Hiring a receptionist can be a tricky thing and it can be quite expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be so expensive.
A virtual receptionist can help you get the benefits you need from a receptionist for a fraction of the cost. Here’s a look at the difference between the cost of a traditional receptionist and a virtual receptionist.
Before we examine the cost, it’s important to understand how much you get for the price. A traditional receptionist is viable for 40 hours per week. Often, they work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday and maybe a short day on Saturday. Anything over 40 hours and you will be paying extra.
A virtual receptionist, on the other hand, is available up to 24/7/365. Not all virtual receptionist services offer a 24/7/365 option, however. Even without the full coverage option, some of the best virtual receptionist services will cover more than just 8 hours per day. Many cover you from 7am to 8pm, which extends your business hours by five hours per day.
The average cost to hire a traditional receptionist is above $30,000 per year. This doesn’t include benefits, paid vacation, bonuses or any other extras. This also includes a 30 to 60 minute lunch each day and regular five to ten minute breaks throughout the day.
For $30K or more per year, you will get about 35 hours of actual phone coverage, if you’re lucky. It works out to about $15 per hour on the low end and as much as $25 per hours on the high end, not including benefits.
A virtual receptionist service is quite a bit less when it comes to cost. Instead of paying per hour or a salary, you will pay per minute with a monthly package you can upgrade or downgrade at any time. Packages can range from about $25 per month up to over $3,500 per month.
Most small businesses will spend less than $500 per month. You don’t have to pay for any benefits, breaks or vacations. In fact, they won’t even miss calls if they take a break for lunch or any other reason because most services assign two or more virtual receptionists to each account.
The experience of a traditional receptionist can vary quite a bit. Most consider this to be an entry-level position, which means you may get somebody with a little bit of experience, but not much.
A virtual receptionist is not only an experienced worker, but they are also highly trained to provide the best possible customer service. Many have multiple years of call center and customer service experience.
Traditional receptionists are limited to using the technology you provide in the office. However, a virtual receptionist provides unique support with SMS texting, appointment booking software, scalable call handing, and a reporting portal and customizable tracking software that can even record calls.
When you hire a traditional receptionist, they need a place to work. You will need an office space, a phone system, a computer, printer, fax machine, office supplies and many other items. This can become very costly, very fast.
A virtual receptionist doesn’t require any overhead at all. You can work from home and use a virtual receptionist. When you turn your phones over to this type of service, you no longer need the office space it takes to support a traditional receptionist.
Traditional receptionists will take paid holidays, medical days, personal leave, vacations and other breaks. You will pay them for a full year and lose two to three weeks for vacation and sick days, along with about five hours a week for breaks. They also don’t work weekends or any major holidays.
A virtual receptionist service provides somebody to answer the phone every single day. Since you get more than one person covering your phones, they cover each others breaks and never miss a call.
The overall picture of hiring a traditional receptionist compared to a virtual receptionist shows the true cost. You can spend more than $30,000 for less than adequate phone coverage or you can spend less than $10,000 for more coverage, better service and virtual receptionists with professional training.