April 30, 2020 | 4 minutes

4 Types of Businesses that Could Use a Live Receptionist

person standing at a receptionist desk

A receptionist is a staple for any traditional company or office, but there are a lot of businesses that aren’t considered normal or traditional, but could still benefit from a virtual or live receptionist. A virtual receptionist will answer calls, forward them, take messages, and schedule appointments, all without being in the same room or the same company as you. Here are four types of businesses that could really use a virtual receptionist:

  1. An E-Commerce Business – If the only way you generate sales right now is through your website, then a live receptionist could open up the possibility of customers calling in their orders, or at least creating an alternative in case your website is down or the shopping cart isn’t working. The Internet is ubiquitous, and more and more folks are making purchases online and on mobile devices, but the ability to call in an order may allow for someone to place a really big order (to make sure you can fulfill it) or to have a choice in case the customer is uncomfortable with putting their credit card information online or wants to ensure that you are a legitimate business. A live receptionist can be that option, offering a friendly voice and even friendlier service.
  2. Women-Owned Businesses – Women may be starting businesses at a higher rate than the national average, but they still only generate 4% of the revenue. Why so little? A big part of that is that women tend to keep their businesses small, so they are easier to manage and to balance with family, perhaps another job, and other responsibilities. However, a Babson College study found that women entrepreneurs who hire someone within the first six months of business are more likely to reach a million dollars. Although a live receptionist isn’t the same as hiring a full time employee, the key for women entrepreneurs is understanding that they don’t have to do it all, and shouldn’t do it all, if they want a high growth company. A live receptionist is a good start, especially if the business doesn’t have an extra full time salary sitting around to pay this person.
  3. Fast-Growing Startups – Many startups are reluctant to hire a virtual receptionist, or to hire in general. Granted, there’s probably so much that needs to be done that there’s no time to look for someone appropriate. Perhaps the startup still needs to work on proof of concept or in forming the right partnerships. However, it’s those reasons that make a virtual receptionist a good idea instead of a bad one. You can have a live receptionist tailored to your business, so they can answer the phone the way you want and forward the right calls. This opens up time that would have otherwise been spent dealing with unimportant calls to prove the concept, form partnerships, and all that other startup stuff.
  4. Mom & Pop Shops – A small business like a Mom & Pop shop may not have a lot of work for a virtual receptionist, but that’s one of the great things about them. You don’t have to pay them for 40 hours a week. If you only have between five and 10 hours of work per week, you can pay a live receptionist accordingly, and then that’s an additional five to 10 hours that you have to do other things, like serve customers or market the business. Depending on the work, you probably don’t need the person to be in the shop with you, which makes a live receptionist an incredibly affordable option.

If you are willing and able to trust someone that you’ll probably never meet with company information or with your customers, then a live receptionist can really help your business to grow. With technology, being able to do that is much easier than five or 10 years ago.

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