Virtual receptionists: Are they the future of businesses first point of contact?

Virtual receptionists: Are they the future of businesses first point of contact?

When someone decides to contact your business, who is the first person they encounter? Do they have to call your front desk staff, send an email, or contact you through social media?

The first point of contact is basically the first opportunity that a potential customer has to get acquainted with your business. The first point of contact determines the first impression that your business will give each potential customer. The quality of your first point of contact will affect whether customers decide to work with your business or not.

Impact on Customer Satisfaction

This might not seem very important, but it can actually have a profound effect on your business’ reputation and customer satisfaction. Having a great first point of contact can help you attract new customers and retain the ones that have already worked with you.

When a potential customer decides to contact your business, they are looking for friendly and efficient support. They might have some doubts regarding your services, or they might want to verify whether a product is available. 

There are many reasons why a potential customer might need to contact your business before they hire you or purchase your products. Regardless of the reason why they call, you need to make sure that the first person who they come into contact with is professional, warm, and able to solve their inquiries. Otherwise, your customer satisfaction rate could be negatively affected.

First Point of Contact

Traditionally, ensuring that your first point of contact was positive was a complicated, expensive task. Small businesses usually can’t afford to hire staff exclusively for this purpose. Advertising for a position, hosting interviews, hiring a new employee, and training someone new are all time-consuming and expensive processes. And even after your newest member of staff gets used to their responsibilities and adjusts to a new environment, you have to consider whether your business can afford paying another salary. 

But by not providing a high-quality first point of contact, your customer retention could decrease. If a customer calls your business and can’t reach anyone, they will eventually stop calling. Something even worse could happen: a caller could run into a grumpy member of staff. Overworked staff probably won’t be able to provide the friendly and professional first point of contact that your customers expect from a great business.

But thanks to globalization and modern technology, more affordable options are becoming available for small businesses that want to grow and provide great customer service. Virtual answering services are quickly becoming a popular option for businesses that want to improve their first point of contact.

What do virtual answering services provide, exactly? 

Through a virtual answering service, you would be able to have a virtual reception available to your customers 24/7. Professional, fully-trained, friendly operators will be able to take every phone call and provide warm, knowledgeable guidance to anyone who calls. 

This strategy is also far more affordable than hiring new on-site staff. Operators will only charge you for the time that they spent working, and you won’t have to spend money hiring and training new employees. You will simply have to outline tasks and provide information about your business so that operators can get to work.

You can allow operators to access certain parts of your business’ management system so that they can carry out numerous tasks. A virtual receptionist can schedule appointments, handle collections, track shipments, contact suppliers, take messages, and transfer calls, amongst other possible tasks. 

Virtual Answering Services Provide Positive First Impressions

Through a virtual answering service, you will ensure that your business’ first point of contact is a positive one. New customers will always be greeted by a friendly, human voice that knows exactly how to solve their problems and answer their questions. Even if a caller needs to contact your business in the middle of the night or during a holiday, your business’ call center will be open for them.

Rather than having to build an expensive, on-site call center, you will be able to offer great customer service without breaking your budget. Your on-site staff will also be more relaxed and able to focus on their tasks once they don’t have to worry about picking up the phone. 

It’s no wonder that virtual answering services have become so popular. Thanks to these innovative and affordable services, you can gain access to a simple solution that improves your business’ first point of contact. Potential customers will quickly get a good first impression and your business will gain a great reputation and your customer satisfaction will improve without going over your budget.