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Live Virtual Receptionist vs Traditional front office receptionist or Voicemail

Small Business,Virtual Receptionist
Rotary phone set outside on the ground

Live Virtual Receptionist vs Traditional front office receptionist or…Voicemail.


Q:    Thinking of hiring on a traditional fulltime professional front office receptionist for your small to medium size business, but feel you may not be able to afford one?  Have you considered the benefits of a live virtual receptionist (VR)? What’s the difference?

A:    The cost for one thing. Hiring a qualified, live receptionist from 9 to 5, 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 8 to 8, 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.


Q:    But you want the warm & friendly personal touch of an in-house receptionist you know, who’s familiar with you & your business. Not a cold, disconnected, disinterested call center type answering service. How can you get what you need w/a VR?

A:    With the advancements in Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephone technology, integrated w/ a Customer Relationship Management (CRM ) an interactive screen-pop customer profile is be built for you/ your business, that flashes up on the computer screen of the VR who answers the calls that come in for you. This profile gives said VR all your pertinent information, along w/ links to your website and/ or anywhere else to provide said VR with all he/ she needs to “appear” to be your “personal receptionist” of many years when it may be the first time this particular VR has answered a call for you/ your business.  


Q:  What if it’s a call you may or may not want to answer depending on who it is that’s calling?

A: The VR answers the call- “Hi thanks for calling (your) Company, this is Sandy may I help you?” and the caller asks for you by name. The VR gets the name and number of the caller and then says “Hold on a moment John/Jill, I’ll see if I can’t track him/ her down. The VT then places the call on hold and clicks onto the phone number that you want calls forwarded to. Your phone rings & you see it’s the VR calling so you answer. The VR says- “Hi, it’s Sandy I have a John/ Jill Smith on the phone for you. Would you like for me to patch the call through or take a message?” If you want to take the call, the VR patches the call through to you. If you just want the VR to take a message, you have the option for the VR to take a message and send it via text and/or email or send the call to your Voicemail. The VR may also schedule an appointment using your calendar that will alert you that there is a new date on your calendar.


Q:   Perhaps you feel your voicemail is good enough until your business grows enough to be able to afford a traditional receptionist?

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



This Blog is brought to you by


Time marches on as we enter into the next socioeconomically era. One that comes from and will address the over 50 Million solopreneur, small and medium size businesses that represent the past, current and future engines of society. Going forward, in this market, is about efficiency, reducing overhead and getting the biggest bang for one’s buck, while still producing a quality product.

There are still many who cling on to the old ways. Some of said ways are time tested and hold firm, while others may have maintained, but are now shown to be wreaking havoc on the many as well as our environment.

Take voice-mail, a great advancement from the answering machine and pager days. It helped millions who didn’t want or have time to answer their phones. They’d get back from the golf course to a pile of messages to return and they didn’t have to pay thousands a month for a receptionist to do the same thing.

Then the voicemail novelty began to wear off and it was a short step to pissing people off.  Studies now show that close to 80% of callers hang up when they get to voicemail, hence live answering has come back around in a BIG, much more robust way.

10 years ago, there were 35 Million Solopreneurs who left the corporate work-structure to start their own small business. There are 50 Million today w/ 75M projected within the next 10 years.

Historically, these small businesses would need to borrow money, not only to get going but, to survive for however long it would take for their business to grow enough to be able to pay the $4,000 or $5,000 each month in office expenses  just to keep the doors open, much less turn a profit. When you consider $1,000++ for rent, $2,000+ for a receptionist, another couple of thousand for- loan payments, extra payroll, Utilities, insurance, supplies etc., it’s no wonder that small businesses are leaving the traditional office structure in droves. The majority of those who stay don’t survive. 

US-Answer (USA), the premier live answering/ forwarding service offers small businesses nationwide the professional “front office” receptionist/ image they’re looking for and need. At a fraction of the cost of the traditional front office, described above, USA moves beyond the traditional answering service or call center. One where it’s frustratingly obvious to a caller that the disinterested, disconnected receptionists answering calls for a company have no connection to or knowledge/ interest of the business being called. All they can do is take messages to pass on to the owner and/ or his/ her delegates to retrieve when they called in. 

USA starts by building a custom profile for each account. Said profile flashes up on the receptionist’s computer screen when calls come in for that particular account. Said profile offers up to date information (with links) that may be edited in live-time and relayed to callers. Also, depending on the situation and the wishes of the company being called, the receptionist may attempt to forward the call on to the appropriate individual wherever they may be, or take a message and send it via text and/or email.

USA designed its service to give the caller the impression that the receptionist who answers the call is in the next room from the individual(s) being called and has been with the company for many years. In reality, said company may be on the other side of the country and it may be the first time this particular receptionist has answered a call for this company and.

Starting at $79 per month, the only answer is US Answer

Laurence A. Kelly

USAnswer – Director

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