Business owners face a catch-22: Some phone calls, like those from a customer or business partner, require prompt attention. However, many calls these days are from spammers and telemarketers. Answering the latter type of call is frustrating, not to mention a waste of time and energy.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution that will save you time and ensure that important calls get answered. It’s called virtual phone answering, and it’s a service that’s offered by virtual office providers like Intelligent Office (IO) and others. To learn more about how virtual phone answering can help you automate the way incoming calls are handled, read on.
Virtual phone answering depends on virtual receptionists, who answer incoming phone calls for the businesses they support. With the help of a professional assistant, you no longer have to answer every call just in case it might be important. Someone else has that handled, and they’ll take notes and alert you when there’s an urgent matter that needs your input.
Many providers offer pay-per-call pricing, which allows companies to only pay for calls that are received. It’s an ideal alternative to hiring full or part-time receptionist coverage and a perfect solution for businesses that receive an irregular volume of calls.
The cost savings are substantial, too.
If a business owner starts accepting calls late into the evening and early morning, things can quickly spiral out of control. Setting boundaries is important if you want to maintain work-life balance, but you also want to be available when customers and prospects need assistance.
With a virtual phone answering service, it’s possible to receive calls outside of normal business hours without cutting into your precious personal time. You can have a live receptionist answer the phone, without needing to hire around-the-clock coverage. They can even triage phone calls based on importance and priority, and will alert you if immediate attention is required.
This can benefit a number of businesses, but it’s a particularly big perk for businesses that handle emergencies, like plumbers and electricians.
Hiring new team members is expensive and time consuming. It’s not easy to find the best fit for your company, and many small businesses struggle to find enough time to train new employees.
Since virtual receptionists are already vetted and trained by the provider they’re employed with, virtual phone answering handily solves common problems related to hiring staff.
You can hire someone to handle the phones, but it’s probably much harder (if not impossible) to hire someone who can replace your role in growing the company.
When you hire a phone answering service, it frees up time for you to do more of your best work, without interruption. This might be the biggest benefit to hiring a service to screen your calls, because you only have so many hours in a day.