A remote receptionist is a great solution for freeing up full-time staffers who are stuck answering calls. The right receptionist can save time and money, and add a burst of enthusiasm that will keep customers happy.
While finding the right receptionist is important, the timing must be right too. No matter what position you’re looking to fill, be mindful of your company’s stage of business growth. A receptionist can be a major asset to your team, but only if high call volume or customer interfacing are areas where your team needs additional support.
If you’re looking for remote reception support for your business, Wing Assistant has you covered. Our team of dedicated virtual assistants and receptionists is based worldwide, typically college-educated, and fluent in English. Each receptionist undergoes a rigorous training process.
All Wing Assistant receptionists are supervised by Customer Support Managers and each staffer has a team they can rely on for help. Assistants make competitive wages and are driven to get results.
But before you think about hiring a new receptionist, you need to understand the full scope of the role. What can you expect when hiring a remote receptionist?
Understanding the Role of a Remote Receptionist
A remote receptionist handles incoming calls, customer service, booking appointments, and other administrative tasks. Some receptionists can specialize in departments like HR or Sales, while others perform more generalized duties. Compared to an in-house specialist, a remote receptionist can help save money because they don’t require full-time benefits. The best remote teams also include supervisor to ensure customer service and business efficiency are top of mind at all times.
Benefits of Hiring a Remote Receptionist
One of the key differences between a remote receptionist and an in-house employee is cost. Rather than paying a salary or by the minute, a remote solution offers fair, transparent pricing. Clients pay no setup fees and there are no hidden fees. Rather, companies sign up for a fixed monthly rate. This rate includes:
- A dedicated receptionist
- Standard number of monthly hours
- Access to free software
- Free training and onboarding
- A customer success manager to oversee your account
Teams get all this, as well as the 24/7 availability and the reach of a global team. Whether it is customer support, an HR or sales hotline, or appointment scheduling, Wing Assistant trains your virtual receptionist to handle the job. We’ll help you teach your Wing Assistant receptionist to answer common questions from your FAQ, respond to queries from prospective employees, or use your CRM. With Wing, a receptionist is more than just someone to answer phones.
Let’s take a look at some other common misconceptions when hiring a virtual receptionist.
Addressing Common Misconceptions
When you say the words remote receptionist, it conjures up lots of misconceptions. Hiring managers often worry about the quality of service and the professionalization of remote workers. But many of these concerns have been resolved in the 21st-century remote workplace.
Misconception 1: Lack of Personalization
First impressions happen incredibly quickly and they tend to be very stubborn. Despite this, many businesses opt for a cold, automated reception solution which leaves customers frustrated and underserved.
Wing remote receptionists are trained to provide service from the second your customer connects. One mobile diagnostic company used Wing receptionists to scale up in a flash. After landing a major partnership, the CEO was able to clear hundreds of calls off her plate so she could focus on the mission-critical client relations that would help her business continue to grow. Another Tech B2B used their Wing Assistant support staff to screen prospective buyers, answer questions, and update all information in their CRM.
With an educated, motivated support staff, personalization is easy, but what about data privacy?
Misconception 2: Data Security and Confidentiality
Working with a remote assistant provider often involves sharing data. You may be sharing payment information, employee information, or other sensitive data with your remote support staff; you want to be sure this is safe.
Privacy is a core value at Wing Assistant. Our team of human assistants can only access data that is relevant to the task requested. At the end of a request, the Wing team’s access is revoked. Wing also collects data in an opt-out or opt-in system on an encrypted database, but only in the service of improving client experience. We use SSL, an encrypted connection to ensure your data cannot be intercepted. Using Google’s authentication systems and storing sensitive data on the Google Cloud also ensure maximum security.
Misconception 3: Limited Knowledge of the Business
Wing receptionists undergo rigorous training in workflows and using common software tools. They begin their work with Wing Assistant by undergoing an in-depth training and testing program. Having a strong background means that, in the event of an illness, a capable receptionist can fill in quickly with minimal disruption.
Your business only Wing Assistant receptionists are helpful, communicative professionals who are mindful of customer interactions. A dedicated receptionist from Wing Assistant will learn the ins and outs of your business so you don’t have to worry. During the free onboarding process, you can provide your new receptionist with information like training videos, FAQs, scripts, or anything else to help them get up and running. This lets your team focus on key goals.
Overcoming Fears of Outsourcing Receptionist Services
Any new hire can create a sense of anxiety. No matter what industry your team is working in, chances are hiring managers are experiencing some of these common stressors. Let’s dive into each of these and see how hiring the right virtual receptionist can counteract those concerns.
Fear 1: Losing Control
Receptionists are often the first time a customer interfaces with your company. When you’re handing over control of this key role to an outsider, it’s natural to feel some trepidation.
Wing Assistant receptionists are highly responsive via text, phone, email, or virtually any other communication platform your team uses. Whether you prefer Teams, Slack, or another service, you can reach your Wing Assistant receptionist within minutes while they are on the job.
If you haven’t given any thought to how you might communicate with your virtual reception assistant, Wing has a robust proprietary platform that allows you to communicate directly with your remote receptionist quickly and easily.
Good communication is important to maintaining control of your team and ensuring everything continues to run smoothly. It’s no surprise that communication is next on our list of common fears when outsourcing services like reception.
Fear 2: Communication Breakdown
Timeliness and clear communication are essential in every department on your team. A successful business is like a well-oiled machine that
It’s important to build a strong network with open channels of communication to avoid mistakes and confusion.
Here are some essential tips for clear business communication:
- Be concise and courteous
- Eliminate assumptions
- Ask questions
- Use positive reinforcement
- Exercise patience
- Use positive body language
In all internal and external communications, team members should strive to be concise and courteous. Keeping conversations brief and to the point helps keep customers moving through the sales funnel and helps employees stay on task. These days, courtesy is at a high premium as well, especially for receptionists, who are often the first contact a customer has with your business.
Being thoughtful during the training and onboarding phase can help decrease assumptions from new hires. If you’re handing a new receptionist your company’s FAQ, you might want to run the document by a few department heads to ensure nothing has been left out. Similarly, if you’re drafting a sales script, it’s a good idea to check in with several full-time sales staff to make sure you’ve got the basics right. If you don’t make assumptions, your new receptionist won’t have to, either.
Questions are another great way to eliminate communication issues. While hiring managers certainly can’t make their new receptionists ask more questions, it’s important to create an environment where questions are appreciated and encouraged. Questions allow for proper feedback, build listening, and expose weaknesses in planning and organizational structure.
Positive reinforcement is more than a feel-good mantra, it’s an effective method for continuing the communication feedback loop.
Be Patient when Onboarding
New employees are capable of rising to the occasion, but it’s important to exercise patience during the first few days and weeks. This is a time when your new receptionist is absorbing lots of facts and information about your organization, and you should expect that they may get a few things wrong occasionally,
Finally on our list of communication skills is body language Positive body language can go a long way to making new employees and customers feel welcomed. According to research conducted by UCLA Psychologist Albert Mehrabian, 7% of communication is spoken words, 38% is tone of voice, and 55% is body language.
Mehrabian’s Communication Model is for in-person communication, but think about your posture, tone of voice and facial expression next time you’re on a Zoom call, and you’ll realize how important physicality is to messaging. Body language is also important for receptionists, who should be answering customer calls with a smile since that is often audible over the phone.
Communication is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to anxieties around virtual help; and of course, these are just some communication essentials. A simple web search will yield more results. Teams should include communications as one of the things to review at periodic check-ins so all employees are on the same page about team objectives.
Fear 3: Negative Impact on Brand Image
Client relationships are the heart of many businesses. The last thing your business wants is to get a reputation for slipshod customers service.
The right remote reception assistant can align with your brand’s value and image, making them imperceptible from your full-time staff.
Choosing the Right Remote Receptionist Service
When it comes to choosing the right remote receptionist service, there are many options out there. As with any service, you’ll want to consult a host of factors before allocating resources for this important service. These factors include:
- Customer reviews
- Company experience and track record
- Technology competencies
- And more
One of the best pieces of advice is to go with the recommendation of a friend or colleague in the know. Consult your professional network to vet services, just like you might to vet an individual employee. You’ll also want to conduct research on whether a service works with your type and size business, as well as what tasks their remote reception team can actually perform.
After doing your due diligence and weeding out companies that don’t fit. It’s time to cut down your list and conduct a more thorough evaluation, preferably with a company rep over the phone.
Ten questions to ask a perspective remote receptionist provider
- What are your assistant’s skillsets and how did you develop them?
- Has your team worked with other companies in the past?
- In what industries does your team have experience working?
- What software tools does your remote team you use to maintain efficiency?
- Can you walk me through how you prioritize tasks?
- How do you work with people with different communication styles?
- How do you like to communicate?
- What do you do when you can’t complete a task?
- How can you help a client who can’t explain their needs?
- Talk about a time you proactively solved a client need.
After your 15-minute intro call, you’ll meet your Customer Success Manager, who will provide support throughout your Wing client experience. After that, you’ll choose from a shortlist of available remote receptionists and you can begin delegating tasks. Set up communications with Wing Assistant’s free software or coordinate via your preferred platform. Some accounts have additional permissions, including a workflow management tool, several user access, and more.
Hire a Managed, Dedicated Remote Receptionist at Wing
Having a remote receptionist is a crucial part of optimizing workflows and business processes. Don’t let the competition take the lead because your team is saddled with too many low level tasks. Wing Assistant provides
To get started, book a call today to learn how Wing Assistant can help your team get to the next level.
Dan Eder writes frequently about digital marketing trends, SaaS, and e-commerce. He has previously worked as a content writer at an SEO agency for tech companies, an e-commerce specialist at a Fortune 500 company, and a journalist for several educational outlets. Read more from him at www.daneder.com.