What are the differences between call answering services and virtual receptionist services?

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The shortest answer to the question is that the virtual receptionist is an upgraded version of the call answering service. However, there still could be some confusion over what distinguishes one from the other and why virtual receptionists are more advanced, so we thought it helpful to shed light on the subject.

While both services’ main responsibility is to take calls for you and pass along the messages, there are some clear advantages sported by virtual receptionists which make them the preferred choice. But first let us briefly mention the similarities between the two types.

Get a real human answering your phone

Whether you rely on a call answering service or a virtual receptionist, you get a real human answering your phone. It is key to your business’ success to have someone picking up the phone, instead of asking people to leave a voicemail. Callers feel uncomfortable when offered to leave a message and they rarely opt to do so. The second resemblance between the two is that both kinds of service act as an extension of your business, with the view to enhance your customer service and optimize your performance.

And here comes the first major advantage of the virtual receptionist service. Virtual receptionists can personify your business and leave a long-lasting positive impression in your callers. Where call answering services sound a bit impersonal and aloof, virtual receptionists act as if they are an indispensable part of your business. This happens because virtual receptionist services provide you with only one person or a little group of receptionists to take care of your calls. You can’t expect the same from call answering services so there is no guarantee that the same person is going to take all your calls.

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With Pocket Receptionist, you get a dedicated team of virtual receptionists that know your business

As a continuation to the previous point, virtual receptionists are trained assiduously to know your business and all the intricacies they might need to refer to. It is a boon to have someone working offsite but knowing your company culture and values. Virtual receptionists can be taught to execute a variety of tasks – from PA services like managing a calendar, to taking orders from your customers. This leverage adds to seamless call handling and the customer will get the feeling that the receptionist is a fully-integrated part of the company.

Last but not least

We consider the virtual receptionists’ ability to transfer callers to people in your business who are better prepared to address a specific query. They can employ either a blind transfer or a warm transfer. Blind transferring is when the caller is put through to the right person while the phone rings on the other end. Warm transferring is done when a virtual receptionist gets the person on the line and introduces the call before exiting the conversation. By this, virtual receptionists ensure that the purpose of the call is met and the client is spared the frustration of having to hang on the issue for a long time.

In conclusion, whilst a call answering service is beneficial, we believe that hiring a virtual receptionist, or team, would be a smart move. It will improve your customer service and let you benefit from someone who knows your business well and can deal efficiently with a wide range of tasks.

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Vladi Nikolov is our resident copywriter and SEO expert. With a BA in Media, he is a skilled writer with a passion for research. Vladi is also an active member of a supporters’ trust taking part in various community-oriented events.