Ask a Receptionist: What Do Virtual Receptionists Do?
“I’ve been hearing about virtual receptionists a lot lately. I know that they answer phones for small businesses, but there must be more to it if so many businesses are skipping the ‘traditional’ receptionists in favor of virtual receptionists. Can you tell me or give an example of what a virtual receptionist does on an average day?”
-Kevin G. of Harris, LA
Kevin’s question is a common one. While most people know what receptionists do, the term ‘virtual receptionist’ can be unfamiliar to some. Don’t worry – one of our virtual receptionists volunteered to give an example of her daily duties at Conversational. It will give you a better idea of what a virtual receptionist finds herself working on throughout the average day and what a virtual receptionist could accomplish for your business in just one day.
If you have a question you’d like to ask a receptionist, please send it over to Debra@Conversational.com and we’ll have a receptionist answer it in an upcoming blog post!
Ask a Receptionist: A Day in the Life of a Virtual Receptionist
8:00am Time to get to work! After grabbing a quick breakfast on the way, I arrive at the Conversational office at 8:00am each weekday and make my way to my desk. I turn on my computer, put on my headset, and get ready to take some calls.
8:04am First call of the day comes through – a customer calls to find out the business hours of one of our law office clients. It might seem like an easy question, but I love answering those! Bonus: She decided to make an appointment for a consultation after learning more about the law office and availability!
9:50am Now that I’ve got several calls under my belt this morning, I compile any messages callers have left for our clients throughout the morning and start sending them out – unless they’re urgent and need a response very quickly.
In that case, I immediately type and email the message to the proper person and offer to forward the caller to their voicemail so they can leave a quick message as well.
11:58am I answer about 12 more calls before it’s time for me to take my lunch break. Today was my turn to bring lunch to share with my coworkers (an awesome, talented group of ladies!). Had an idea to start hosting themed lunches each week – we love anything with a good theme. Check us out as flappers at our 1920’s themed party (below right)!
12:31pm After a big lunch, I get my “second wind” of the day and get back to answering calls and scheduling appointments.
1:10pm Just got off the phone with a man who called to cancel his appointment with a doctor’s office we work with. At Conversational, we are taught to immediately offer to reschedule appointments when someone calls to cancel. I told the man I appreciated him letting us know he couldn’t make it and offered to reschedule the appointment for the following week, same day, same time.
He agreed and was so thankful that we could reschedule him quickly – even asked for my name so he could let the office know about his great experience on the phone. These are the calls that make me so proud to be a virtual receptionist.
2:00pm I’ve been sitting down for most of the day and my legs start to get crampy. I take a break, pull up some ‘deskercise’ videos on YouTube, and do them at my desk. I try to do this once a day. I stop before I’m out of breath because answering calls when…you’re…talking….like….this doesn’t exactly come across as professional.
2:44pm I successfully fight the urge to answer the phone as Bridget Jones (the way Kelly from The Office did). Potential crisis averted.
3:17pm One of our clients, an independently owned beauty salon, gets a call from a woman who has experienced a terrible hair catastrophe after attempting to do her own hair color. She wants to schedule an appointment to have a stylist check out the damage and come up with a plan to fix it.
Since I answer calls for the same small business clients each day, I know this beauty salon well and am familiar with the process the owner uses to handle customers that need serious hair repair. I’m able to calm the woman down, let her know that we can work her in for an appointment the very next morning, and send a special note to the owner to give her background info on the color issue (as she requested when we first started working together). Score.
4:25pm Calls slow down and one of our virtual assistants (they’re a bit different from virtual receptionists – we handle calls, messages, and appointments while virtual assistants handle a wider range of tasks, including social media scheduling, blog posts and editorial calendars, event planning tasks, etc.) comes to my desk and asks if I have time to help her find and schedule social media content for a new client.
We work together to find content under the topics the client specified and start scheduling. We don’t mind helping each other out when our schedule allows because you never know when you’re going to be the one who needs some assistance!
5:00pm After wrapping up by sending the last of today’s messages to their proper recipients, my workday has come to a close. I think back to this morning as I drove to work, scarfing down an Egg McMuffin and it seems like a long time ago.
I think about the dozens of people I’ve spoken to on the phone today and remember the sweet compliment I got from the man who simply needed to reschedule an appointment. I mildly panic when I remember the worried woman who was in the midst of a hair disaster and hope that she gets it taken care of tomorrow at her appointment. It’s been a good day, I decide. I’m ready to come back and do it again tomorrow.