Virtual answering is a professional phone answering service that acts as an extension of your business. It is similar to a virtual receptionist service that is outsourced to fulfill customer-focused, phone-heavy tasks such as taking messages, answering inbound customer service calls, and transferring callers to your company’s in-house staff when necessary.
How does Virtual Answering Work?
Virtual answering uses Cloud-based or online technology to route calls for your company to a hired third-party or Virtual Answering Service. When a call is received through your business phone number, a live representative answers the call with your company’s greeting and assists the caller on your company’s behalf, as directed.
Here’s an example of how virtual answering works:
Roy owns Popcorn Party, a gourmet flavored popcorn company. He has a small team that often gets bombarded with basic product questions, customer orders, catering requests, and inquiries about upcoming events as well as calls from vendors and retailers interested in selling his popcorn. Roy is overwhelmed and spends more time answering the phone and responding to messages than making popcorn to sell. The busy season is approaching and Roy decides to hire a virtual answering service to help with customer inquiries, taking orders, and forwarding messages from vendors and retailers interested in selling Roy’s popcorn in their shops.
After hiring the third-party answering service, Roy provides the virtual answering service with the basic information needed to assist his customers. Calls for Popcorn Party are now redirected to the virtual answering service. Each time a customer calls Popcorn Party, their call is answered by a designated live team who is knowledgeable on Popcorn Party’s protocol and products. If the caller needs to speak with Roy or his staff, a message is taken or the call is transferred to the appropriate staff member, based on his agreement. Popcorn Party now has a professional around-the-clock team who can answer general product questions, assist customers with online orders, and take vendor and retailer messages for Roy to return later. Roy now has more time to focus on revenue-generating activities like increasing sales or concocting the newest popcorn flavor.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Answering Service?
One of the major benefits of a virtual answering service is it provides all of the services of a receptionist without the high cost of hiring and training an extra employee. Your customers have access to professional customer service from live operators whenever you choose, including 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, without interruption. These skilled operators are trained to answer and route your calls according to your specific instructions and provide services such as:
- 24/7 Phone Answering
- Call Screening and Forwarding
- Appointment Scheduling
- Flexible Call Routing
- Online Fax Services
- Message Taking and Routing
- Disaster Recovery
- Securing Local & Toll-Free Phone Numbers
You can customize the type and frequency of messages that get routed to your staff. You can also choose what method you prefer to receive messages including:
Virtual operators use the latest technology and state-of-the-art office equipment to work efficiently and help give your business a professional and polished appearance.
Additional benefits to having a virtual answering service, include:
- Virtual answering services are more cost-effective than hiring and training an in-house receptionist. In fact, industry studies estimate that virtual answering services cost a fraction of the cost of adding an employee to your staff.
- You can customize services to meet your business’s specific needs based on your directives.
- You never miss a call which keeps customers very happy.
- Your brand is represented professionally.
- Your call records are maintained.
- Virtual operators completely interface with your systems and technology.
- You never need to purchase costly call answering hardware.
- You can add or subtract services as you need them.
- Your staff can focus on other important aspects of your business.
When you partner with Northwest Telephone Answering Service, you’ll quickly see the benefits of virtual answering services and how they impact your bottom line – regardless of your industry. Our state-of-the-art systems and technicians will work with you to seamlessly integrate our business into yours so your customers won’t know the difference. Our live operators will answer your calls as though they were part of your team. Contact us now to find out how we can help you grow your business.