May 1, 2012
BOCA RATON—Have you ever been in a position where you couldn’t answer your phone? Maybe you were on the other line in the midst of an important call, or in a face-to-face meeting with a potential client—or just out for a walk!
When you don’t answer your business line, what happens to your callers? Unless you have a virtual receptionist they go straight into the black hole that is voicemail. That’s not good news if it’s a would-be client that’s surveying the various competitors in your market. You could lose the deal before you’ve ever had a chance to pitch it because many people don’t even leave messages.
Opus Virtual Offices just did a survey to analyze client call patterns to prove that point. The results revealed an 8 percent increase in callers leaving messages if the call was first answered by a live person instead of going directly to voicemail.
So here’s the rub: You can’t take every incoming call—unless you have so few calls that you are struggling to survive. But if your business is healthy you are going to discover that you will miss a few calls while you are wrapped up in other tasks and meetings. You could hire a receptionist, but that’s costly. The answer: virtual receptionists.
“When I call a business I want to reach a live person, not leave a message and wait for a callback,” says Dave Zimet, COO of Opus Virtual Offices. “Almost everyone feels the same. But I was surprised to find out exactly how important live answering is.”
There is no lack of live virtual receptionist services on the market. Opus wraps up a live virtual receptionist service into its virtual office packages, which run $99 a month.
Whether you go with Opus or a dedicated virtual receptionist provider like Ruby Receptionists or a system like Phone.com, be careful to understand the costs in detail. There are a lot of virtual receptionists services on the market that drive user complaints from people who didn’t clearly understand the terms of service.
Also, make sure your virtual receptionists provider has live trained receptionists to take your calls. It makes a huge difference. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression.