to work late, leaving the office early for a doctor’s appointment, or missing important calls during his or her lunch break. You can opt to have them available around the clock, during certain hours of the day, or even just on a temporary basis—during busy season for example, depending on your needs. This means you can rest easy knowing your calls and faxes will be answered and directed to the right place, and your business is being taken care of accordingly – your virtual receptionist has your back.

Give your business that competitive edge

Particularly for small businesses or startups, virtual receptionists give your brand the professionalism factor it needs to keep up with bigger companies. Plus, even when you or another employee are out of the office sick or on vacation, a virtual receptionist is able to have calls synced with their phone temporarily, so no communication goes unanswered. Your virtual assistant will never leave a client hanging or let your growing business miss out on a new opportunity.

Save $$$

One of the greatest perks of having a virtual receptionist is the associated cost effectiveness. A VR doesn’t require nearly as much capital as a traditional in-office worker. In fact, their pay is about 20 percent of what a face-to-face receptionist costs, and likely do not require benefits or paid time off.

That might sound odd, but most VR providers take care of these human resources responsibilities independently, while you just sign the (smaller) check. Not only will the paychecks be affordable, but you’re saving on physical capital of a desk, equipment, and energy an in-office employee would require.

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