Best virtual receptionist service: Features to look for

Best virtual receptionist service: features to look for

Looking for the best virtual receptionist service for your business? Start with the features.

With so many options out there, not every service offers the same value or capabilities. Some services simply answer phones. Others provide transfers, scheduling, lead capture, and more.

So, in addition to finding a service that meets your budget and standards, it’s important to choose one that meets your needs. The first thing to consider is what capabilities make sense for your business and the people you serve.

Here are some of the most important virtual receptionist service features for businesses:

24/7 live answering

For certain businesses, 24/7 live answering may mean that a team of virtual receptionists answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. For other businesses, 24/7 live answering may only cover pre-established business hours, including or excluding weekends and holidays. Either way, businesses save time and maximize productivity while ensuring that their callers are always covered.

Call transfers

A virtual receptionist may not have all the answers, but they can easily direct callers to the right party as needed. With the right tools in place, a virtual receptionist can connect a caller with the appropriate department or individual—no matter the distance between them.

Call forwarding

With virtual receptionist services, businesses no longer need to worry about redirecting calls themselves. Virtual receptionists can forward a call to any device of your choosing, whether it be a mobile phone or a traditional landline at the office. A virtual receptionist service can also provide businesses with their own toll-free number for calls, eliminating the need for forwarding altogether.

Customized call handling and personalized greetings

Call handling refers to every step an organization takes for managing both inbound and outbound phone calls. The process can vary greatly from business to business and industry to industry, depending on specific needs. Whatever an organization’s unique needs may be, virtual receptionists can help provide support with a customer experience that feels personal and trustworthy. With a virtual receptionist service, businesses can set their instructions and trust that the virtual receptionists will act as a seamless extension of their companies.

Message-taking

Happen to miss an important call? Business leaders can rest easy knowing that many virtual receptionists are equipped to take down messages and pass them along in a timely manner. Virtual receptionists are trained to transcribe messages effectively and confirm their accuracy.

Answering frequently asked questions

Virtual receptionists can answer common questions that callers may have regarding a business and its industry. Beyond simply answering questions, virtual receptionist services can also develop an enhanced FAQ for a business’ website. By working closely with a business, virtual receptionists develop an understanding of what information their callers are commonly looking for, and can therefore make that information more readily accessible to callers or website visitors.

Scheduling

Requests for scheduling meetings and appointments can quickly eat up valuable time. Luckily for business owners, virtual receptionists can work with any preferred calendar system to support a broad range of scheduling requests, all while eliminating the worry of being double or overbooked.

Lead capture

Leads are typically defined as callers or website visitors that are interested in what a business has to offer, but haven’t yet become paying customers or clients. Capturing these leads can be a tall order, but virtual receptionists are up to the task. By making a stellar first impression with their customer service skills, virtual receptionists can be an essential part of transforming leads into recurring customers or clients.

Outbound call assistance

Virtual receptionists can even make calls on behalf of a business as needed. When a customer or client needs a simple answer to a question, and a business owner is tied up with other commitments, virtual receptionists can easily step in and make an outgoing call. These calls can include anything from relaying information, to gathering details, to confirming meetings and appointments.

Number porting and hosting

Number porting allows business owners to retain their current phone numbers while also keeping their personal and professional lines separate. Certain virtual receptionist providers are able to host business numbers and allow owners to use an app to switch between their professional and personal numbers on their mobile device. Through these apps, business owners can maintain a professional presence while avoiding the need for in-office phone equipment.

Bilingual service

No habla ingles? No hay problema. For businesses with an expanded base of callers who may not speak English, many trained virtual receptionists can seamlessly switch between languages as needed.

Robocall filtering

Did you know that the average American receives 8 robocalls a month? And that said robocalls cost businesses $3 billion every year? Thankfully, some virtual receptionist services include top-of-the-line robocall filtering systems that use live network data and advanced AI algorithms to screen most robocalls and keep phone lines clear.

Finding a virtual receptionist service that can provide each and every one of these features can be a challenge. Narrowing down the specific features that would best suit your business is essential to navigating the growing virtual receptionist market.