- The importance of seeing an ROI on business expenses
- Why many phone services don’t provide solid returns
- How a virtual receptionist helps you grow your business
Q: Is a virtual receptionist worth the money?
A: In most cases, a virtual receptionist is well worth the money. Virtual receptionists provide a high return on investment for small business owners. This article explains why.
According to the most recent statistics, almost 90% of people prefer to speak to live customer service agents. Despite the advent of chatbots and automated phone services, businesses simply can’t replace the experience of a real conversation.
Even if your business operates almost entirely online, you’re probably going to get a few phone calls from time to time.
Many people – especially older individuals – would rather pick up the phone than sift through your website for information.
A common mistake for business owners today is to focus entirely on digital marketing strategies while forgetting the basics – like a reliable, effective customer service agent who can pick up the phone.
The ROI of using a virtual receptionist can be considerable, and you should consider the benefits of this service if you’re aiming for a balanced, all-encompassing marketing strategy.
Thanks to new technology and innovative providers, a virtual reception service can also be much more affordable than you might think.
- The importance of your business ROI
- Why most phone services fail to provide solid returns
- What makes a virtual receptionist different?
The Importance of Seeing an ROI on Business Expenses
For those who don’t know, ROI stands for “Return on Investment.” When you’re spending money on marketing and customer service solutions, you obviously need to aim for a high ROI.
These efforts should help your business grow, and you should avoid wasting your money on ineffective strategies at all costs. When calculating ROI, you need to factor in all of the various expenses associated with a new investment.
Many business owners make the mistake of confusing ROI with cash, and it’s important to take all the positives and negatives into account when assessing the true ROI of a marketing strategy.
The good news is that many digital marketing strategies offer excellent ROI. Social media is completely free, and it can be one of the most effective tools for lead generation and branding.
Creating an email newsletter is another option that won’t cost you a dime. Even creating a website is cheaper than ever, and pay-per-click ads can be well worth the cost.
Faced with these possibilities, businesses may feel a little unsure about hiring a receptionist to answer calls.
After all, this requires a new employee with an annual wage. It may also require a physical office space in which the receptionist can work.
Faced with these costs, business owners mistakenly conclude the ROI for a virtual receptionist is prohibitively low.
But what actually happens when you completely ignore your phone lines in favor of trendy, online marketing methods?
What Happens When You Ignore Your Phone Lines?
Your ROI could suffer immensely. This is due to various factors, including:
- Damaged Brand: By far one of the worst consequences of inadequate phone lines is a damaged brand. When you don’t allocate the necessary energy and resources towards this area, your target audience may start to leave negative reviews and damage your reputation. Remember, whoever picks up your phone represents your business. If calls go completely unanswered, this can damage your brand to an even greater extent.
- Lowered Conversion Rates: Don’t assume that your phone lines and your online marketing methods are completely separate. In many cases, online lead generation will lead to phone calls. For example, a potential client may see your PPC ad on Facebook and call your number. If the wrong person picks up the phone (or no one picks up at all), that lead could be lost forever – despite your flawless digital marketing strategy.
- Reduction in Customer Lifetime Value: You obviously want to boost customer loyalty as much as possible. Loyal customers lead to stable businesses that can stand the test of time. Even if a customer absolutely loves your products and services, they could switch to a competing company after a particularly bad phone call.
The good news is that many costly requirements are no longer necessary when hiring a virtual receptionist. Businesses can now obtain a virtual phone number that is separate from their personal line.
They can also enlist the services of a live receptionist who only gets paid when they actually pick up the phone. This negates the need for expensive annual wages. Finally, physical office space is no longer required, as you can now work with online service providers who provide live receptionist services outside of your geographic location.
Why Most Phone Services Fail to Help Businesses Grow
Despite new innovations in the world of virtual receptionists, many phone services continue to offer lackluster ROI. Here are some of the most common issues that may arise when you enlist the help of phone service:
- Lack of Data: One of the most attractive benefits of online marketing strategies is data analysis. Since the entire process takes place online, there is no shortage of useful analytics. You can use this data to fine-tune your digital marketing campaigns over time. The same isn’t always true for inbound phone calls, especially when service providers fail to track useful information. However, phone calls can provide insightful analytics under the right circumstances.
- Disorganization: Disorganized phone services can cause as many problems as they claim to solve. If customers are being put on hold for long periods of time while customer service reps try to figure out what’s going on, this can damage your growth in the long term. In addition, it can be incredibly frustrating for customers to talk to someone who obviously has no idea how to help.
- Wasted Time: The last thing you want to do is waste time with your phone service. Spending weeks organizing an ineffective phone service can be just as detrimental as wasting money, as you could have been using that time to pursue more efficient solutions.
- No Follow-Up: The best online phone services provide opportunities to follow up with your leads after the initial phone call. This is a great way to boost interaction and ensure brand loyalty, but it’s a feature that is often missing from typical phone services.
- Unanswered Calls: Unanswered calls are perhaps the most detrimental effect of a substandard phone service. If you’re paying money for a virtual receptionist, it’s important that they actually pick up the phone when customers call. The truth is that many phone services employ too few receptionists, leading to unanswered calls as these individuals try to juggle the needs of multiple companies at the same time.
How Virtual Receptionists Provide a Strong ROI so Businesses Can Expand
Can’t I Just Answer the Calls Myself?
If you’re a solo entrepreneur or you’re running a small business, you might be wondering whether you can simply answer the calls yourself. Is a virtual receptionist worth it in this situation?
Although answering calls might seem like an easy job, there are many more important things you could be doing for your business.
The time you spend answering calls could be focused on growing your business, exploring new opportunities, and diversifying your products and services. The old adage is true: time is money.
Even though you might have the time and energy to answer calls today, that might not always be the case. As your business grows, these calls can quickly become overwhelming.
Suddenly, you’re spending all day on the phone when you could be taking advantage of this growth for even greater profits.
Opportunity cost is definitely something to consider when assessing virtual receptionists, and you need to factor this in when determining the true ROI of this service.
In addition, the end goal for many entrepreneurs is early retirement. If you want to reach the point where your business pretty much runs itself, a virtual receptionist is going to be necessary at some point.
The Best Virtual Receptionist Available Today
If you’ve been searching for a reliable, effective virtual receptionist service, look no further than Alliance Virtual Offices. AVO is committed to providing professional, friendly representatives who learn about your business to provide excellent customer service.
With extremely affordable virtual receptionist pricing as low as $125 per month, this service can offer tremendous ROI for businesses both big and small.
Ideal for solo entrepreneurs or anyone who needs a little more time to guide their business towards success, AVO’s live receptionists help protect your brand’s reputation and boost conversion rates.
No complicated setup is necessary, and this service even comes with a separate business number and your own virtual phone system.
This service succeeds where many other phone services fall flat, and it’s available from Monday to Saturday so calls never go unanswered. Call filtering and screening are also available, and you’ll only be notified when a customer actually needs your direct attention.
The truth is that small businesses simply can’t afford to experiment with marketing strategies that don’t offer positive ROI. A virtual receptionist for small business can be an excellent solution for a wide range of entrepreneurs, but only if you choose the right option.
Instead of choosing phone solutions that actually damage your business in the long run, opt for a reliable, effective solution and spend more time driving your business towards greater levels of success.