Virtual Receptionists vs Answering Services – What’s the Difference?

Being at the right place at the right time in order to solve the ever-growing needs of customers is a focal point of business. Whether a customer needs help with placing an order, doesn’t understand the return policy or needs to inquire about a particular item, having virtual receptionists and answering services is integral.

For the customer, having a direct line to a business that they support with their pocketbooks encourages them to remain loyal, prioritizes your services, and is worth it… even at a premium.

For you, this means more revenue, and more customers.

It’s a win-win situation.

Let’s say you have a new business and you want to know if you should employ answering services or virtual receptionists.

Though they have many similarities and many companies today have hybridized both services, there are differences that can sway your decision-making process.

Unclear on which to choose?

The following will summarize the similarities and differences between both support types, and help you make the best choice for your business needs.

How Are Answering Services and Virtual Receptionists Are the Same?

Answering services and virtual receptionists essentially share some basic protocols like: dedicated customer service reps respond to inbound calls, transfer calls to the appropriate departments, are available nights, weekends and various holidays.

Agents are experienced, professional and are graded based on their level of quality. In either case, your client should not be able to tell the receptionist is not your own awesome employee in your office.

How Are Answering Services and Virtual Receptionists Different?

While there are commonalities between the two, answering services are more basic and cover less bases than virtual receptionists. The latter go beyond response and transfer, with a wider range of involvement.

Just as the name suggests, virtual receptionists handle many of the tasks that typical ‘brick and mortar’, in-office receptionist would have to tackle.

Along with ‘inbound’ tasks, virtual receptionists handle ‘outbound’ tasks as well including confirming sales orders, Tier-1 help desk assistance, technical support, appointment scheduling and other industry-specific responsibilities on behalf of the business.

Which Service is Right for You?

It’s easy to get ‘lost in the sauce’ so to speak when comparing and contrasting both services. But weighing the pros and cons can much easier if you first ask a few simple questions.

-What are my specific business needs?

Every business has specific goals and functions. Therefore, every business owner needs matching solutions to fulfill the business plan. Before choosing between answering services and virtual receptionists, go back over the overall strategy.

-What will make operations flow better?

There’s nothing like a well-oiled machine that operates precisely as it should.


The support type that’s best for your business is the type that allows for hiccup-free streamlining. No business is perfect by any means, however, knowing your business in and out can increase productivity and customer satisfaction.

If you need help dissecting which type of answering services or possibly virtual receptionist services you need, simply give us a call. We service the entire USA.

Front Office Solutions features A+ Rated 24/7 Live Call Answering and Virtual Receptionist Services.

Call today to get your business on board!


Copyright © 2024 | Front Office Solutions - Virtual Receptionists - Answering Services - La Grande, Oregon