How To Choose A Virtual Receptionist

how to choose a virtual receptionist

Deciding to hire a virtual receptionist is a giant leap. For most clients, this is the first time they’ve let go of the reins to expand their business or take some much-needed time off without worrying about the work front. Others come to us when they’re ready to take their first “real” vacation in two, five, or even ten years.

While virtual receptionists can be game-changing for small to medium business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s also true that not all advertised virtual receptionists are up to the task.

5 Tips To Hire The Right Virtual Receptionist For Your Small Business

It’s essential that you hire a virtual receptionist who:

  • Is experienced and able to do what they claim on their resume.
  • Can self-initiate and quickly learn on the job.
  • Has superior communication skills, written and verbal.
  • Is 100% reliable.
  • Can quickly adopt your brand’s voice, persona, and nuances.
  • Has the ability to flow with your business hours and needs.
  • You trust.

Finding someone who brings those seven bullet points to your company’s virtual table can be more challenging than you might think. However, with a bit of homework and insight, you’ll be able to find a virtual receptionist that meets all of your criteria while simultaneously aligning yourself to access additional virtual services in the future.

Work with a professional virtual services provider

The first step is working with an established, professional virtual services provider (also called business process outsourcing). Just like working with a temp agency for in-person services, a virtual services agency already does much of the leg work for you. 

Before you screen potential candidates, they’ve already been through:

  • A resume screening.
  • Verification of previous employment.
  • Reference checks.
  • Basic skills checks.
  • Professional interviews.

We don’t bring anyone on board who isn’t already qualified for the job. So, when our clients are looking for a virtual receptionist (or HR professional, or bookkeeping/accounting support, etc.), they have access to a large pool of pre-qualified candidates.

Focus on income-generating and business expansion plans

The idea of a virtual receptionist is that a business owner’s/entrepreneur’s time is freed up to do what they love most: their business. Sometimes, business owners give up one set of administrative tasks only to take on others that have fallen by the wayside, further taking their attention away from what led them to start a business in the first place.

Write a detailed description of what you plan to do with the free time, space, and energy gained by virtual services support - focusing on income-generating and business expansion strategies. By starting with a list of what you want to do, you’ll quickly synthesize which tasks you’re ready to hand over to a qualified professional.

Be clear about your business’s administrative needs

Virtual services come in a variety of forms. Sometimes we notice that a business owner asks for a virtual receptionist when they’re really looking for more of a personal assistant. Or, they may want a personal assistant but need someone with a certain level of human resources expertise. 

The more you’re clear about what you need, the better we can pair you with qualified prospects. Some of the virtual services business owners need when looking to expand their business include:

  • Answering incoming calls.
  • Providing product/service information to prospects.
  • Organize communication by priority.
  • Provide general customer service support.
  • Responding to all business-oriented emails.
  • Scheduling meetings and client calls.
  • Monitoring/managing/responding to social media platforms.
  • Organizing meetings.
  • Book/manage travel accommodations.
  • General administration tasks.
  • Perform basic data entry and invoicing.
  • Prepare presentations.
  • Provide bi-lingual (and multi-lingual) services
  • And more

Virtual receptionists handle anything that falls under the regular job description of an in-person receptionist - serving as the frontline voice and persona of your company’s brand.

Creating a list of the exact tasks you’d like to see handled by your new virtual receptionist allows us to find the right fit. And our objective position enables us to see needs you may not have identified, creating a plan to expand virtual services as your business continues to grow.

Ask prospective receptionists about your company

Professional virtual receptionists know to do their homework before interviewing for a new position. Test the candidates by asking them about your company. Their answers indicate how much time they’ve prepared, which offers insight into their work ethic and attention to detail.

At the very least, they should know what your company does, how long you’ve been in business, the brand’s online reputation, and why they’re interested in working for you over other prospective virtual employers. Matching interests, skills, and experience makes for a lasting relationship.

Find your perfect receptionist 

You’ll be matched with a selection of receptionist options. Now it’s your chance to narrow them down and find the candidate you feel assimilates best with your brand. Of course, it’s also essential that you feel comfortable with them, trust their skillset and abilities, and can see them supporting your brand’s overarching needs and vision - now and into the future.

Let Zen Resources Find Your Future Virtual Receptionist

Zen Resources is here for you and ready to help you scale your team wherever you're located. We’ve helped hundreds of satisfied clients find their ideal virtual services professional, whether for a one-time period, part-time help, or as a full-time team member. 

We’ll help you identify exactly which services you need and then line up experienced, highly-qualified candidates. You’ll be amazed at how much time and energy is freed up once you have someone you trust at the helm. Contact us to request a consultation and learn more about Zen Resources' virtual services and how we can help. 

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