A Virtual Receptionist and an in-house receptionist directly employed by a business perform the same tasks, answering phone calls.
The primary difference between the two is that one works at a physical location at a reception within an office and the other works remotely.
Naturally a virtual receptionist cannot physically greet clients at an office and that personal attention does have a distinct value – if the receptionist is not otherwise engaged with answering calls. The permanence of exactly the same person greeting every caller and visitor during office hours also provides a welcome familiarity.
However, the in-house receptionist model does have some major drawbacks for a modern business, especially any enterprise increasingly relying on online sales. One of the key deterrents to recruiting a receptionist employee is the cost. In the past there was no other viable alternative to a receptionist sitting in the office foyer and the cost was regarded as an essential item for a business. However now with a digital economy and global connectivity there are viable alternatives that compare very favourably.
The cost of an in-house receptionist in the UK is approximately £ 23,000 plus the associated costs of office space for the reception, furnishing and the equipment to perform the role. There is also the cost burden of recruiting a receptionist and the time spent managing their position and performance, and the additional costs of temporary back-up when the receptionist employee is on annual leave or sick leave.
Alternatively, a Virtual Reception service with UK based receptionists is usually priced according to call packages, service plans based upon the number of calls a business would expect to receive. A call plan that includes the handling of 100 call per month would cost only £ 95 if you subscribe to Virtual Receptionist London, and any call over the plan threshold would be charged at £1.
Even if a business receives on average, 300-400 calls a month, the cost comparison between an in-house receptionist and virtual reception is dramatically different.
Another comparison that is worth real consideration is the actual reality of the in-house receptionist answering calls and how that impacts customer service. Being present to greet clients who visit the business office is a real positive but that impression is wiped when the receptionist has to cope with multiple callers. During peak call times an in-house receptionist will frequently put many callers on hold while they deal with the caller traffic. For an important customer, being placed on hold and made to wait and listen to music and messages is not just frustrating, it is insulting.
With a virtual receptionist service peak call times and a sudden increase in calls is never a problem, because you have subscribed to a virtual receptionist service team. Callers will never be placed on hold for long periods of time because the incoming calls will simply be answered seamlessly by other members of the virtual reception team. This means that the quality of customer service is increased by using a professional call answering services.
When we compare the flexibility and versatility of virtual receptionist services with the static in-house receptionist position, the difference becomes even more stark. If a business owner needs to arrange call answering for special promotions that require after hours servicing or telephone answering on the weekends or during public holidays, that’s a huge overtime cost if they rely on their receptionist employee to perform the task. With a live telephone answering service like Virtual Receptionist London, scaling up phone answering to cover additional periods like after hours or Saturday morning is easy. Simply request the change and you’re covered.
So that’s a comparison of the primary differences between these two call answering models. A virtual receptionist service will provide incredible cost savings and overall, much better customer service – because that most important call from a valuable prospective client will never be missed and never be placed in a holding queue.