Why Overflow Phone Answering Helps Your In-House Receptionist Do More

January 14, 2019

The common misconception is your in-house receptionist will dislike it if you subscribe to a live receptionist service. After all, isn’t this a threat to their job and their self-identity, if someone could do something remotely that they already do? On the contrary -- they will thank you. 

Overflow phone answering will help them to focus on important face-to-face interactions with your customers and clients. Receptionists are usually overburdened with telephone calls, and they hardly get the time to do other things such as organizing files and operational tasks for your business. An overflow phone answering service will complement your in-house receptionist’s role. Here are a few reasons why you should subscribe to an overflow phone answering service.

1) Receptionists take vacations, sick leave, and breaks

Receptionists are living breathing human beings who get sick, catch the seasonal flu, or simply want to take a break and go to the mountains (or to the beaches). When they are away from their desk for whatever reason, overflow phone answering ensures that all your calls are answered, and that business goes on as usual. Answering services such as Abby Connect are available 24/7 but you can choose to forward your calls to them only when your receptionist is not available, or when you need someone to fill in. This way, when your receptionist is not in the office, your callers will not not feel ignored by your business. 

2) Receptionists would love having help 

Even if receptionists are at work, they often find themselves too far stretched because of the number of calls they need to receive and return on top of their other duties and tasks. In an article titled “The Training of Receptionists", Elizabeth Shaw pointed out that receptionists in the front line often experience significant amounts of stress and are at risk of burning out.  

You might be wondering how your receptionist can derive team support when they are the only staff you have in your office. An overflow phone answering service can act like your in-house receptionist’s support team and take calls per their schedule so that they get ample amounts of help, and time to focus on other job responsibilities. In addition, your receptionist will experience psychological autonomy when their boundaries are respected, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction.  

3) Let your receptionist do their job without distractions

As a receptionist, it is easy to feel overwhelmed because answering calls, taking notes, transferring calls, and greeting visitors who drop into your office can all take an emotional toll. In addition, a receptionist in today’s world needs to focus on face-to-face interactions and helping make the time a client spends in the office as efficient as possible.

If your receptionist is busy on a call when there is a customer at their desk, it defeats the purpose of you hiring them in the first place. When you subscribe to an overflow phone answering service, you can let your in-house receptionist decide when they will turn on the live receptionist service, and when they will take the calls themselves, based on their workload and schedule. This will allow them to do their work better.  

4) Customer satisfaction is guaranteed regardless of the time of day 

It is not just your receptionist who will thank you, but also the customers and clients themselves. While you cannot expect your in-house receptionist to work 24/7, an overflow phone answering team can. This means no matter what time a client calls, there will always be someone to answer. Customers will never forget your business going above and beyond to respond to them at all hours. This will directly increase your customer happiness and loyalty.  

ICMI recently reported that 82 percent of customers want their issues resolved quickly, to the point of being responded to instantly, in order to have a favorable opinion about the company. If a customer calls up just after your receptionist has left for the day, you risk reducing your customer’s satisfaction with your business. On the other hand, if a 24/7 answering service ensures that every single call is answered no matter what time of the day or night it is, your customer satisfaction will soar. 

5) Receptionists cannot be expected to be at their desk through their entire shift 

Before you assume that your receptionist will answer every single call that rings during their shift period, ask yourself these questions: 

1) Have you ever assigned them a task that is not related to answering calls or requires them to step away from their desk? 

2) Do you get calls so frequently that multiple phones are ringing at the same time? 

3) What happens when that important million-dollar call rings in and your receptionist is on a bathroom break? 

All these scenarios clearly tell you that your receptionist cannot be expected to answer every call even when they are at the office. Therefore, employing an overflow phone answering team is important because it allows a group of receptionists to answer your phones and not just a single employee. There will be a live receptionist to answer the call within three to four rings, always. 
 
A virtual receptionist and an in-house receptionist can both perform their roles and help you grow your business in unison.

A Virtual Receptionist Team Complements Your In-House Receptionist

An overflow phone answering service does not need to replace your in-house receptionist -- unless you want that to happen. Instead, a live receptionist can act as backup for your receptionist and unburden them from the phone. This will reduce their stress levels, improve productivity rates, and help them focus more on face-to-face interactions with your clients and customers. To learn how Abby Connect can help you and your receptionist to serve your customers and clients better, give us a call today or fill out our free trial form below.  

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