Many medium and larger companies employ a full time in-house receptionist. This has been the traditional approach to the call answering process. Many businesses have not even considered an Answering Service as an option to their current ways. BUT with advances in technology a Virtual Receptionist can do exactly what an in-house receptionist can do in terms of answering and handling calls exactly the way you decide. A virtual receptionist can’t meet and greet your customers physically in your office but she can do everything else. Whether you have 3, 33 or 303 staff a professional phone answering service provider should be able to set you up instantly, add your staff and departments into their system, and be answering and handling your calls within minutes of you making contact with them. Ideally you will be given a no obligation Free Trial of the service, so you can test drive it e.g. make some dummy calls yourself to your own number to see how impressive the receptionists are. By outsourcing all of your calls or just some of your calls to a virtual receptionist service, there is no need to change your existing business phone number. Simply call forward that number to the unique phone number allocated to your business by the answering service company and instantly they will be answering and handling your calls. And because you own your existing business telephone number, you remain in control. Because if you no longer need the answer service you simply un-divert your phone. Your clients and prospects will think “your receptionist” is sitting in your office. That is the perception callers will get when you deal with a professional answering service provider, so it is important to ask the provider before you ask them to represent the front line of your business, How many existing clients do you take calls for? If it’s thousands then you should be confident they are doing a good job otherwise they would have no customers – remember you can leave an answering service pretty quickly, ideally instantly, if they are not delivering. 7 WAYS a Virtual Receptionist can INCREASE your PROFITS # What is the scenario in your business? Possible Rise in Profit 1. Replace your in-house receptionist with a Virtual Receptionist $40k a year in salary 2. What are the on-costs (e.g. super, workers comp, sick pay, annual leave, time off, desk, rent, PC, phone) including management costs of recruiting, training, managing and retaining your in-house receptionist? $10k a year in on costs 3. What does a temporary receptionist (or other internal staff if they answer the phone) really cost when your receptionist is away sick, on leave or at lunch? Do new temps really know your customers? 8 hrs x $30/hr = $240 per day? 4. What is the total marketing cost of getting a new prospect to call? (staff time, the ad, the design, the distribution cost). What is your total cost per lead? You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Never miss another call! Total cost per lead $1? $10? $100? $1,000? 5. What is the lifetime value of an existing customer? Once you do all the hard work to win a customer what is the cost if you lose that customer because they are unable to get a response from a real person when they need a response? Lifetime Value of a Customer $100? $1,000? $10,000? 6. What is it worth to your business to obtain new customers from a lead referral? What is your image and reputation worth? What will your profit be if the image you portray to prospects and clients is one of prompt, friendly, professional service every time they call? You assign a $ figure: $ ______? 7. What is it worth for the peace of mind of knowing you will never miss another call 24/7? If you are relaxed will you be able to spend more time focused on looking after customers and winning new business? What is this worth to you? Peace of mind? Relaxed? Focus? You assign a $ figure: $ ______?