Virtual Receptionist Services, Phone Answering and Message Taking for Businesses
With Customer Experience (CX) becoming increasingly critical to surviving in a competitive marketplace, when a customer tries to contact your business you want to make sure you provide the best first impression.
And that starts by having the phone answered!
Common names/services include phone answering, call answering, answering service, message taking, virtual reception, virtual receptionist, virtual headquarters and more.
The virtual receptionist and message-taking service providers below offer a range of services that, in short, make sure your customers receive a professional experience when contacting your business.
Regardless of the name, the provider can answer the phone using your business name e.g. "Welcome to <your company> this is Emily, how can I help you today?" and then depending on your requirements, they can offer a range of services, including:
- Take a message and forward it to your nominated contact, typically via email or SMS.
- Transfer the call to a nominated contact.
- Capture the details required and enter them into a database.
- Answer questions of varying complexity.
How much do Phone Answering Services cost?
Phone Answering providers use a range of different commercial models, and determining the right one for you can depend on the expected number of calls, what you need the provider to do on each call, the location of the person answering the phone, whether you need 24/7 or standard business hours and so on.
Location can also play a big role in the pricing with offshore service providers in the Philippines, South Africa and even New Zealand offering lower rates than an on-shore (within Australia) solution.
Ultimately, which location is right for your business is something only you can decide - you can learn more about the benefits of call centre outsourcing locations >
Talk to the providers listed below and be sure to provide them with as much information as possible to enable them to provide you with accurate quotations.
Are there minimum call volumes?
Yes, but there are phone answering providers who specialise in different models.
Large outsourcers aren't typically interested in taking on low call volumes however there are hundreds of suppliers who specialise in taking the odd random call through to having dedicated agents answering calls exclusively for your business.
To be profitable, typically the call centre agents are expected to answer calls for a variety of businesses with the technology used by the virtual reception providers advising the call centre agent how to answer the phone and what to do.
The challenge for the phone answering providers is always trying to balance the expected number of calls to keep the call centre agents busy - if a call centre agent is sitting at their desk and not taking calls, they aren't making money, but if too many calls come in, it can lead to longer wait times which equals unhappy customers.
Learn more about the common commercial models used by phone answering businesses >
Key data to engage a phone answering provider
If you are thinking of engaging a phone answering business to answer your calls or take messages for your business, there are some key elements you will need to know:
- The expected number of calls per day/week/month.
- How that traffic normally comes in (e.g. if you have a TV ad you might get a big surge after the ad, there might be peak periods during the day or perhaps your calls are just spread out throughout the day/night)
- What you want the phone answering provider to do when they answer the call.
- Any scripts or instructions you expect them to follow.
- Any technology you would need them to integrate with.
- The hours of support you want to be covered.
How to Choose the Right Phone Answering Provider
It can be confusing trying to find the right phone answering provider for your business and/or the right commercial model for your business.
Simply scroll through the list below and contact the virtual receptionist suppliers directly, or you can use our free call centre outsourcing wizard that will provide you with a recommended shortlist of the best suppliers that are tailored to your requirements.
Search the Phone Answering Suppliers below: