Should You Fire Your Virtual Receptionist?


Businesses of all sizes care deeply about customer experience and often outsource the execution of that experience to an assistant working remotely as an independent contractor or with an answering service. The move to outsource is often made for any number of reasons, but the overarching motivation comes from an understanding that 74% of people are likely to choose another business after a single negative experience.

Losing even a single customer can be very costly. According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. With 95% of consumers citing their service experience as an important factor in staying loyal to a business, it’s important to ensure that the virtual receptionist you’ve hired is meeting your consumers’ needs. It may be time to consider finding a new virtual receptionist if any of these 5 scenarios are happening with your current one:

  1. Poor First Impressions

A consumer’s experience with your company begins when the virtual receptionist answers the phone, and what they don’t hear on the other end of the line makes a difference. If a customer hears a pet, child, television, doorbell, or washing machine in the background it gives the impression that your company may be less than professional. And if you’ve hired someone working remotely from a foreign country, language can also become a source of confusion. Be sure your virtual receptionist is working from a quiet space, without telltale signs that he or she is not in a professional office or is overseas.

  1. Losing Valuable Leads

According to Small Business Chronicle, after being on hold for an average of 1 minute and 55 seconds, most callers hang up and 35% will not call back. Customers want an end-to-end effortless customer service experience, getting their issue resolved in a single interaction. That means they don’t want to leave a message or wait on hold. Being asked to do either is an invitation for them to hang up, which is a missed business opportunity.

  1. Lacking Specialized Training

Eighty percent of Americans expect their customer service agent to be knowledgeable of the industry they represent. Be sure your virtual receptionist has the certifications required by your industry, such as HIPAA and HITECH Compliance or client confidentiality training. They should also have a securely encrypted technology to protect client data.

  1. Unanswered Calls

A prime reason for outsourcing calls is to be able to provide 24/7 coverage for customers’ needs. Your business should expect consistent coverage from your virtual receptionists, around the clock if that’s what you’ve agreed upon. When working with virtual receptionists at an answering center, you have a full team on hand rather than just a single individual. That means your business never takes a hit due to employee turnover, vacation or sick days, or different time zones.

  1. Inability to Scale with Business

Flexibility is an asset of a valuable virtual receptionist. Like anything, business can fluctuate and your virtual receptionists should be capable of scaling to fill short term needs that increase call volume, such as product or service launches, bad weather events, or during charity fundraisers.

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits anywhere from 25-95%, according to Bain & Company. After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend. Consistent, professional customer service is how agile businesses differentiate themselves from their competition.

The virtual receptionists at Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. have earned an 82% referral rate, thanks to our customized communication solutions, secure messaging, and appointment scheduling services that save our clients time and money while increasing customer loyalty.

Voice Link offers month-to-month service agreements to meet your unique needs, with no hidden fees. Our excellent reputation, expert staff, and state-of-the-art technology will exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.