Deciding Between an In-House and a Virtual Receptionist for Your Business

When deciding between an in-house or virtual receptionist for your business, it is important to arm yourself with all of the facts.

in-house vs virtual receptionistWhen business is booming, there’s perhaps no employee more valuable than your receptionist. Not only do they take tedious administrative tasks off your plate, they serve as the friendly face of your company, ready to help whoever might be calling or stopping by your office. Indeed, an experienced receptionist can be worth their weight in gold. Thankfully, when it comes to hiring a receptionist, there are more options than ever before. While you might want to stick with a traditional, in-house receptionist, virtual receptionists offer undeniable perks that a 9-5 office worker simply can’t match.

In-House Receptionist

There’s no denying the value of an in-house receptionist. They’re administrative superheroes, taking calls and scheduling appointments while you focus on your most important duties. But they’re only human: they require a livable wage, healthcare benefits, sick leave, and some breaks throughout the day. Even the best receptionists will need a week off for vacation a couple of times a year.

When considering to hire an in-house receptionist, it’s important to take the opportunity cost of doing so into consideration. Your receptionist can handle one call at a time. When clients dial in only to be sent to voicemail or put on hold for long periods, they may opt to give one of your competitors a call instead. The same goes for nights, weekends and holidays when you wouldn’t normally even have an in-house receptionist present. While you might not expect much business during such times, the potential lost opportunities are too valuable to write off altogether.

There’s also the cost of office space and supplies to consider. It might not seem like much, but a phone, computer, sticky notes and pencils add up. In fact, it costs an average of $228 per year to outfit each employee with the necessary office supplies alone. While such costs aren’t likely to break the bank, they can stack up quickly across your staff.

Inevitably, your in-house receptionist may decide to move on to a new position. They may retire or make a career change. When they do so, you’ll need to spend time and effort recruiting a replacement. It’s estimated that it costs about 16 percent of the annual salary to replace a receptionist. Plus, there’s no guarantee you’ll be getting as good a receptionist in their spot.

Virtual Receptionist

For cost-conscious businesses that are eager to grow, a virtual receptionist can be a great way to save on staffing costs yet still improve in the customer service and sales departments. While a traditional in-house receptionist might require several weeks of paid vacation and sick days, a virtual receptionist is available around the clock – even on nights, weekends and holidays. There’s no health insurance or other benefits to worry about, either. Considering that the average receptionist makes close to $30,000 a year, the service fees of a virtual receptionist are a downright bargain.

Just like in-house staff, a virtual receptionist knows your business inside and out. They can read from a script you provide, provide exceptional customer service, and help you capture more leads. Consider, too, that a virtual receptionist service will mean that your phone line is never busy or unanswered. Missed calls mean missed opportunities, and while an in-house receptionist can only handle one call at a time, a virtual receptionist service can ensure that every caller is greeted by a friendly, highly trained professional every time.

Don’t forget to consider the flexibility that virtual receptionists provide too. If you’ve got a slow day and don’t need someone to cover the phones, you can opt to answer them yourself. Rather than having to worry about how to keep an employee busy when it’s slow, you only pay for the time your virtual receptionist spends with your callers. Because virtual receptionists are priced flexibly, they offer you options in an ever-changing world.

Why Not Both?

If you’re feeling torn about whether to hire an in-house or virtual receptionist, don’t force a decision; instead, consider hiring both! An in-house receptionist can manage the phones during normal business hours and handle other physical duties in the office. A virtual receptionist can help pick up the slack during busy periods, cover breaks/lunches, and man the phones after traditional business hours and on holidays. This is truly the best of both worlds, giving supervisors round-the-clock phone coverage and customer service no matter what.

Hiring virtually and in-house means you can draw on the expertise of multiple administrative professionals, further strengthening your daily operations. We know you’ll like our virtual receptionists, and we hope you’ll be able to say the same about anyone you choose to hire in-house if you go that route.

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See for Yourself

There is no denying that virtual receptionists have some major benefits over hiring an in-house receptionist. If you want to see what having a virtual receptionist on your team is like, then try it for free! Our seven-day trial requires no commitment, deposits or signatures from you. Simply give us a call or fill out this form and one of our friendly representatives will be in touch shortly.

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