Does your business need a receptionist? Someone, to field the calls, a gatekeeper, someone who understands what is important and what isn’t, and who can represent the company smartly and professionally and, perhaps most crucially, free up your time to work on the business? If so, you have two options. The first is an in-house receptionist, and the second is a virtual one. Which is best?

Initial Costs

Cost is a big consideration when you think about employing someone. The hiring process is an expensive one, no matter who you want to take on or what position needs filling. Plus, it takes time creating a job advert, posting it, checking replies and reading CVs, interviewing (maybe more than once).

A virtual reception company doesn’t require any time from you they are already experts at what they do, and there is no need for an interview. And the money it costs to set up outsourced customer service is minimal, especially when compared to the hiring process. If you want to save time, money, and stress, the virtual reception is your best option.

Ongoing Costs

Everything in business has some kind of ongoing cost, and your receptionist, whether in-house or virtual, is no different. Although we don’t presume to tell you what to pay someone, let’s assume that your in-house receptionist is earning somewhere in the region of €35,000 or so a year. Don’t forget that there will be paid holidays and sick days to think of too. Although you need a receptionist, that could be a high price to pay for many business owners, especially at the beginning of their business journey.

With a virtual receptionist, those costs are much reduced. Depending on the package you choose, it could be that you pay on a monthly fixed rate or maybe by the minute it will depend a lot on the company you choose as well as your budget. Factor in the realisation that there is no holiday or sick pay to add on, and you’ll see you will be saving thousands of euros every year, yet still getting a highly responsive, professional receptionist to help you.

Flexible

Hiring an in-house receptionist means that you need to pay them no matter what. If the business is slow, they need to be paid, for example. And if you’re extra busy you won’t be able to have them work overtime unless you pay them to. Unless you work to a specific contract that allows you to, you won’t be able to use their time flexible. With a virtual reception, you can. If you want to cut back one month, it’s easily done. Equally, if you’re busy you can increase your usage. Change it monthly. Change it weekly. Change it so that it works for you – that’s one of the main benefits of using a virtual receptionist.

Capture Leads

An in-house receptionist will spend most of their time answering calls and fielding queries, but they will also have other work to do such as admin duties around the office. What happens if they are away from their desk doing this work, or perhaps at lunch, or answering the door, receiving a package, on another phone call? The ringing phone goes unanswered, and a potential lead disappears to call the competition instead.

If you use a virtual reception there will be no missed calls; there is always somewhere there to answer the phone and take messages. You’ll be able to convert more leads and give off a more professional image resulting in more sales.

Although your first thought when you need a receptionist might be to hire someone to sit in your office to do the work, that might not be the best thing for your business or your budget. A virtual receptionist will do the same work for less money and with just as much professionalism.