Whether you employ a live or virtual receptionist, they are usually the first voice that an external party hears when they get in touch with your company. The key to making a good first impression is to answer phone enquiries in a professional, respectful and helpful manner. Receptionists that master these techniques will positively impact the entire business.
External parties often base their judgments on a single interaction with the receptionist. If they’re treated with disrespect, or the receptionist is unfriendly in anyway, the caller will automatically be prejudiced against the company as a whole. This means there’s a possibility that the external party will take their business elsewhere.
Don’t be fooled. It is important for every receptionist to be positive and friendly. They are the image of the company and every time they pick up the phone they should embody the persona of the establishment.
Your virtual receptionist has basic knowledge of your industry, but with this guide they’ll be able to answer phone calls with the utmost efficiency and win the caller’s respect and business.
Before we begin, let’s address some common problems. Virtual receptionists are faced with calls day-in and day-out. Sometimes the job can become dull and the receptionist can become bored, and it shows in their work.
Our number one rule of thumb is to allow the receptionist to be themselves and let their personality shine- as long as it does not affect service standards. Their employer should encourage a fun and relaxed pace(place) of work as well as smiling when communicating.
Tips for Enhanced Communication While on the Phone
Receptionists should be prepared to answer the phone in a polite and friendly manner. They should aim to speak clearly and smoothly. The receptionist will want to state the business’s name, as well as their own to reassure the caller that they have called the right place.
If you are the receptionist you need to listen carefully. As soon as you have enough information you must provide results. Take the time to verify the request and reassure the caller that it is being taken care of. Then you must explain to the caller what the agenda is and inform the caller of an estimated timeline of results. Or, follow through by providing answers to the caller’s questions immediately thereafter.
If at some point you have to put a caller on hold, it’s OK. Just remember the two minute rule of thumb; never leave a caller unattended for more than two minutes at a time. If you expect that it is going to take longer than two minutes, be considerate and ask the caller if it would be more convenient to contact him/her back at a different time.
Throughout the conversation you should take notes. This will prevent the caller from having to repeat the same information several times to different people.
The Impact of Hiring a Virtual Receptionist vs. Live Receptionist
Virtual receptionists are experts at what they do. Remember that many of them have had extensive training and know all of the tricks of the trade concerning handling calls.
Learn how a virtual receptionist could positively impact your business by contacting your local answering service. You’ll see the benefitsin the blink of an eye!