What is a Virtual Receptionist?

Everything you ever wanted to know about virtual receptionist services: how they work, what they are used for, how much they cost and how to get your own.

Entrepreneurs and business owners around Australia are harnessing the power of modern phone answering services to drive up their sales, and generate more sales leads without lifting a finger.

For a start-up, this is a powerful tool that allows you to focus on what’s more important – growing your business. Businesses that have been around for years may also benefit from this phone answering service.

Information about how a Call Answering service works

If you’re running a business, there are times when you can’t answer incoming calls because you’re busy. Gone are the days of needing to be at the beck and call of the telephone! When customers call, a live answering service works like this:

  1. The call is answered by the real human operator in your business name
  2. The live answering receptionist speaks with the caller and takes a message, or if you have Reception Connect and you’re free to take the call, transfers it to you.
  3. The message is then passed on to your business as an enquiry for your business to follow-up.
  4. You receive notification of new messages by email or SMS. If your company has more than one person who should receive notification, the service allows for that too.

virtual-receptionist-diagram

Suppose you’re a small business that has one receptionist. Your business might be taking off, and call volume is increasing. If you are looking for a way to help your receptionist cope with the number of calls coming in, then phone answering service is ideal. It can act as a complementary service with an existing live answering receptionist, so that when your staff member is on the phone you are not relying on the answering machine.

Features of a Live Phone Answering service

  • Calls are answered in your business name
  • Calls are answered by a real human operator based in Australia
  • Capture more calls and give your sales a boost
  • Turn the service on during certain hours of the day
  • Monitor your usage of the service
  • You get a number of calls included each month, and excess calls are charged according to your plan – the length of the call does not increase the cost
  • Quick and simple to set up
  • Works with your existing receptionist or as a standalone service to help you answer more calls

Research shows that 75% of callers hang up if their call goes to an answering machine

The answering machine is dead. Savvy businesses are replacing their recorded messages with live phone answering operators and it works!

The fact is that people hate leaving a message on an answering machine or a recorded message. Often, customers will just hang up without leaving a message. They might then ring your competitor, and if your competitor is smart they will have a Virtual Receptionist in Australia answering calls when they’re busy. You could be losing a lot of business without even realising it! Setting up a phone answering service is the easiest way to capture all of your potential customer enquiries.

Using an after-hours answering service

after-hours-answeringThe service is so flexible that you can even set up specific times of day to be active if you have it connected to a 1300/1800 number. For example, run the service outside of your normal office hours to capture callers who dial your number when there’s no one in the office. You could be out playing a round of golf, and receive messages on your mobile phone. Or just run the service at lunch time, so that your existing receptionist can take a lunch break.

Live answering services can even be used to allow a business owner to go on holiday – and still capture every call. Follow up on the calls when you return, or have someone else deal with the calls. It’s totally up to you. Since you’re not relying on a recorded message, customers are less likely to hang up and call your competitor.

Compare phone answering services in Australia

If you’re comparing services, it is important to find out whether the operators are based in Australia, or overseas. After all, they are the ones who will be talking to your customers! Alltel’s operators are based in Australia.

A small business owner’s best friend

Dogs may be man’s best friend but for the small business owner a live call answering service gets just as much love! How so?

Many business owners discover that when they’re handling everything themselves, the business grows quickly. But once the call volume and number of customers becomes too much for them to handle, they find it difficult to take their business to the next level.

A virtual reception service is all about giving you the power to focus on what’s most important. Answering customer calls can now be effectively managed by a live operator answering in your business name.

How much does it cost?

Pricing is affordable and starts from $29 per month (plus GST) with 20 calls included. Each additional call then incurs a charge depending on your plan, with the $29 plan charging extra calls at $1.50 per call. For more information about costs, refer to the links below.