Most of you reading this are either considering hiring a receptionist, or looking for ways to slash the often high cost associated with these front line employees. The truth is that an in-house receptionist can easily end up costing you up to $5000 a month when you add up all their costs.
Since you’re already running an online business, why hire someone to come sit in an office and pay them an exorbitant amount of money to do so?
Fast facts about the “true” cost of hiring in-house phone reps
The median salary for this profession is somewhere in the neighborhood of US$ 33,583 (source.) That means they’re already costing you over US$ 2,500 monthly – before social security, pension, 401k, disability, time off and (gasp!) healthcare expenses nearly double that monthly obligation!
A virtual receptionist will cost you half what an in-house version would – perhaps even less depending on what service you choose.
Have you considered taking this part of your business to the cloud? So you can scale your business faster by saving on the costs mentioned above? Increasing your ability to generate more sales and make your customer service practices the best they can be?
Here are 5 key ways hiring a virtual receptionist will help take your online business to the next level:
1. Increased time management
Consider the freedom that comes from not having to stand guard by your desk all day long, or how much more you could get done by having someone to screen your calls, service emails, and shopping cart orders when you’re in the middle of a meeting or time-sensitive project that needs doing right away.
You can tell your virtual receptionist who, if anyone, you wish to be interrupted by. Even going as far as to request short texts or email messages updating you about what’s happening on the phones, emails, and website(s) while you work on what matters most to your business each and every hour of the day.
2. Maximize the perceived value of your products
There’s nothing worse than a client calling or emailing and being put on hold, made to wait forever, or feeling like they’re being rushed through a customer service issue or sales order because whomever they’re talking to is “busy”. Poor customer service is on the top of the list of things that can seriously devalue an enterprise. Especially when you’re running an online business that requires a level of trust far beyond what a brick-and-mortar operation would need to get customers coming through their doors.
When the person on the other end of the line is hired and trained to provide courteous, knowledgeable service, and to do whatever it takes to make the customer feel like they’re being heard, both the perceived and actual value of your online product or service will go up in spades.
3. No more missed calls
Depending on the current state of your business, it may be only you and one or two other people answering the phones all day long. When things get busy or downright overwhelming, important communications from clients, vendors, and other people who can have a lasting impact on the future of your business might get missed.
Having a virtual receptionist on staff to take your calls no matter the time of day or night can be a godsend, helping to maintain your image and spread goodwill among customers and contacts.
4. Save money over hiring in-house staff
There’s plenty of potential savings to consider here, depending on what type of business you run and the number of employees that are normally required to get the job done:
- A virtual receptionist doesn’t need the company to provide them with a desk, computer, phone queue, software, break room, paid vacations, benefits, etc.
- Then there’s other possible savings, such as eliminating the IT staff that would normally be required to maintain the phone queue, servers, and other equipment needed for an in-house customer service and support team.
5. A virtual receptionist can help increase revenue
As if the financial savings weren’t enough; a well trained virtual receptionist will help boost sales through the increased service levels they help foster.
Not just that, but because you and your sales team now have a professional managing your phones and other communication methods, you’ll be able to devote more time to sales-focused tasks like making cold calls, building your social media profiles, expanding web properties, pounding the pavement, and networking to make new and influential contacts that will help take your online business to the next level.
Not all employees need to be in-house to make your business effective. Particularly an online business. You can have virtual staff manning your phones and emails 24/7, at a fraction the cost of a traditional office dweller.
In an age where everyone’s taking their business to the cloud, hiring a virtual receptionist is a great step toward accelerating your growth potential, while allowing you and your other employees to focus on what really matters most to scaling your business’s operations – whatever that may be in your case!