By Kevin Gillam

Back in the day, if you wanted a receptionist for your business, you had to hire someone, put her on your payroll, and make sure she had all the tools that she needed to answer the phone. Thanks to modern technology, you can skip all those steps, give your business a professional feel, and always stay connected with the help of a virtual receptionist service.

Virtual Receptionist 101

In short, a virtual receptionist is an individual at a remote location who answers and makes phone calls on your behalf, as if she was physically in your office.

The following are some of the tasks that a virtual receptionist does:

  • Answerphonecalls: Callers hate talking to machines and having to push a bunch of numbers just to get some service. A virtual receptionist takes away this frustration, so your clients always speak to a live, friendly person right away.
  • Make phone calls: If you need information from someone or want to relay a message, but are working on another task, your virtual receptionist can make the call and let you know about the outcome.
  • Forward calls: With the help of a virtual receptionist service, you’re no longer tied to your desk for fear of missing a call. Simply tell your receptionist that you’re going to be out of the office. She’ll forward your calls to any number you wish.     
  • Take messages: Instead of simply sending callers straight to your voicemail, a good virtual receptionist service gives the option of taking handwritten notes so you can give your clients an extra personal touch.

The Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist Service

  • Freedom: Focus on the task at hand without compromising customer service.
  • Increasedproductivity: When you have the freedom to focus on work instead of answer phones, you can get more done. Increased productivity leads to happy clients, which leads to growth and a better bottom line.
  • Cost effectiveness: When you work with a virtual receptionist service, you don’t have to deal with any employee-related costs. You just pay for the services that the virtual receptionist is involved in your calls. 
  • Greatcustomerservice: The great first impressions and first-class customer service that a virtual receptionist offers will make your business stand out from the competition.

A missed call can mean a missed opportunity. With services designed to meet your professional needs, a virtual receptionist is a great fit for businesses like small law firms, creative and marketing firms, technology professionals, designers, financial advisors, nonprofit organizations, consultants and even those with virtual offices. Just because your business may be small, it doesn’t have to sound small. Give a virtual receptionist a try and see how your business shines.

Ruby Receptionists‘ Director of Marketing, Kevin Gillam, contributed this post. Ruby is a leading live virtual receptionist service in Portland, Oregon and provides personalized, remote receptionist service for attorneys and small businesses throughout North America. @callruby