About Jo Meunier

Jo is a Senior Editor at Alliance Virtual Offices. She loves chatting with people about virtual offices and is always eager to share stories, tips and ideas about remote work on the Alliance Blog. Connect with Jo on LinkedIn.

How to Set Up Your Live Receptionist Service with Alliance

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Alliance Virtual’s Live Receptionist service is designed to help small business owners improve their service levels, enhance stakeholder relationships and grow their business in a cost-efficient way.

It’s a professional full-time receptionist service at the fraction of the cost of a permanent employee. Our friendly, experienced receptionists work in small teams and get to know you, your business, and your callers — becoming an extension of your team and building loyalty.

Our Live Receptionist service can help your business:

  • Save Time: No more distractions. Whether it’s your mom calling or your next big client, let our receptionists do the talking while you get on with running your business.
  • Cut Spam and Distractions: Every caller is received in a friendly manner, even nuisance callers. We filter calls, take messages and screen you from cold callers.
  • Improve Customer Service: We greet your callers professionally and in a personalized manner. Simply tell us what to say and we’ll do the rest.
  • Automate: From voicemail, get an auto-transcription sent straight to your cell phone by text or by email.
  • Get a Great Number: Pick a local or toll-free number and get stacks of inclusive features, including extension numbers and caller menus.
  • Schedule Appointments: Our receptionists are happy to schedule meetings and appointments on your behalf, straight into your calendar.
  • Manage Your Account Easily: Log-in to your own private control panel and easily update your receptionist preferences, including call greetings, menus, voicemail settings, and more.

How to Setup and Manage Your Live Answering Service

Before we start answering the phone to your valuable clients and callers, we need to know how you want us to handle specific calls. We also need to know a little about your business, so we can personalize each and every call experience.

If you have already signed up to our Live Receptionist service, you can familiarize yourself with the setup process by visiting your online account.

Here’s a quick demo explaining how to set up and customize your Live Answering service:



As you can see, we ask various questions during the Live Receptionist set-up.

Here’s that list again:

  • Tell us about your business in one short paragraph. This will enable our receptionists to describe your business to callers.
  • What is your business address?
  • What is your time zone?
  • What hours are you available for appointments?
  • Once a call has been answered, should the receptionist:
    • Take a message and email it to you,
    • Screen the call for you (if you’re unavailable, should we take a message or transfer it to voicemail?)
    • Or transfer the call to the system voicemail?
  • For after-hours calls, do you prefer to:
    • Have calls forwarded to your cell phone,
    • Or sent to the system voicemail?
  • What would you like your voicemail to say?
  • Our receptionists can help clients set appointments with you. What are the categories of service offerings you have that can be booked? Examples: Training, initial consultation, therapy, etc. Please tell us how much time these last.
  • Are there others in your company for whom we can set appointments? If so, please list them here.
  • Do you have an online calendar (Google, Outlook, Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, iCloud) that you would like to integrate with our booking system? This will enable us to reserve bookings only when you have availability, and will synchronize with your calendar.

Most of these questions are straightforward. However, to give you an idea of the detail we need, here are a few examples to help you on your way:

Q. Tell us about your business in one short paragraph.

Example answers:

  • ABC Consulting is a Manhattan recruitment agency specializing in technology. We help our clients find and recruit skilled personnel across New York for specific IT roles, ranging from IT Project Managers and Personal Assistants to Software Engineers and Systems Architects.
  • DigiMark is a digital marketing specialist. We work with small businesses to create websites, attract new customers online, build branding, maintain social media activity and improve SEO, for any market, anywhere in the U.S.
  • We are a California-based leadership and management training company. We work with large organizations to train and develop their management teams, covering a wide range of skills including effective leadership and employee engagement.

Q. What would you like your voicemail to say?

Example answers:

  • Thank you for calling <Company Name>. Please leave your name, contact details and a brief message after the tone, and one of our team members will return your call as soon as possible. You can also visit our website at www.companyname.com or send an email to [email protected].
  • Thank you for calling <Company Name>. Our business hours are 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday. Please leave a short message with your name and contact details after the tone and we will return your call as soon as possible.
  • Thank you for calling <Company Name>. All of our representatives are currently busy serving other customers, but we will return your call as soon as possible. Please leave your name, contact details and a brief message after the tone. Thank you.

Remember, the way our receptionists answer calls on behalf of your company is based entirely on the information you provide to us. Please provide as much relevant information as possible.

Our receptionists become the front line of your business and represent your brand in many different ways. Most commonly, their involvement includes:

  • Welcoming every caller in your company name and using your preferred style of greeting;
  • Offering background information about your company, if asked;
  • Providing basic details such as your head office location and your team whereabouts;
  • Discussing your availability for appointments, so our receptionists can schedule bookings on your behalf.

These are the key pieces of information our receptionists really need to know. Without them, they are extremely restricted in their ability to offer great service to your callers.

If you have any questions regarding your Live Receptionist setup, contact an Alliance Customer Service Representative, on [email protected].


Watch more useful tutorials on how to utilize Phone and Virtual Office services from Alliance via our Youtube Channel:


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