With the on-set cloud-based business operations, you’ve probably seen an upward trend in the use of call answering services and live virtual receptionists. If you’re looking to reduce your labor costs, increase your flexibility and become more competitive in the marketplace, then this is an affordable option to consider. The real question to ask though, is how do live virtual receptionists compare to the cost of having in-house administrative staff to answer your phones.
So how do live virtual receptionists compare to an in-house admin staff? Are they truly cost-effective? In which way will they impact your clients? Below, we are addressing some of the most important aspects of both options.
Feature #1: Customer Service
Customer service can differ between live virtual receptionists and your in-house staff. Here’s what you can expect to find from both scenarios.
In-House Administrative Staff: Skills development is the success driver here when it comes to delivering quality service and a top tier client experience. Typically, an in-house receptionist has to go through an extensive amount of training in order to confidently and articulately convey product information and answer any questions potential and existing clients may have. Even though there is no replacing a smiling face on your front desk, it can take months of training to get to the desired level of knowledge so they can best represent your company.
Live Virtual Receptionist: Hiring an answering service that has a team of professionally certified live virtual receptionists that are available 24/7, gives you a big advantage. Custom call scripts and help options such as FAQ’s can easily be programmed into your account. This way, all of the pertinent information about your business is readily accessible. It’s important to mention too, that when new accounts come on our service, our live agents are trained on the specific requirements associated with your account, so as to deliver an exceptional caller experience.
Feature #2: Availability
Most in-house administrative assistants work 20 to 40 hours a week, so they’re obviously not going to be available during a full 24-hour period of time like a team of live virtual receptionists would be. Don’t forget that an in-house admin staff typically has other duties outside of answering the phone as well.
In-House Administrative Staff: Your in-house admin staff is only there until the end of their shift. When your office is closed, they won’t be available to provide support for your customers require immediate assistance.
Live Virtual Receptionist: The best part about hiring a live virtual receptionist is that now your business is “virtually” open 24/7/365. So, callers can speak to a live individual, get their questions answered and you receive message detail instantaneously. It’s a perfect solution for client satisfaction, especially after-hours.
Feature #3: Convenience & Efficiency
In-House Administrative Staff: The biggest convenience when having an in-house receptionist is obviously their location—they’re literally working in your office. However, it’s definitely a challenge to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines with phone interruptions. It’s a start/stop scenario that leads to high inefficiency.
Live Virtual Receptionist: Again, virtual receptionists come with a slight advantage here. Technology such as cloud services makes it possible for them to be available and ready to take your calls, capture your leads, provide help desk support or take orders online for you. Click here to view our full suite of answering and live virtual receptionist services that can assist you during business hours, after-hours, nights and weekends.
Feature #4: Cost
Cost is usually the final element when deciding to hire staff or an answering service with live virtual receptionists.
In-House Administrative Staff: According to research, the annual salary for an in-house receptionist is about $37k/year. This number doesn’t typically include burdened costs such as insurance, overtime, workman’s compensation and any other benefits you may offer. In reality, your $37k/year admin assistant, that only works 40 hours a week, costs you pretty close to $45k annually.
Live Virtual Receptionist: A 24-hour answering service takes on the labor costs that you would have if you hired in-house. You are typically billed per call or by time. This solution is really a no-brainer, especially if you’re a small business owner. Using this option costs literally pennies on your payroll dollars and you can be responsive to your callers whenever they call including after-hours.
Our Live Virtual Receptionists will assist with streamlining your business while delivering an outstanding caller experience any time of day or night.
With all the features listed, it is easy to see that hiring an answering service with live virtual receptionists is clearly the most cost-effective choice. From cost to convenience, use of technology, expertise and availability, Direct Line can certainly assist you when scaling your business operations.