Starting an online store can be very profitable. Whether you start a store to compliment your physical location or you plan to keep your business 100% online, you need somebody to answer the phones.
Maybe you were thinking all the orders would just go through your website and you wouldn’t need to field any phone calls. This is a plan for failure, as many customers will want to call and place an order or even ask a few questions. Without a phone number they can call, your new online store may be perceived as an untrustworthy business.
Hiring a Receptionist for Your Online Store
You may be thinking that hiring a full time receptionist is the best choice for your online store. This person can answer plenty of phone calls, but they won’t be able to cover more than about 40 to 50 hours per week. Along with only covering a limited number of hours, you will have to spend between $2,000 and $4,000 per month for just one receptionist.
An online store is open 24/7 and needs to be covered at least during regular business hours. It’s best to have a customer service representative available at least 12 hours a day, if not more, to answer the phone. Without somebody answering the phones most or all of the day, your business could lose potential customers to competing businesses.
Why does a Virtual Receptionist Make Sense for an Online Store?
When you hire a virtual receptionist, you get more than just one person to answer the phone. You get a team of trained professionals ready to answer calls, take orders and help with customer services issues. Not only will you be able to provide better customer service, but you will also be able to provide somebody to answer the phones for more than just 40 to 50 hours a week.
Virtual receptionists are also much more cost effective. Most of the monthly packages will range from about $100 to $500 per month depending on your call volume. This is perfect for an online store because it’s scalable and gives you plenty of flexibility.
Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist for an Online Store
There are many benefits for online stores using a virtual receptionist. Some of the main benefits include:
- Efficiency – A virtual receptionist service will provide consistent customer service for your customers and potential customers. This will allow your business to run efficiently regardless of your call volume.
- More Cost Effective – One of the biggest benefits for online stores is the cost. Compared to an in-house, full-time receptionist, you can save 75% or more on the cost. Not only will you save on the actual receptionist, but also on the physical space. With a full time, in-house receptionist you will need a larger office space.
- Order Taking and Management – A virtual receptionist does more than just answer the phone and transfer the call. You can have your VR actually take orders, which makes things much easier on you when it comes to managing your online store. Your VR can also help with managing orders and making sure they get to the right places. They will work with both customers and vendors for you.
- Ability to Upsell – Since virtual receptionists are highly trained and professional, they will know exactly which products to recommend to somebody ordering from your store.
- Answer Questions – Often, customers call because they have a question about online ordering or about a specific product. Your virtual receptionist can quickly answer these questions.
There are many other benefits to using a virtual receptionist service for your online store. Since they are highly trained and very professional, your online store will be able to build a reputation for great customer service. This benefit alone can put you ahead of many of your competitors.
Whether you plan to use your online store to compliment your already successful business, or you plan to run your entire business online, you need a virtual receptionist to help with the call volume. This person can make a huge difference for your business by keeping customers happy, taking orders and so much more. If you want to run a successful online store, hire a virtual receptionist to handle all of your incoming phone calls.