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.

In Review: The Most Popular Virtual Office Services of 2018

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For any business, January is a time of looking back, learning, and planning ahead. At Alliance Virtual Offices, the New Year is a chance to take stock of the past 12 months and gain a better understanding of how well we met the needs of our clients, and more importantly, how we can add value to the services we provide over the coming year.

With that in mind, we’ve been looking back over last year’s data to find out which virtual office services our clients requested the most in 2018.

Our findings show that the top three most requested services were:

This type of data helps us to understand which support services our clients find the most relevant as part of their growth plans, and how we can improve those services to provide better support and assistance over the coming year.

We also took a closer look at the most popular virtual office locations of 2018 within the U.S. They were:

  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Atlanta
  • Miami
  • Chicago

Let’s take a closer look at each of those services and how they support small businesses.

1. Live Receptionist

Our top most requested service of 2018 was the Live Receptionist plan. It’s a hands-on service carried out by our team of professional receptionists based in Nevada, who answer incoming calls and handle them according to the client’s instructions.

Calls are answered personally in the client’s company name, and customized according to their requirements. The team use specific telecommunications technology that allows each receptionist to see which company the caller is trying to reach, so they can answer immediately in that company’s name.

Our Live Receptionist clients can choose a variety of options, such as specific greetings, how to receive messages, which calls to patch through, and how many minutes’ worth of call answering they would like each week.

Other services included within the Live Receptionist plan are:

  • A business phone number with a local or toll-free area code (this can also be bought separately without the Live Receptionist service)
  • An appointment scheduling and call-back service, carried out by our receptionists on the client’s behalf
  • Appointment scheduling technology, provided by Appointedd, which enables our receptionists to view the client’s availability (and make bookings on their behalf) without having to make contact with the client first
  • A messaging service, with messages sent to the client by phone or email
  • Various phone system features such as voicemail, custom greetings, caller menus, extension numbers, call recording, blocking, call conferencing, and more.

The Live Receptionist service is a robust and comprehensive plan with different options to fit each client’s requirements and budget. For instance, the basic phone-only service starts at $40 per month while the complete service, with 200 minutes of live call answering, appointment scheduling and phone system is $225 per month (prices correct at time of publishing).

2. Business Address

What’s interesting is that a business address is one of several services included automatically with every Virtual Office plan — yet clearly the virtual address is considered the most important.

Here’s what’s included with Alliance’s Virtual Office plan:

  • Business Address
  • Mail Receipt and Free Collection
  • Mail Forwarding (extra fee applies for postage and high frequency)
  • Access to meeting rooms and day office space (included with ‘Platinum Plus’ plan or payable by the hour on the standard ‘Platinum’ plan)

So why is a business address so important?

For most entrepreneurs, a business address is like their shop window. It gives their clients confidence that they are a professional, local organization with a purpose; anyone can start a business from home, but it takes a serious entrepreneur to invest in a virtual office and stake a claim to that specific market. It helps the business owner project the right image.

At the same time, thanks to mobile technology and wireless connectivity, many entrepreneurs don’t really need the office environment itself. They might need to use it occasionally for meetings, or for a few hours of quiet concentration work. The rest of the time, the business owner is out on the road meeting clients or working remotely.

A business address, as part of a virtual office, enables entrepreneurs to invest in their company and create a local presence in a flexible, manageable and asset-light way.

3. Meeting Rooms

Rounding off our top most requested virtual office services of 2018 is meeting room space, which can be booked independently of any other virtual office service provided by Alliance.

It’s a popular service because it allows any entrepreneur to book a meeting room or day office in any given business center, by the hour or by the day, quickly and easily. Extra services, such as catering or conferencing technology can be added too.

In today’s fast on-demand world of business, entrepreneurs aren’t content to spend time making calls and waiting on hold to book the services they need. And they shouldn’t have to! If we can book flights and hotels online, why not meeting rooms? That’s why we’ve developed our system to make it as easy as possible for business owners and event organizers to book the appropriate meeting space at a few quick online clicks or taps.

Whether you need a 2-person interview room this afternoon, or a 15-person conference space next Monday, there’s a huge choice of meeting rooms in hundreds of locations across the world.

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