Do I have to Change my Businesses Phone Number To Use An Offsite Receptionist

When considering switching to virtual receptionist services, clients often ask us if they have to change their phone number. This is a big concern for business owners, who invest a lot of money into websites, business cards, ads, and other marketing materials. Updating their phone number in so many places can be a hassle — not to mention expensive.

The good news is that today’s phone answering technology allows you to enjoy all the perks of virtual reception without having to change your current phone number. Most Smiledog clients use our services in one of three ways. Let’s explore three scenarios for potential Smiledog clients!

Full-Time Reception Services

When you sign up for full-time reception services with Smiledog, you will take your current phone number and forward it to the number provided to you at sign-up. That’s it! Smiledog takes care of everything else, meaning using our services is easy and hassle-free. When you forward your current line, you get full-service reception without having to change your phone number.

Part-Time Reception and Back-Up Services

If you have an in-house receptionist you like, but who occasionally gets overloaded with calls, you can use our services on a part-time basis. This also works if you are usually available to answer calls yourself, but want back-up service when you’re busy with clients or out of the office. Whatever your part-time and back-up needs, Smiledog has a level of service that is right for you.

For example, you may want to set up services such that Smiledog is routed the call after 3 rings without answer. This frees up your existing receptionist to assist with other office duties or handle high call volume without leaving your callers hanging.

Establish Your New Business With Smiledog

If you are just getting started with your business, you can hire Smiledog either full-time or part-time, and use your assigned Smiledog line as your business phone. You can publish this number on all marketing materials, including business cards, websites, ads, and more. The business line remains yours, even if you don’t stay with Smiledog. You can port the number to another provider as you wish.

Call Smiledog today to learn about our services, and how we can help streamline your operations and grow your business!


Do Virtual Receptionists Always Answer Incoming Calls Live?

Smiledog makes a commitment to answer each incoming call live. Other virtual receptionist services rely on voicemail during call overload, while Smiledog is always fully-staffed to handle all incoming calls. After all, companies don’t need to pay a premium for voicemail — they can install that themselves. When a company pays for virtual reception, Smiledog promises to provide those services.

What Is The Difference Between Virtual Reception & Call Centers?

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between virtual reception and a call center, it’s pretty simple. Virtual receptionists answer calls live, just as one would in your office. Call centers take incoming calls and put them on hold as they enter the system. Smiledog strives to make the callers’ experience as seamless as possible, efficiently answering and directing calls live.

Does Smiledog Use The “Hold” Button?

Smiledog does occasionally put callers on hold, as call volumes unexpectedly rise. However, they return to the caller as soon as possible, directing the call in person instead of simply putting the call into voicemail. This situation is certainly not the norm for Smiledog — if calls become so heavy that people are regularly put on hold, we know it’s time to staff up our virtual receptionists.

The other instance during which callers might be placed on hold is when our virtual receptionists are seeking the answer to a question for a caller. There is also a brief hold period when our receptionists ensure availability to take the call.

All The Benefits Of In-House Reception, None Of The Drawbacks

Smiledog’s goal is to give your callers the impression they are calling your office, not being directed through virtual reception. After all, one of the great benefits of virtual reception is having the appearance of in-house reception without the drawbacks. We want the first impression each caller has of your company to be friendly efficiency, leaving happy current and potential customers.

Call Smiledog today to learn more about how we can help you generate new business and grow your revenues through virtual receptionist services!


Offsite Virtual Reception for Accounting Offices

Businesses of all kinds can benefit from using virtual receptionist services. Accountants are an ideal customer for today’s advanced virtual reception services. The nature of incoming calls to accountants are typically of the “greet and transfer” variety — in other words, callers usually just need to be connected to their personal accountant. When most calls are simple transfers, why not consider virtual reception to save costs and increase convenience in your office?

Let Support Staff Be Support Staff

In the average accounting office, there is usually one or several support staff who cover both administrative paper work and answering phones. With employees doing double-duty, productivity is always affected. However, it often isn’t very cost-effective to hire an in-house receptionist simply to handle incoming calls in order to maximize support staff productivity. Many businesses try to find a “happy medium.”

Virtual reception solves the problem by cost-effectively answering and transferring calls live, while leaving your support staff in place to do their important office tasks. Keeping accounting office staff lean keeps costs low, and limiting their interruptions means peak productivity from day-to-day.

Affordable, Friendly Virtual Reception

Callers to your accounting office are greeted with a personalized greeting. They may ask for a transfer or need to leave a message, which Smiledog’s friendly virtual receptionists are happy to do quickly and efficiently. Since companies pay only for the services they use, costs are low relative to the cost of employing in-house reception staff.

Accounting offices are ideal clients for Smiledog, and they have the experience and professionalism to make the transition painless for new clients. If you’re interested in learning more about how virtual reception can streamline and improve your accounting business, call our office today to learn more.

Time To Get Started?

Ready to sign-up for services or learn more about virtual reception? Visit our GETTING STARTED page for more information now!


Can a Virtual Receptionist Transfer Calls to Any Number in the World for Me?

If your business requires calls to be transferred worldwide, you might be wondering if Smiledog has the technical ability to provide you virtual receptionist services. The simple answer: yes! In the past, business owners with multinational needs may have resisted virtual receptionist services, but they need not do so. Thanks to Smiledog’s specialized internal call system and the power of the Internet, we’re able to route calls to any cell, office, or home phone you provide.

Don’t Be Tied Down To The Office

Business owners are incredibly mobile these days, often having several lines at which they can be reached. Providing these numbers to your clients can be confusing for everyone — better they call the main line and let Smiledog’s receptionists route the call as you’ve directed.

We Learn Your Goals And Adapt To Them

When you sign on with Smiledog, we take the time to interview you to find out exactly how you envision calls being handled. We want to fully understand your business needs, and respond to your customers in a way that makes you feel confident. We use our experience and expertise to help you customize your service. We add as many lines as needed to be sure that we can transfer live calls to any number you want. We can set up staff profiles so everyone who needs calls transferred to them can have them as needed.

Go Ahead: Take That Vacation!

Want to go on vacation, but don’t want to miss out on potential future business? No problem! You can travel to Europe for a relaxing getaway, without seeing your business go to a competitor. All you need to do is update your account with your availability, and we’ll keep you 100% connected.

We are able to fully customize services to your business, creating a comprehensive reception solution that can help grow your business by increasing efficiency. Call our office today to discuss your business goals and needs, and learn how Smiledog can help accelerate your growth.


Offsite Virtual Reception for Insurance Brokerages

Many types of businesses can benefit from the use of virtual receptionists. An insurance brokerage is one such business that could really flourish with the services of a virtual receptionist. Whether the office needs full-time phone coverage or just backup coverage, virtual reception can help increase efficiency at the office as well as ensure no call goes unanswered.

Full-Time or Part-Time Coverage?

Full-time virtual reception service is great for smaller insurance offices looking to keep expenses low without sacrificing customer service. Even if an office is looking to stay “lean and mean,” they don’t want customers to suffer by landing in voicemail when they call. Insurance is a business where clients really desire a friendly voice on the line — an answering machine doesn’t cut it! Using full-time virtual reception guarantees that each call is answered by a live person, no matter what is happening in the insurance brokerage office.

Back-up virtual reception is ideal for after-hours and weekend calls, times when in-house reception is sick or on vacation, or those unforeseen emergencies that come up from time to time. You can also use back-up reception for overload, such as when in-house reception is tied up and another call comes in.

Insurance Is A Business Where Emergencies Happen

Insurers guarantee against risk, which means some clients will experience emergencies and need to speak to their broker or agent urgently. Smiledog is the perfect service for insurance brokers because they ensure calls do not get missed. In the event of an emergency call, Smiledog can relay the urgent message to the insurance broker. This ensures that clients always feel they receive the best in customer care.

Big Savings With Virtual Reception

The salary of a full-time receptionist can be expensive, costing $30,000 a year and more for benefits. By utilizing virtual reception, you can significantly reduce these costs and scale them up as your business grows. Many companies spend only hundreds on virtual reception versus thousands on a salaried worker. For a growing business, every dollar counts.

Time To Get Started?

If you’re ready to streamline and grow your insurance brokerage business, visit our GETTING STARTED page for more information or to sign-up today!


How Do Virtual Receptionists Know If I’m Available To Take A Call?

It is easy to communicate your availability for the day to your virtual receptionist. If you choose to update Smiledog each morning with your status and general availability for the day, the receptionists can field the calls using that information. However, this is not essential, and in fact, some clients choose not to do this at all. It really comes down to what works best for your business.

How Is A Call Handled?

When your virtual receptionist answers a call that needs transferring, she will call the person in question to announce the call. This announcement is to ensure that the person is not currently busy and unable to take a call. Virtual receptionist can tell you who is calling and the nature of the call before connecting, helping you to determine the urgency of the call.

If busy, you might ask the virtual receptionist to take a message, which can be relayed instantly via email once the call is disconnected. This allows for you to have some flexibility in receiving calls, allowing for you to request a message if you are unavailable for interruption.

Have Multiple Lines? No Problem!

For those with multiple lines, such as an office, home, and cell phone, we can announce calls to all of your lines, or just one specified line, depending on your personal preference. We make it easy for you to be as mobile as you want, while feeling confident you are receiving every important call.

Our Flexibility Sets Us Apart

The Smiledog system is incredibly flexible, allowing complete customization for each business. Calls received are treated with care, and are never simply transferred without first finding out if there is a person to take the call, and that the person is available to talk. Messages are taken live, not transferred to voicemail, giving customers the “full service” feeling. With so many calls we make today simply routed to the black hole of voicemail, this type of customer service stands above the rest.

Whether you choose to update Smiledog daily on your office status, or simply every once in a while, you can be assured that every call will be handled according to your established preferences. Give Smiledog a call today to learn more about our services, and how they can help your business experience greater growth!


Are My Calls Transferred Live From A Virtual Receptionist To Me?

One of the more common questions potential Smiledog clients ask is how calls are transferred once they’ve routed in through Smiledog’s system. Many companies like the idea of outsourcing their reception services, but are nervous that callers will experience a drop in customer service satisfaction. Not only can Smiledog offer your callers the seamless call experience you’re seeking, they can do it all at the touch of a button.

Easy Call Answering Every Time

When a caller dials your business phone number, the call is routed into Smiledog’s system, where the caller ID automatically loads your business information on the screen of the virtual receptionist. The screen contains all of the unique information about your business, including the customized greeting and specifics about how to handle various types of calls. The screen is locked in place for the duration of the call, ensuring complete accuracy.

Simple, Courteous Call Routing

If, on a particular call, a transfer is appropriate, Smiledog first calls to make sure that person is available for a call. If the answer is yes, that call is connected the click of a button. If unavailable, the virtual receptionist knows to take a complete and accurate message for instant relay via email.

Your Clients Will Never Know

It really works as if the receptionist is in the next room! The technology is easy-to-use for our receptionists, allowing them to always feel confident answering a wide variety of calls. Smiledog strives to provide businesses with a seamless call experience every time.

Smiledog is able to assist clients in a wide variety of ways, depending on their business needs and goals. If you are considering virtual receptionist services, reach out to us by phone so we can help answer your questions and help realize your goals for your growing business!


How is it that Virtual Receptionist Companies Get my Business Name Right?

As the premier local virtual receptionist provider, Smiledog makes it a priority to ensure each inbound call is answered accurately, to the satisfaction of each client. Smiledog uses advanced software that helps receptionists answer calls with confidence. Combining high-tech software with well-trained receptionists results in each call directed efficiently and, most importantly, correctly.

Individualized, Customized Customer Experience

Each new client to Smiledog receives their own customized number in order to get connected into the system. New businesses just opening their doors can opt to use this number for their main businesses phone, with the assurance that if they one day decide to leave Smiledog, they can take that number with them. Established businesses will, of course, want to retain their current numbers, which are simply forwarded to the unique Smiledog number.

Advanced Software Ensures Accuracy

When a caller dials your business number, it is routed into the Smiledog system, where the computer utilizes caller ID to trigger the screen for your business page. This screen contains all of the important information the receptionist needs to handle the call, including the all-important custom greeting.

Our virtual receptionists only handle one call at a time, which means that the screen is locked in place during the call. This prevents any errors from occurring and ensures that all the pertinent information needed to handle the call is right at the receptionist’s fingertips.

Smiledog Offers Flexibility

The services that Smiledog provides are extremely flexible, allowing businesses to create a completely customized experience for their callers. One of Smiledog’s primary goals is for callers to be completely unaware that they are being routed through virtual reception — the goal is for all callers to assume they are reaching the business in-house. Smiledog achieves this by taking time to about the business needs and culture before a call is ever taken.

Call Smiledog today to discuss your organization’s needs, and let us help you determine if virtual reception is the right choice for your growing business!


What Will a Virtual Receptionist Say When They Answer My Phone Calls?

Smiledog uses advanced virtual receptionist software that’s designed to assist in proper handling of each and every call. The software can identify for the receptionist which business the caller is trying to reach, ensuring that each call is handled professionally — and most importantly — correctly. The virtual receptionist is the first point of contact for the caller, and we take that responsibility seriously.

Sophisticated Software Designed To Meet Your Needs

The sophisticated software Smiledog receptionists use has detailed screens for each business, allowing for all the important information to be displayed. For example, most businesses have a preferred script for how to answer each call, such as, “Thank you for calling XYZ Company. My name is Ashley, how may I help you?” With Smiledog, this script is completely customizable, whether you’re a traditional business preferring a classic formal greeting, or a speciality business looking for a more colourful greeting.

Fully Customizable Experience

This detailed screen displays your team’s availability for the day, informing the receptionists of how calls for particular individuals should be handled. The virtual receptionist uses these notes to determine whether he should put a call through, take a message, or direct the call to another team member. Everything is fully customizable, giving you the flexibility you want in handling the variety of inbound calls to your business.

Getting To Know Our Clients

When a new client joins Smiledog, we take the time to carefully interview them, learning about their business culture and goals in order to fully understand how best to answer, field, and handle calls. It’s important to Smiledog to maintain a transparency for businesses, leaving callers none the wiser that they’ve gone through virtual reception.

The best way to find out how Smiledog can help your business take its reception to the next level is to call us to discuss your needs.