Virtual Receptionist vs. Traditional Call Centers: Which is better for your business?

February 28, 2018

Handling business and customer calls need more than just professionalism. It requires intuitiveness as well to keep a track of all incoming calls, monitor conversations and most importantly, direct calls to the right departments at the right time for timely solutions. A virtual receptionist is ‘the’ answer you are looking for.

Who is a Virtual Receptionist?

More than half your customers are likely to choose another business after a bad experience with you. This includes every time that they reach out to your business on call. The last thing you want, in this case, is for them to be on hold endlessly or not be able to reach the right team member who can offer them a timely solution. Enter virtual receptionist, boom- all these problems are solved!

Virtual Receptionist

A virtual receptionist software does exactly what is expected of a receptionist- answer the call, welcome the caller, and intelligently forward the calls to the right department. It ensures none of your calls go unattended, which boosts your brand image and builds a meaningful relationship with the caller, right from the first point of contact.

Ideally, a live receptionist service also sends you alerts for any missed calls via SMS and emails, ensuring a call-back at the earliest.

“Missed calls are missed opportunities to delight a customer.”

What should you be looking for in a Virtual Receptionist?

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A good virtual receptionist software can do much more than just welcoming users and routing them to appropriate people. Here are a few key features you should be looking for:

  1. Call tracking

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A live receptionist should be able to track all incoming calls, outgoing calls, missed calls, calls made to each department and more. It will help you know your customers better and offer them a better experience in terms of what they’re looking to achieve from the call.

  1. Call recording

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All customer conversations, including missed calls, should be recorded for close monitoring of processes and representatives. This can not only be used to identify loopholes in the system but also understand if there is a need to hire more agents. The recordings can also be used for quality monitoring and training purposes.

  1. IVR

Your customer does not have to know that you are working out of your basement. Your IVR should be customizable and made to sound professional so you can project yourself as an “established brand”. An automated welcome greeting that connects your customers to the right department would be ideal.

  1. Call center setup

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The best virtual receptionist software will enable you to start a full-feature inbound or outbound call center linked to your virtual number.

  1. Customer service improvement

Since all the calls are tracked and monitored, the customer can be assured of exceptional service every single time. The dashboard has a details of the conversation with a particular customer, so an agent knows to pick up the conversation exactly from where they left.

  1. Analytics

Get all relevant call reports, live analytics and campaign reports on a unified dashboard. Understand how customers are interacting with your business and make better business decisions.

Know the differences between a virtual receptionist and an IVR

Why is having a Virtual Receptionist better than a Traditional Call Center?

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Businesses often tend to hire in-house resources to offer customer support services. But as companies move from 24/7 customer support to working hours that are more employee friendly, everyone is now moving to using a virtual receptionist. This gives them the flexibility to let their employees work from home while  never let the customer feel like they are left fending for themselves.

Here’s why having a virtual receptionist is better than a traditional call center:

  1. Never miss a call

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Since the virtual receptionist software keeps track of all the calls, it connects the customer to the right department instantly. In case a call is missed, it records the same with the customer input. This enables you to call the customer back as soon as possible with a solution.

  1. Zero infrastructure

Except for a PC and an internet connection, you need absolutely no in-house infrastructure to start using a live receptionist. This cuts down on your infrastructure costs and maintenance, letting you optimize your resources for business growth.

  1. Cost effective

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Most virtual receptionist software offer a pay-as-you-go model. This makes them fit for fast scaling businesses and a more feasible alternative to setting up the traditional call center.

  1. Location independent

A live receptionist service will enable your team to take customer calls on-the-go. All they need is access to a PC and internet connectivity to be able to address incoming customer calls in a timely manner.

  1. In-depth analysis

Since a live receptionist tracks, records and monitors all the incoming as well as outgoing calls from all departments, it offers you an in-depth analysis of customer engagement. This enables you to optimize your processes further to better their experience and build meaningful conversations that lead to customer loyalty.

  1. CRM integration

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A virtual receptionist software can be integrated with most CRMs. This helps keep a record of all the customer data, the past and ongoing conversations made via SMS, calls or emails; which further lets you predict the changing needs of the customer and address them to build loyalty.

  1. A single number for the entire business

A virtual receptionist doesn’t need you to get multiple phone numbers. Using one number, you can set up an IVR that directs the customer to different departments. It’s easy for the customer to remember and definitely easier for you to manage. See how Toit, a famous microbrewery in Bengaluru, uses a single number for all of their business.

Who should use a Virtual Receptionist?

A virtual receptionist enables you to offer 24/7 customer support without setting up the traditional in-house call center. Businesses that are on a fast scaling model – small, medium to large or even startups, are using the cloud technology to support their teams to be their productive selves and at the same time, ensure greater customer support service.  

For instance, Urban Ladder uses Exotel’s live receptionist for offering customer support. With the help of the virtual receptionist software, they provide their customers and agents with a single phone number that can be easily accessed when there’s a need to interact or communicate.

The cloud telephony technology that the live receptionist uses links multiple mobile numbers to a single, customer-facing number. The calls are then distributed between the support agents based on the customer input, resulting in lesser missed calls. See how they do it here.

Would you choose the virtual receptionist or stick to the traditional call-center model for your business? We’d love to know why.

Vanhishikha
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