Answering Service Vs Virtual Reception – What’s the Difference?

Many business owners see a phone answering service and virtual receptionist service as the exact same thing. On the surface, they’re right, both types of businesses answer the phone when it rings

It’s how a virtual receptionist handles that call that differentiates them from a strictly answer service business.

We’re going to compare and contrast answering services and virtual reception services.

Our goal isn’t to sell you on why you MUST hire a virtual reception service, but rather consider understand the differences so you know what to expect.

Answering Calls

Both types of businesses answer calls, with a focus on doing so quickly. This is the easiest part of the whole process, answering the phone, and it’s exactly what you pay a telephone answering service to do, answer that call.

What happens after the call is answered is where things begin to differ and why the cost of a virtual reception service is more than an answering service.

Handling Caller Questions and Requests

If you’re business just needs someone to answer the phone and take a message, then an answering service should provide the level of support you need. What if the caller has some questions about your products or services. What if they want to book an appointment? What do you do then?

Virtual reception services generally invest more heavily in their software and technology as well as their people. This is to ensure that each business can provide specific details about their products and services such that each virtual receptionist can handle basic questions and even appointment booking.

You generally do not get that type of support from a straight answering service.

Want to see how we handle incoming calls and the information we can provide our receptionists? Click here to grab a free demo video of our services.

Beyond Taking the Message

If you sell items over the phone, provide support or book appointments with clients this is a task best left for a virtual receptionist.

So many tools and services are now available online, it’s possible to book appointments, answer questions, look up information and even process transactions simply with Internet access.

This is where virtual receptionists really separate themselves from an answering service. They truly are your receptionist just not right in your office.

Ideal Answering Service Customers

If your business simply requires someone to take a message and that’s it then a strict answering service will work for you. The cost will be lower, they won’t be answering common questions or booking appointments, but every caller will get an answer.

It’s difficult to come up with a specific industry that doesn’t need great customer service. Every marketplace is becoming so competitive, there just isn’t a lot of room for sloppiness anymore.

Ideal Virtual Reception Service Customers

If you receive phone calls then there’s justification for having a virtual receptionist on your team. That is if you struggle to answer your calls.

Businesses that already have an established front desk staff or reception team generally don’t require virtual reception, however, we do sometimes provide backup reception services for lunch hours, times with heavy call volume and sick days.

We’ve found that professional services such as lawyers and accountants as well as wellness services such as Chiropractors and massage therapists see big benefits in having a virtual reception service support their team.

What Now?

The next step is to grab our free demo video and pricing guide so you can see exactly how we are able to provide specific information about your business.

You can request the video here.

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