Nobody can deny that virtual receptionists (VRs) help run your business run more smoothly, at a fraction of the cost of in-house receptionists. They can essentially be there for you, no matter where both of you are, regardless of whether or not you have a physical office. Even so, it is tempting to hire a VR/virtual assistant based on price alone, which is never advisable. Remember: in life and business, you get what you pay for. With that said, here are several qualities and skills you need to keep in mind when you’re hiring a VA/VR.
Look for virtual receptionists who show themselves off as quality professionals. A lot these workers perform their duties from home, and as people we have tendencies to not perform well when we’re surrounded by the comforts of home. Therefore, look for VRs who are energetic and present themselves as actionable people who get things done.
Quality virtual receptionist services will pair you with someone who is analytical-minded, and able to identify details with crosshair precision. You want someone who will be able to spot details that a large number of peoples may miss, like a lawyer who uses his/her expert details to find hidden clauses in contracts that you missed. This leads you towards hiring an expert virtual assistant/receptionist who is more than willing (and capable) of adapting to how you run things. A VR that is malleable, adjusting their workstyle to be compatible with yours is worth one that is set in their ways and has you molding your style to theirs.
Ideally, you want someone who is a fast learner – someone who easily catches on to what you’re saying, and comprehends it in a way that doesn’t require you to over-explain yourself. This requires someone who knows how to use their developed intelligence, and someone who radically adjusts to various online platforms, tools and software you use for your company. (A virtual receptionist makes their living working with online platforms and tools; anyone who isn’t familiar with the software your company uses is not worth considering.)
Do you believe that communication is essential for maintaining a profitable (read: successful) business? There is more to communicating well than just understanding English and speaking it properly. “Communication intelligence” revolves around actively listening and engaging/participating in important conversations. Believe it or not, listening is a skill that not many of us have – until it comes time for us to speak so we can hear our own voice. When you’re looking for qualified candidates and sorting through applications (especially if they’re from remote locations), be sure they are able to explain themselves well through various cultural differences.
Do you remember “Eeyore” from Winnie The Pooh? Do you remember how often the donkey was slow, sad and unenthusiastic? Would you hire Eeyore as a representative of your company? I doubt it. Don’t hire a virtual receptionist that isn’t bubbling with enthusiasm – this will make your customers feel like they aren’t worth your—or your company’s—time. People enjoy speaking to people who are more than genuinely happy to help them with any problems they have.
Remember: for a small fee, you can free up your schedules to focus on tasks that will ultimately bring in more income and revenue for your company. Virtual assistants and virtual receptionists are there to do the time-consuming tasks that pry you away from doing what you need to do to keep your business running.