How a Cheap Virtual Receptionist Can Hurt Your Business

Client struggles with cheap virtual receptionist

If you’re sold on a virtual receptionist but short on budget, be careful. Cheap virtual receptionists may be tempting, but they can do long-term damage to your business. If you have the choice between paying for a cheap virtual assistant and running your business without one, for now, wait and save your money. Here’s how a cheap virtual receptionist may end up doing more harm than good.

Unreliable/Limited Hours

Cheap virtual assistant providers cut corners, and one of the most common shortcuts is to essentially not be ready to take your calls. They may work for multiple companies and therefore be too busy to answer your phone reliably. A cheap virtual assistant is making money somehow, and that could be detrimental to you.

When you work with Front Office Solutions, we guarantee live answering and can be available 24/7/365, if that makes sense for your business.

Unreliable Technology

How is your virtual receptionist connecting to your phone line? Are they using your appointment or scheduling system? If they’re cheap, the chances are that they are not using the best technology and not integrated with your in-house systems. This reduces your efficiency and lowers your customer service standards.

Shallow Skills

Another way cheap virtual receptionists fail to deliver is with more advanced receptionist skills.

Let’s say that you often don’t answer your calls because you’re busy with a client. Cheap receptionists may only be able to refer your caller to a voicemail, or can’t even answer basic questions about your services. Maybe they don’t understand enough about your business to make these decisions, or they they didn’t discuss with you how these calls should be handled beforehand, or they simply don’t care.

More advanced virtual assistants can direct your caller to someone else in your organization who can help. Plus, there are many more advanced skills, even business-specific services, that a cheap digital receptionist may not be able to deliver, including:

  • Call screening
  • Smart scheduling
  • Sending text and email notifications
  • Emergency dispatching
  • Rescheduling
  • Contacting City for inspections

No Accountability

What’s worse is that many virtual assistants don’t keep records about when calls came in and how they were handled. Without records, it is impossible to hold your virtual assistant responsible for their actions. It’s a little unnerving to think that you may not know how your client’s calls are being handled and, therefore, how your clients are being treated.

Lack of Personalization

Cheap virtual receptionists may not be skilled enough to deliver the range of services you need. Or, they may be intentionally inflexible, so that you have to use services that they offer even if they don’t make sense for your business. So, your virtual assistant costs more than it needs to or doesn’t fully replace your in-house receptionist (which also costs you money).


Many virtual receptionist providers have you sign onto long-term contracts. When you’re already aware that a cheap virtual receptionist is doing real damage to your business, being locked into a contract just makes it worse. You can either eat the cost and disable service, or let them keep answering your phones while hoping that it somehow gets better.

No thanks!

At Front Office Solutions, we don’t sign you to a contract. You can cancel our services whenever you want, which is just one way you know we offer a service that businesses find valuable.

If you’re a busy roofer, plumber, electrician, or HVAC contractor in need of a dependable answering service to take your calls, read on about our virtual receptionist services or reach out via phone or email today. We even offer a 7 day free trial of our services so you can see if it’s right for your business.

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