80% of customers claim that they’re likely to become repeat customers after a good experience.
However, while customer experience is the number one brand differentiator, many businesses fail to provide exceptional support.
Hiring a virtual receptionist though can make all the difference.
In this guide, you’ll discover:
Let’s get started.
A virtual receptionist is an industry-trained expert who performs the same or similar tasks as a traditional receptionist but works remotely instead of a traditional office front desk.
These professionals serve as an extension of your team and they do much more than just answering your phone calls.
They can also assist you with various customer service related tasks while adding a layer of professionalism to all client-facing communications.
Founded by a team from Google, Apple and Intuit, Smith.ai is a California-based virtual receptionist service provider helping businesses capture, screen and convert web leads.
They serve a variety of small to medium-sized enterprises across various industries like eCommerce, hospitality, real estate and legal.
The agency offers a range of friendly, professional services, including:
Smith.ai employs more than 100 agents whose job is to help clients deliver exceptional customer service.
Smith.ai has three pricing options:
AnswerConnect is an Oregon-based virtual customer service and reception network whose agents are certified to manage HIPAA-compliant information for businesses handling sensitive information.
Their core strengths include 24/7 coverage, multi-channel support and they’re bilingual, being able to offer their services in Spanish.
The agency handles a variety of customer service tasks like:
AnswerConnect agents are also proficient at uncovering and directing sales leads.
To view the agency’s plans and pricing, you need to submit a request on their website.
Answering Services Care is headquartered in Florida. The agency is committed to answering your phone calls with efficiency and professionalism.
They have bilingual agents and offer 24/7 phone coverage. The agency offers month-to-month options, so you won’t have to sign a yearly contract.
Their services include:
Answering Service Care partners with small businesses in the real estate, legal, and medical sectors.
The agency offers several pricing structures:
Custom plans are also available.
Abby Connect is a Las Vegas-based live receptionist agency serving small businesses and medium-sized companies across various industries, including legal, dental and accounting.
Their job is to help organizations convert more callers into customers by facilitating customer communications.
The agency’s services include:
Abby Connect has bilingual agents and offers 24/7 coverage.
The agency’s pricing is based on the minutes agents spend talking with clients:
Based in Phoenix, Nexa offers 24/7 virtual receptionist and business answering services. The agency employs more than 400 agents, highly trained to address industry-specific needs.
They serve clients across a range of industries, including legal, insurance, real estate and home services.
The agency is committed to helping companies grow by helping them improve their customer experiences.
Their key services incorporate:
Nexa offers two pricing options:
AnswerFirst is a Florida-based telecommunication firm dedicated to providing excellent customer service for businesses in almost every sector, including healthcare, real estate, IT and finance.
Their key services incorporate:
The agency offers 24/7 coverage and requires no contract signing.
AnswerFirst’s pricing rates start from $0.80 to $1.25 per minute.
However, the company also has custom plans for every business and type.
Ruby is an Oregon-based virtual receptionist service provider that has businesses covered 24/7/365.
The company supports over 10,000 businesses, helping them cultivate great relationships with clients. From the first impression to lasting loyalty, they provide customers with personalized interactions to help you make meaningful connections.
They have bilingual receptionists and can provide assistance with:
Ruby’s pricing packages are based upon minutes spent on client calls. Businesses can choose from:
Bottleneck Digital Assistants is a Missouri-based company helping businesses create, build and nurture professional client relationships.
They provide small businesses with a range of services, including:
Bottleneck Digital Assistants’ pricing starts at $13.00 per hour.
PATLive is a Florida-based voice service provider dedicated to offering fast answers and friendly services.
Its team is highly trained and equipped to serve as an extension of your organization while delivering benefits that will drive your business forward.
Their services include:
PATLive offers 24/7 coverage.
The agency offers five pricing plans:
Gabbyville is a virtual reception service provider based in Tennessee. The agency serves businesses in a range of industries, including accounting, finance, insurance and entertainment.
The agency’s coverage time is Monday to Friday from 8 am to 11 pm EST.
Some of their key services include:
Gabbyville offers four pricing plans based on the number of calls:
Depending on your industry and specific business needs, virtual receptionist service providers may perform various tasks, including:
An answering service is a specialized agency that answers phone calls on behalf of organizations.
They take the calls and pass messages when the business is not available to perform these tasks, most often after regular business hours, for weekends or holidays. Or, based on the business preferences, they can provide assistance on a 24/7/365 basis.
Customers get to speak with a real person: a customer service agent, whose job is to showcase your business in the best light possible, crafting an impactful brand image for you.
A virtual assistant, on the other hand, takes calls but is also skilled in performing various other tasks like scheduling appointments, processing orders and collecting leads.
These experts are usually more connected to your business and their role requires far more interaction with your in-house team.
They are more concerned with your business success, so their job is to increase customer satisfaction and retention rates.
Before we provide the virtual receptionist service prices, let’s take a look at how much an in-house receptionist would cost you.
The average salary of U.S.-based receptionists varies between $33,628 and $41,984, as of March 29, 2021. The wide difference in salary range comes down to several factors like:
Based on this, having an in-house receptionist would cost you between $2.800 and $3,500 per month.
Virtual receptionist service providers, on the other hand, charge their clients based on the number of calls they make or messages they send.
So, depending on your needs, they will offer various pricing plans that may start at $20 and go up to a few hundreds of dollars per month.
Additional factors may influence the cost, such as:
The key benefits of hiring a virtual receptionist are:
Interestingly, the average U.S employer spends about $4,000 and 24 hours on hiring a new worker.
This indicates that hiring a professional virtual receptionist service provider is more affordable than hiring an in-house receptionist that you need to train.
However, the cost of hiring a new worker goes beyond training and it also incorporates factors like:
Additionally, unlike regular employees who typically work eight hours a day and five days a week, live receptionists are available 24/7.
Considering that customers may call your business at any time or any day, you need to ensure someone can handle the communication at all times.
In other words, you need to hire three receptionists to handle each shift.
Virtual receptionist service providers don't require special equipment. They are fully trained professionals and are available 24/7. So, they can save you money that can be especially invaluable when growing a business.
Quality assurance for all of the incoming inquiries can be a waste of time. But, it is a vital function of customer service that requires a careful approach.
When you use the services of a virtual receptionist provider, you tap into a network of fully trained and dedicated agents that can improve your customer satisfaction rates.
Considering that 58% of American consumers will stop doing business with a company because of poor customer service, you need to ensure your clients get the highest level of support possible.
These agents can ensure a consistent customer experience and make your clients happy by:
These experts are committed to providing assistance and support that encourages growth and brand loyalty for your business.
This will ultimately boost customer retention and generate more returning clients.
Business owners and employees usually wear many hats and have to perform many different tasks.
While answering emails and phone calls can be overwhelming and time-consuming, outsourcing client communication to a virtual receptionist service provider will allow you to focus on your vision, core business processes and larger sales drivers.
These experts can take the burden of customer service off your plate while reducing your workload and increasing your productivity and efficiency.
Salesforce’s report on the State of the Connected Customer shows that, according to 92% of consumers, positive customer service experiences make them more likely to make another purchase.
When you outsource your client communication to a virtual receptionist, you work with a highly qualified expert whose job is to make your clients satisfied by providing them with fast responses and efficient problem resolutions.
Excellent customer support can make all the difference, helping you establish meaningful relationships with your clients, driving loyalty and more repeated purchases.
This will ultimately result in increased sales.
Whether you are a small business or a well-established company, you can benefit from the expertise of virtual receptionist service providers.
With too many balls in the air, including dealing with customer service, you may struggle with productivity and managing your time.
Having said that, you should invest in these type of services when:
Nowadays, virtual receptionists can also be replaced with automated receptionist systems that can handle your inbound calls as a live human receptionist would.
These systems are able to:
This can save you staff training and operational costs.
However, the question is which option is better for your business: a human or a virtual receptionist software?
The reality is that technology and artificial intelligence can solve the woes of customer service teams. At least, that's what it seems like.
But studies provide interesting findings.
A NICE inContact report on customer experience shows that despite technology improvements, consumers prefer to connect with a human being.
In fact, agent-assisted methods are the best option that businesses can leverage for providing customer service.
The reason behind this is that live human receptionists can:
The bottom line: Human customer service is invaluable when it comes to client satisfaction and retention.
To select the best company for your business, consider the following factors:
Virtual receptionist service providers can help you improve your customer service and establish meaningful relationships with your clients.
These specialized agencies may approximately cost you from $20 to a few hundreds of dollars per month.
The major benefits of hiring a live receptionist are:
To choose the best partner for your business needs, consider the following key factors: