5 Things To Consider When Hiring A Virtual Receptionist
When looking for a person to answer your phones, you should have a long list of expectations. After all, they will be the first impression a new prospect has of your company. And, can really add or takeaway from your revenue each month. You want them to be the voice of your company and have the knowledge to help your customers. So what are the most desired qualities in a receptionist? Here is a list we have compiled from our years of experience in the industry.
1.) Polite, Friendly, and Engaging
First and foremost, you want someone to be warm and friendly on the phone. No one wants someone cold and impersonal answering the phones and engaging with their customers. Remember, if the receptionist makes a bad impression, they can ruin sales and lose customers. They are the first point of contact for many customers. Basic courtesy is mandatory. Saying things like “please” and “thank you” sets the right tone for your business. Make sure your receptionist is polite, friendly, and engaging.
2.) Knowledgeable in Your Industry
Anyone that handles your calls must be knowledgeable about your services and products. Neither potential or current customers want to be transferred two or three times trying to get the necessary information. Remember, you don’t want a generalist, which is someone who specializes in nothing, and you don’t want a receptionist trained to handle calls for doctors & lawyers handling calls for plumbing, HVAC, or electrical customers either. It takes time and effort to find a good fit for your company.
We’ve seen so many people hire the first person they can find to answer the phones that seems nice, but has no experience in their field. Hiring front-end staff that represents your company must be done with great insight. Even if you cannot find someone that is an expert in your field, they should be working to obtain knowledge of your industry. Trust us; your customers will thank you for taking your time and finding the right person.
3.) They Follow Industry Regulations
You want to steer clear of legal problems, which means that the person on the phone needs to know what they are talking about. There are specific regulations for most industries, and they need to make sure they understand the guidelines and follow them. For instance, the healthcare industry has HIPAA regulations. Giving out any patient information over the phone can make you both financially and legally liable. Training for your sector is everything because even the smallest error can cost you big.
4.) Flexibility and Availability
When skimming through a pile of applications, avoid those applicants that have demanding schedules. You want someone that can be there to answer the phones when you need them. Anyone that has restrictions for weekends, holidays, or after hours, should be avoided. You may have a strict 8 am to 5 pm workday, but what if special circumstances require your receptionist to stay over till 6 pm? Your customers’ needs come first. If a potential candidate is not flexible and available, then find someone who can be there when you need them.
5.) Ready for Growth
You want someone that is willing and able to grow with the company. Someone may start as your receptionist, but you may see that they have great potential in other areas too. Having someone that can wear many hats in a smaller company is beneficial. Can your receptionist fill in while office staff is busy or on break? Look for someone that is eager to learn more to make your company great and increase their earning potential.
Making the Best Choice For Your Company
Before hiring anyone to answer your phones, you must ensure they are polite, friendly, knowledgeable, flexible, and have growth potential. The list of requirements is daunting, and some employers are overwhelmed with the task.