When you are running a business, finding new customers and retaining your current customers are pretty much your two biggest goals. Almost every business is trying to expand into new areas and new markets. However, there is such a thing as too much success. When you start to experience runaway success, you don’t want to turn away any customers or neglect your existing customers, but you might not be able to accommodate all of them. This is especially true of seasonal businesses. For example, if you run a swimming pool company, you are probably not going to do a lot of business during the winter. You’ll probably be able to get by with just a few employees or even just yourself. Most swimming pools are under tarps all winter and don’t require much maintenance, nor are people buying new swimming pools. However, when summer arrives, there will be a surge of calls for maintenance and for new installations. If you have only been retaining a winter amount of employees, you need to find a quick way to handle that surge in business.
To handle surges in business, most people hire new employees. A seasonal business might hire temporary employees who will help them through the summer months. These employees are often a little more expensive, but it’s worth it if business is booming. There is another option, though.
A virtual receptionist is an actual human being who works for a message-taking company. When you experience a high volume of calls, you can direct those calls to the message-taking company where someone will answer the phones for you on behalf of your business. They will take messages for you and forward them to you however you like. This is incredibly helpful because you won’t ever have to close.
In the 21st century, business is a 24/7 endeavour. Gone are the days that you shut the door at 5pm and went home. Many people who have jobs or children like to do their shopping in their down time after work or once the kids have gone to sleep. That is sometimes late at night or early in the morning. These customers are just as important as customers who shop during the day. When they call your business, you want to be able to answer their phone calls and attend to their needs; however, you also need to sleep. A virtual receptionist is open any day and any time to answer your phone calls. That way, your customers don’t ever feel as if they’re being ignored.
As you know, there are more businesses now than ever, and customer loyalty is getting harder and harder to come by. If someone is looking for a swimming pool company, he or she might call you for information. If you don’t answer, he or she will just call one of your dozens of competitors. Summer telephone cover provides you with a 24/7 business presence even during your busiest season.
The 21st-century marketplace is more globalised than ever. That might not be true for a swimming pool company, but it definitely would be true for a swimming pool supply company. In the 21st century, a person in London can sell parts to a customer in Lincoln, Nebraska or Lithuania. That means you have to be prepared to talk to customers from just about any time zone. When it is the middle of the night in your time zone, it might be the middle of the business day for some of your customers. Many small business owners try to answer all of their phone calls, but if you start getting surges of calls from people at very odd hours, you should look for a virtual receptionist. Since it operates 24 hours a day, you could forward just your nighttime phone calls to the message-taking service.
How it Works
The very best messaging services work by charging per phone call. You don’t want to work with a company that demands you sign a contract. If you sign a monthly contract but don’t have any phone calls forwarded to them during that month, you’ve wasted your money. A phone service that charges you per phone call allows you to only pay when business is surging. Also, you should be able to forward calls quickly.
That means you should be able to forward your calls if you are going to be on holiday for months or if you want to go to a meeting but not miss any phone calls. That will allow you to forward your calls even for just a few minutes, but then pick them back up whenever you return.
A phone-answering service offers you a kind of legitimacy that you would not otherwise have. Many people, for several different reasons, are instantly distrustful of small businesses. That could be because they’re worried about you not delivering a quality product or service as you said you would. The first impression many people have of your business is the conduct and professionalism of the person answering the phone. If they call your business and a talented professional answers, they will grant your business the kind of legitimacy that helps instantly build trust with potential customers. That is not to say that a small business run by one person is illegitimate but, in the eyes of many consumers, they don’t trust a business that doesn’t have at least several people on staff. Having someone answer your phones who is not you could be a big boon to your business.
In a seasonal business, your call volume tends to ebb and flow. It might surge during the summer months but then start dragging during the winter. Instead of trying to hire temporary workers or full-time employees that you don’t actually need, you should forward your phone calls to a service. That service will act as a receptionist for your business, giving you a professional receptionist for a fraction of the cost of a full-time receptionist. It’s a great option for handling a problem that is great to have.