Everybody wants to see their business grow fast. But the problem is — the resources your business needs for growth are limited. If you’re a small business owner, that limit is even lower.
It is why handling inbound calls and scheduling your appointments with in-house talent and resources are difficult. For a sole entrepreneur, it significantly cuts down the time you spend doing your actual job and even creeps into your personal time.
Working with virtual receptionists can change that. You can focus on the things that matter in your business, while driving quality leads, giving your customers and clients a listening ear, and keeping your calendar packed with bottom-line-boosting meetings.
In this post, we’ll show you how to outsource inbound calls and appointment scheduling to virtual receptionists so you get the freedom to focus on your core business.
Outsource Inbound Calls and Appointment Scheduling — What Does It Mean Exactly?
When you outsource your inbound calls, you’re handing over the responsibility of answering calls that come into your business (such as clients’ calls and calls from prospects seeking information about your business) to a professional outside your business.
The person who answers this call can be an inbound call center service, a live receptionist, or a virtual assistant. This person isn’t your direct staff but has everything they need to take those calls and give you vital information from them.
They can also book meetings if needed. That’s when you’ve also outsourced your appointment scheduling. They find convenient times in your calendar for you to meet people. And can also reschedule and cancel appointments, according to your instructions.
How Virtual Receptionists Help
They are like regular in-house receptionists. But in this case, not your full-time staff. So you pay less and rest more. Outsourcing to a virtual receptionist service is the most affordable way to handle inbound calls and book meetings.
The inbound calls and appointment scheduling they provide cover a wide range of specific services. Depending on your business, you might need one or the other, or more.
1. Tech support
Most technology and software companies use inbound call center services to ensure that their clients receive the help they need. The virtual receptionist, having just a basic knowledge of the company’s product, can handle only easy-to-solve queries. While the in-house team will take responsibility for complex queries.
Tech support is a cost-effective plan as it is a waste of resources to have your highly trained staff doing basic tasks when there are a lot of complex queries queuing up.
2. Appointment scheduling
Outsourcing appointment scheduling is common among small business owners. Booking meetings and managing calendars is usually considered strenuous, especially when combined with admin duties.
It can reduce productivity. And that’s most executives aren’t a fan of doing it themselves, especially in these two instances:
Some businesses don’t think about hiring a virtual receptionist until they have a huge inflow of customers. It happens during seasonal spikes in orders and requests. When this happens, you can’t balance booking meetings with providing your products or services. You need help but can’t hire a full-time staff for that one reason.
If you have a one-person legal or medical practice, you take a lot of meetings and have a lot of notes to organize at the end of the day. You can either hire a full-time assistant and make a dent in your profits. Or you can outsource those tasks to inbound call centers and virtual receptionists.
These are just two instances. There are more, but let’s get back to the specific services you can get from virtual receptionists.
3. Crisis management
Outsourcing inbound calls can help when you set up helplines during a business crisis. For example, during a major security breach where you have to answer significantly increased inbound calls from worried customers.
Or when there’s an error in production and customers are calling to know how to return their purchases. This is a cost-effective and faster way to keep the entire process organized.
Companies use them as a backup option rather than filling up the office with temporary full-time employees.
4. Customer account management
As you acquire more customers, you get new accounts to manage. If for every X number of customers you onboard, you add one more employee, you might be offsetting the gains of your business growth.
It’s better to outsource account management to an inbound call center. The usual practice is to outsource the account of smaller customers and keep the more valuable accounts in-house.
Another way is to outsource specific tasks in account management and leave some other tasks to your in-house team. All of these are done to save costs and to keep customer relationships thriving.
5. Product promotion
Your outsourced inbound call center can also be an extension of your sales team. They don’t just answer customers’ inquiries; they are also trained to market your product as well. You are within your rights to provide a script that promotes your company’s products and services.
6. Follow-up calls
This is technically an outbound call, but a virtual receptionist firm can also provide this service if you request it.
If you have a stagnant lead and aren’t sure if they are still interested in what you offer, your virtual receptionist can call them to gauge their interest. All you have to do is provide the script, and they’ll do the work.
Should You Use Virtual Receptionists for Inbound Calls and Appointments Scheduling?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: As long as you want to keep your overhead low and expand your business at the same time, it’s advisable to outsource your inbound calls and appointment scheduling to a virtual receptionist.
Still in doubt? Here’s why…
1. It’s more cost-effective
The definition of cost-effective is doing more while spending less. With virtual receptionist services, you can virtually add one more employee without the actual cost of doing it. And they’ll do the tasks that your employee would’ve done.
Research shows that companies save up to 78% of the cost of a receptionist by hiring virtual assistants.
2. You’re more focused
To be successful in a small business, you need to give your attention to little details. When your business is in its sensitive state, multitasking might be a bad idea.
Hiring a virtual receptionist can give you the breathing room you need to put 100% of your mental energy into growing your business.
3. You provide more professional customer service
Customer relations is a field of its own and not everyone can thrive in it. You might need a little touch of professionalism to keep your customers still hanging around. If you aren’t good at customer service, that’s okay. A lot of people are also not good at it.
What you need is to hide that weakness from your customers and outsource the duty to a virtual receptionist.
How to Outsource Your Inbound Calls and Appointment Scheduling
If you’re in the right place in your business to benefit from the cost-effectiveness, professionalism, and time freedom of working with a virtual receptionist, you can work with Lakes Virtual.
Contact us today and we’ll set you up with a 7-day free trial to see the gains you get.