Jul 11, 2017
We live in busy times. Thanks to the internet and mobile phones, we can be working 16 hours a day. This ease of doing business is actually a good thing.
In the old days a plumber had to have a secretary to sit at home to take his phone calls, usually his missus. Otherwise, he used an answering machine. Answering machines don't really cut it if you want to make a sale. Clients want to speak to the main man, now! They're ringing around for a quote and if they can't speak to a human being, they may not leave a message. Some people don't like answering machines. So they go onto the next operator who answers his calls.
However, it's not always possible or advisable to be available to callers all the time. You have work to do.
You might want to have a siesta, or a home life! Your missus has the house and kids to look after. She may be working too. A large percentage of your calls may be a waste of time; tyre-kickers, sales calls, low-fee clients. But the calls keep coming.
Enter the virtual receptionist.
A virtual receptionist is a nice lady who works in a call centre and answers your purchased telephone number in your name. You can advertise this number as-is, or divert an existing number to it. It can be a local number like 0207 or a non-geographical number like 0800.
She says "X is not available, can I take a message". "I'm sorry, I can't answer technical questions, would you like to leave a message and I'll pass it on to him?"
She takes the name, number an message of the caller and while she's doing that, the system logs caller ID, time and date, and records the message. This is then emailed to you, giving you a very good idea of who called, when they called and what they wanted.
You can call them back quickly if its an important caller, or the next day if they're not, or not at all if they're a nuisance caller!
People are very grateful if they're called back quickly, especially if its by a company that looks professional online and in its advertisements. It makes you look bigger, like you have more staff. You can finish your current tasks and then call the person back when you're more relaxed and in a better mood. This helps you make more sales.
This ends the phenomenon of being called while you're in the street or in the car and you can't make notes; it's noisy and you're distracted by what's going on around you. Your caller thinks you're a grander enterprise and is reassured by your measured speaking voice.
Think! If, when callers call you and it sounds like you're out and about all the time, or there's children screeching in the background, what impression does that give?
They get a different impression if your 'secretary' takes the message and you then call them back in a calm voice with office noises, or silence, in the background.
Services like Skype let you set your own caller ID. So you can call them back from the same number your client called. Our service lets you choose from a wide range of numbers, with different area codes: https://www.registeredaddress.co.uk/blog/how-our-virtual-telephony-service-can-help-your-business/
Your number can be answered 24/7 and messages taken by a professional. If money is tight, you can just set the number to answering-machine mode. The messages are emailed to you as sound-files. You can listen, make notes, and then call them back when it's more convenient.
Staff are professionals and native English speakers. This is more reassuring to clients than getting someone called 'Melanie' who has an Indo-American accent and just doesn't have the vocal nuances a local girl does.
If you already have a receptionist, you can use our service to cover breaks, holidays and peak periods, when all your lines are busy.
No additional equipment is needed and you can be up and running in minutes. Free up your time to take care of important tasks or emergencies. Our service is very useful to handle call types for which you don't need to take on extra receptionists yourself and which are not immediately important, like after-sales service.
If your receptionist calls in sick or your office springs a leak and it's 'all hands on deck', the virtual receptionist can get you over the hump until things settle down. You can build your brand and reputation during the productive hours of the working day and handle the calls later, after lunch, when you're more relaxed.
• Features and benefits:
- Be relaxed about missed calls, confident that our team can handle them for you;
- Use the call centre as an 'overflow' at times when you're busy, busy, busy;
- Stay open 24-7. Take calls while you sleep;
- Callers get the impression you're a 'corporate enterprise', even if you're operating from home;
- Get contact details from callers who normally don't leave voicemail = more sales;
- Save money by using professional without the expense of directly employing them;
- Get the name, contact number and a short message from every caller;
- Fast: details are sent to you immediately by SMS and email;
No hidden per-minute costs. A monthly subscription costs just £19.50 plus VAT, which includes up to 15 calls with immediate SMS/email notification. Any additional messages are then charged at £1.25+VAT.
What does a message look like?
A message was taken by RAAnswers14 MessageDesk for Reception 1 of YourCompanyName.co.uk
Time 19:46 10-Jul-2017 BST
Caller: Mrs Jane Windsor
Call regarding: Trying to register online. Has some questions.
CallerID 0850999 807
Callback num 0850999807
Number called 442070607220
Agent Comments -
Agent Handling Mode Standard
A recording of the Agent session has been attached as an MP3 file
You can get more numbers when you're expanding your business into new areas or for tracking responses to your advertising e.g. If someone calls 0207 999 8881 you know that advert '1a - Red-Gold Sneakers' is doing its job.
This is a cost-effective and highly competitive alternative to handling calls in house. When a potential clients calls your special telephone number, you call will be answered in your company name, in seconds, and the message will be relayed or forwarded on to you, as you wish.
You are in control.