How to Setup a Virtual Receptionist

With the advent of the Internet, businesses have realized the importance of a virtual receptionist and other things like live chat support. There are a variety of services that are provided by these professionals and it is important that you understand how to set them up in order for them to be effective. Before you do this though, you need to have a basic understanding of how telephone technology works. Once you have that knowledge, you will be able to move on to learning more about how to set up a virtual receptionist.

Choose Hardware Carefully

The first step is to choose your hardware. The most common choice for phones used as a service is to go with a cell phone. These days, there are many different models that are available so you can find one that will fit into your budget. If you want something with a bigger display, there are phones that come with large LCD displays. If you would rather have a smaller screen, there are phones that have keypads or touch screens. You may even be able to use Voice Over IP, which is another type of phone service that allows you to make and receive calls using internet applications instead of using traditional telephones.

Handling Voicemails and Emails

Next, you will need to decide how you are going to handle voicemails and emails. When dealing with an office, emails and voicemails are almost always a must. However, if you are only answering a few messages per day, then a cell will work fine. Cell phones are also easy to set up a virtual receptionist because they usually do not have any hardware requirements.

A virtual receptionist should always be given some sort of ID and passcode. The same goes for your live chat support. This is used to identify them at reception so that the receptionist can contact them later if they ever leave the company. The code will usually be something simple such as “1234.” If you want more security, you can have a secured server where only employees have access. A good way of tracking down an errant receptionist is through an anonymous caller ID.

Contacting Staff

Another consideration for how to set up a virtual receptionist is how you will be contacting your staff. How will you send out emails and voicemails? Will it be through an office phone or will you want your staff to be able to call your cell phone? Some virtual receptionists are equipped with a dedicated phone line. This is a better choice if you expect all of your calls to be made or received via fax or email.

Number of Users

Another thing that you will need to take into account when you are considering how to set up a virtual receptionist is the number of users. If you have a large business, you may want to consider having several different receptionists handle calls. This is especially true for call center functions. If one person takes too many calls and the others can’t take their place, the center can become unproductive. This is why it is imperative that you account for how many users you will have on your business’s phone system.

Hiring Process

When setting up a virtual receptionist, one of the last considerations should be how you will hire the individual. There are a number of companies that offer virtual receptionist services. If you choose to go with one of these companies, you should always check with them to make sure that they are legitimate. Also, you should look at what their rates are to see if this fits in with your budget. Always remember that if a company’s price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Making Payments

The last consideration when it comes to setting up a virtual receptionist is how you will pay for the individual. A virtual receptionist can work for a business very well, but the cost of hiring one can vary greatly. Some businesses do well with one representative and save a great deal of money. Other businesses do not benefit from having to hire a receptionist in the first place because the representative doesn’t really add anything to the business.

Now that you know all about utilizing a virtual receptionist, you’ll be better equipped to make the right moves for yourself and your business.

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