As a business owner, you don’t need scientific data to convince you that a distraction-free environment would be incredibly helpful. If you don’t have an in-house receptionist, a live receptionist service can give you the support you’re looking for.
Vicky Virtual Receptionists and Abby Connect are both phone answering services that work with small businesses. While services may be similar, there are some major differences between the two companies and their capabilities.
|Package||Starter (60-Minutes)||Entrepreneur (180-Minutes)||Executive (300-Minutes)|
Both Abby Connect and Vicky Virtual offer similar inclusions in their packages such as phone answering, outbound calling, call screening/forwarding, call overflow, message delivery by email and/or text, and voicemail box. Despite having a higher price for services, Abby Connect gives their customers more. These include an extended free trial, receptionists and account managers who work from a local office, longer answering hours, and bilingual answering (English and Spanish).
Before you buy a car a test drive is imperative in measuring compatibility. The same principle applies in live reception services. Most phone answering companies have trials of varying length where you can try before you buy. Vicky Virtual offers a 7-day free period, while Abby Connect offers a generous 14-day free trial. Abby also does not begin your trial until you receive your first call so you are not wasting the first day or two of the trial where you may be setting up your account and forwarding your lines. Abby’s trial allows customers full access to all the features offered while providing a more accurate estimate of monthly usage.
Work from Home Receptionists & Account Managers
According to Gallup, 43 percent of U.S. employees work remotely all or some of the time. In live reception, many companies have their receptionists work from a designated office, but there are a few such as Vicky Virtual that allow their receptionists to work from home. Work from home receptionists likely won't experience a true work culture or community, may find difficulty with their technology and callers may hear noises in the background of calls including pets and children. Work from home reception companies also may have low employee retention and loss of productivity. There are plenty of benefits of being able to work from home, but in live reception, it doesn't allow for an elite customer experience.
At Abby Connect, each customer is also given a dedicated account manager you can call or email directly at any time. Vicky Virtual has no information on their website about whether their customers get an account manager to reach out to if they have problems. It ultimately leads us to believe that Vicky Virtual does not give their clients a dedicated account manager. When this is the case, questions or issues are usually put into a support queue and answered by different agents who may have never looked at a client's account before. At Abby, the dedicated account manager works closely with the client on their account.
Hours of Operation
Answering phones is one of the primary reasons businesses hire an answering service. While looking for an answering service, business owners should look at hours of operation to see which service will provide them the best coverage.
Vicky Virtual only answers phones Monday – Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM CST. Abby Connect has different available options to best suit your needs. They can answer standard business hours (8:30 AM to 5 PM based on your time zone), as well as extended hours (Monday-Friday 5 AM-9 PM PST and Saturday-Sunday 6 AM-6 PM) for even later answering now included for free, and 24/7 for round-the-clock coverage.
According to a report from the Instituto Cervantes research center, an estimated 52.6 million people in the US can speak Spanish, which is only second to Mexico’s 121 million people. Abby Connect recognizes the need to be able to effectively communicate among all callers. To service more people, half of Abby Connect’s receptionists are bilingual. Vicky Virtual does not have any information regarding bilingual receptionists on their website, which leads us to believe they do not offer this service to their customers.
Which live Receptionist service should I choose?
Overall, Vicky Virtual and Abby Connect have their similarities and differences. Abby Connect offers more advantages such as a dedicated account manager, a longer trial period, bilingual receptionists and more. Vicky Virtual may seem like a price conscious decision but, the saying is always true “you get for what you pay for." Abby Connect is the wiser choice and will certainly leave a longer lasting impression. If your business is looking into using a live receptionist service, try Abby Connect’s 14-day free trial.
*all information is accurate and cited as of 11/2018