Sep 022010
 
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This is a Guest Post by Justin Whitmire.

If you own a small company, you are keenly aware of the need to streamline business costs without sacrificing customer service.

The current economic climate ensures that everyone is looking for a way to gain an edge, a way to cut costs without appearing cut-rate.

For years, companies unable to afford a full-time receptionist have employed methods to help ensure the best results for their customers, but answering services and giant overseas call centers haven’t always provided the best options. And both can be impersonal and frustrating to callers, many of whom are looking for quick and simple answers that any trained office worker can provide. But not every business can afford to hire a full-time secretary to help smoothly run the front end of their business.

One of the solutions to this problem is the advent of the remote or off-site receptionist.

A fairly recent development – thanks to new technology — the off-site receptionist, often referred to as a virtual receptionist, allows businesses the more personal touch of a small, dedicated group of receptionists that get to know the companies they represent and act as another member of on-site staff, despite their actual location.

In fact, callers to companies that employ virtual receptionists will feel as though they are actually talking to someone within the organization, as the receptionist will be able to answer questions about the company and transfer calls in real time and some services even offer the ability to take orders and make appointments over the phone.

Most virtual reception companies make sure their receptionists understand your business by working hand-in-hand with you. Through your combined efforts you can develop scripts for the receptionists to use with callers, familiarize them with your products, and establish your office schedule.  When an off-site receptionist knows your schedule, they are able to communicate with callers more effectively, including such simple things as when a client can expect a return call – and even schedule appointments in your absence.

Best of all, outsource reception services are extremely affordable.  Full service providers generally charge just a few hundred dollars a month; a bargain when compared to hiring a full-time employee.  Additionally, virtual receptionists are available 24 hours a day, never sick, and don’t require company benefits or raises.

Though finding a service that fits your individual business needs is critical, the right provider can offer your company several advantages over simple answering services or larger, less personal call centers.  Most importantly virtual receptionists provide their service at a fraction of the price of hiring a dedicated employee.

About the Author:

Justin Whitmire is a Virtual Receptionist team specialist with Hosted Receptionist.com.  Justin specializes in employee training and customer care utilizing his 11 years of experience in the Call Center Services industry..

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