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A: Voicemail was a great invention coming from a pager or an answering machine, but current studies show that 80% of callers hang up when they get to voicemail.

A: The virtual receptionist answers the call and thanks the caller for calling (your) company. The caller asks for you by name. The virtual receptionist gets the name and number of the caller and then places the call on hold and dials the phone number that you want your calls forwarded to. Your phone will ring and you will see that the virtual receptionist is calling for you. The virtual receptionist will then ask you if you would like to take the call or take a message. If you want to take the call, the virtual receptionist will patch the call through to you. If you want the virtual receptionist to take a message, you will have the option to receive that message via text, and/or email, or you can have the virtual receptionist send the call to your voicemail. The virtual receptionist may also schedule an appointment using your calendar and you will receive an alert that there is a new date on your calendar.

A: USanswer uses Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone technology and it is integrated with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM). When a call comes in, an interactive business profile screen pop up appears that gives the virtual receptionist all of your pertinent company information. The profile pop up will include links to your website and / or anything else that provides the virtual receptionist with information to “appear” to be your “personal receptionist” of many years even though it may be the first time this particular virtual receptionist has answered a call for your business.

A: Hiring a qualified, live receptionist from 9am to 5pm, 5 days a week, will run you around $2,200 per month. The cost of a professional live virtual receptionist doing the same things from 8am to 8pm, 5 days a week, runs $89 per month. That’s a monthly savings of $2,111. Think of what you could do with this extra money.

A: You could certainly do that, as the monetary cost is basically non existent. However, the professional cost, you maybe surprised to know, is very high. Voicemail was a great invention for when answering machines and pagers were heavily used to communicate and transfer information, but now current studies clearly show that 80% of callers hang up when they get to voicemail and move on to the next call. A 20% loss to your bottom line is bad enough, but an 80% loss is getting close to lights out. A professional virtual receptionist starting at $89 is definitely worth the investment.

A: Having your own personal receptionist that works in the same office with you is obviously a great asset and image, BUT you can create that image (and then some) with a quality virtual phone answering service as stated above. Then, of COURSE there’s the $2,000+ cost savings each month.

A: A quality virtual phone answering service will build a client profile pop up specific to your company that will appear on the virtual receptionist’s computer screen when a call comes in for you. The profile provides answering instructions, scripts, links to various websites, and other pertinent information for the receptionist to relay to the caller. Then if the caller wants to talk with the owner, the receptionist places the caller on hold and tries to contact the owner on one of the phone numbers listed to reach the owner.

A: A virtual receptionist is basically a live answer / forwarding reception service made up of a group people in a location, a kind of call center facility, in say Portland, Maine. Here, they answer and forward calls using a VOIP, a cloud based platform, through their computer for small businesses around the country and beyond.

  • Do your research. Interview each live answering service company to see how well they fit with your ideas and plans.
  • A live answering service is always best and most effective for offering a personal touch for your small business.
  • They need to show a sincere interest in your business.
  • As far as cost goes, when you think of the $2,200 per month you’d spend on a full time receptionist, having a virtual receptionist who’s knowledgeable warm and friendly and knows you and your business from your company’s profile pop up that appears on the virtual receptionist’s computer screen for under $100, it speaks for itself. $2,000+ savings every month.
  • Make sure once a call is forwarded the clock stops there.
  • Make sure that 59 seconds is 59 seconds and not a minute.