Have you considered switching to a virtual receptionist? They can be a really handy asset to your company with allowing this person to work from home and handle all of your telephone calls and emails from their own house. In addition to keeping your office space smaller, you’re outsourcing the receptionist work to someone that isn’t considered an office staff member, meaning, you don’t have to worry about paying an actual salary and offering benefits.
They are typically paid per minute on the phone and if they take a lunch break, you don’t have to worry about who will cover the phones for that hour since you’ll get a different teammate to cover the workload. Here is a look at the common misconceptions that people have about hiring a virtual receptionist.
You think your virtual receptionist should be an expert on all of your admin tasks
You can’t expect a virtual receptionist or a new employee to be able specialized in every task you may need them to do and also to expect perfection in each task. It’s nice to have someone that can handle your blogposts every day, to be great on social media, to edit your company videos and to perform SEO for less than minimum wage.
With tasks like these, you should be hiring more than one person to do the job right. Even if it costs a chunk of change, you’ll end up with an unhappy virtual receptionist trying to handle too many tasks and feeling underpaid. You can hire multiple people through companies like 24/7 Virtual Assistant.
Good communication now doesn’t mean good communication with your customers
Just because your virtual receptionist appears to be a great communicator in their interview and resume doesn’t mean they are going to handle your customers the same way. Everybody puts on their best face when trying to get a job but not all of them keep up that great attitude when dealing with customers. Their friendliness and reliability with you may not translate with your customer base so be sure to look at references and reviews.
All previous customers are reliable for feedback
Keep in mind that when you’re looking for references, previous customers may alter their review of your potential virtual receptionist because they are friends with the candidate. If they work for the same company, they are more likely to put in a good word as well. Be skeptical of any feedback from people and be sure to do your own research through forums and social media in your industry. Online reviews are your best bet at getting valid information.
Trying to be a friend rather than a boss will pay off
In reality, you’ll end up more taken advantage of if you try to be a friend rather than a boss. If they see you as a friend or equal, they are more likely to show up late for their shift, make mistakes or slack off. They need to understand that this is a professional relationship and that while mistakes can happen, they need to be rare. Don’t let virtual receptionists get away with laziness.
They should perform well off the bat
Keep in mind that it’s still a transition working from their last job to yours. They need time to adjust so be patient when they first start working for you. Don’t expect them to hit the ground running; they’ll need time to learn your style and processes for tasks.
In addition, keep in mind other misconceptions like a higher priced agent will be more likely to bail on you when in reality, they like the comfort of a reliable employer to pay them that excellent rate. Keep in mind that if you expect too much from a virtual receptionist thinking that it won’t hurt you actually will because most virtual receptionists will notice when you’re asking too much and drop you for someone who treats them better. Be flexible if an emergency comes up but watch up for unmotivated hires.
When it comes down to it, you need to know what to expect from a virtual receptionist. This will make it much easier as you move forward and reap the benefits of using a virtual receptionist compared to spending quite a bit more for an in-house receptionist.