When people call your business, they’re usually either looking to purchase or to ask for help with a problem. This means even a few missed calls can cost you a lot in terms of potential sales and repeat business. So what can you do if your business is struggling to keep up with incoming calls? You could use voicemail, which comes free with most phones. For a small fee, you could get an automated call answering solution. Or, of course, you could hire a full-time front desk staff. Your best option, however, is a virtual receptionist service. With this service, your incoming calls are redirected to professional phone operators who answer in your business name. They can transfer calls to you (if you’re available) or take a message for you. Here’s why a virtual receptionist is the most cost-effective option you can pick:

1) The hidden cost of voicemail

Voicemail may be free, but it costs you in terms of opportunities: 75% of people who reach an answering machine don’t leave a message. Most of them would call one of your competitors rather than call you again. Automated answering solutions aren’t any better, unless you make sure your most promising calls are transferred to an actual person. With a virtual receptionist service, your callers can always get a human response. So while the price might be a bit higher, it pays off in all the opportunities it opens up for you.

2) 24-hour availability

When we say your callers can always reach an actual person, we mean always. Virtual receptionist services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays—with no extra fees for overtime. This gives your business a level of availability that can’t be matched with full-time in-house staff. This doesn’t mean your service has to be always on. You can choose when you want phone operators handling your calls. For example, you could choose after-hours, weekends and holidays, or specific hours of the day. This way, you’re only charged when you can’t answer calls yourself.

3) Improved call handling

Unanswered calls are only one of the reasons customers might leave your business. Other poor call handling practices, like picking up too late, leaving callers on hold too long or passing them from one attendant to another, can also lose you potential opportunities. Virtual receptionist services give you cost-efficient way to ensure your calls are answered promptly, while you get the flexibility to respond whenever you’re prepared to devote your attention to the call.

4) A competitive edge

Businesses typically have two options for standing out: lowering prices or offering improved service. Lowering prices is rarely a feasible option, but determined businesses can find many ways to improve customer service. When customers find that you’re easier to reach, respond more promptly and are more attentive on the phone than your competitors are, you’ll be able to keep them around or win them over. And those are all things you can get with a virtual receptionist service.

Don’t miss another call

Don’t let another opportunity pass you by. Get full phone coverage with a virtual receptionist service. At Phone Answering Services, we can set you up with some of the best plans on the market, staffed by professional Australian-based phone operators. Start now by requesting a quote or calling us at 1300 599 551.