Today’s technology makes it possible for businesses of any size—including sole proprietorships—to convey a very credible big-business image. Virtual attendants, or call attendants, are one very practical example of that. Virtual attendants allow businesses to provide sophisticated phone services, the kind that might be commonly associated with larger companies, very cost effectively.
Virtual attendants are exactly what they sound like—an automated method for businesses to answer and transfer phone calls, without the need to have a “real person” staffing the phones. Virtual attendants replace live operators and allow for call routing.
Small businesses looking for ways to save money without sacrificing service can reap big benefits through virtual attendants. They provide an easy, affordable way to route incoming calls without sacrificing the personal touch that your customers rely on. Plus, they provide your business with a Fortune 500 professional sound that lends authenticity and professionalism to your caller.
WHY ARE VIRTUAL ATTENDANTS IMPORTANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES?
Small businesses typically operate on very small budgets and have minimal staff on site to deal personally with calls that may come in. In many cases the business owner or sole proprietor may be engaging with other customers—a plumber, for example—and physically unable to take a phone call. Virtual attendants take the worry out of missing those important calls while business owners are engaged in other activities.
Our customers span a wide range of industries and business settings—from restaurants to law firms to service providers, and more. Whether it’s after hours or during the business day when you’re busy serving your customer needs, virtual assistants can provide peace of mind and ensure that your callers are being well served.
Even businesses with multiple employees can benefit from a call attendant. Suppose you have a single 800-number associated with your brand. Perhaps it’s a vanity number, like 1-800-FLOWERS. Virtual attendants make transferring calls into that single number to the appropriate person easy and nearly seamless. Better yet, those transferred calls don’t need to go to people who are physically located in a single business setting. They can be spread around the city, the state, the country—or even the globe. All callers know is that they’re connecting with your company, regardless of where your staff may be—or how many staff members you might have.
THE HISTORY OF VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TECHNOLOGY
Originally, call attendant systems were included as part of a company’s on-premise PBX phone system. As virtual technology has evolved, the need to purchase a hardware PBX system is no longer necessary. With the advent of VoIP and cloud-hosted technology, even small companies can afford a professional virtual attendant system with multiple extensions, call transfer, find-me follow-me, simultaneous ring, voicemail-to-email, voicemail transcription, and fax-to-email. A customized menu of options can be set up to help customers get to the person or department they need to speak with, no matter where they are located, allowing remote employees or contractors to seamlessly blend as a team. A cloud-based virtual attendant system allows a small company to have one central number that can route calls to employees, across town or across the country.
HOW DOES A VIRTUAL PHONE SYSTEM WORK?
The term “virtual” refers to the absence of PBX equipment in the company premises. PBX, or private branch exchange, involves the use of equipment to switch (exchange) calls between various users who all share one common number—perhaps an 800-number to provide convenience, and cost savings for customers.
Today, though, small business owners don’t have to invest in equipment to make this happen. AccessDirect offers the same convenience and functionality of a high-end PBX system, through call attendants.
If you’re the owner of a small business, we’ll free you from the worry of investing a sizable amount of money in a standard PBX system. You don’t need any special equipment to use our hosted PBX system. We incorporate your business phone into an entirely virtual environment.
THE BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGES OF A VIRTUAL ATTENDANT
There are a wide range of big benefits and advantages to using a virtual attendant in your business operations. Virtual attendants:
- Improve staff productivity. Staff members don’t need to spend their time transferring calls, or even responding to basic questions or providing commonly requested information. Your virtual assistant can take care of these tasks for you!
- Enhance customer service. Automated phone systems have come a long way to meet caller needs. When set up well (AccessDirect can help with that!), your virtual attendant will ensure your callers get connected to the information they need quickly and conveniently.
- Are easy to incorporate with no physical equipment. Incorporating your call attendant doesn’t require any equipment on your end, so set-up is fast and stress-free. In fact, one of our clients was delighted to find that the weeks-long process he anticipated could take place the same day he requested the service.
- Save time and money. You’ll save time and money serving the needs of your customers and prospects—wherever they are and wherever you are.
- Scale with your enterprise. As your business grows, virtual attendants can readily grow with you to serve a growing number of employees, and customers.
- Have no administration required. Best of all, your virtual assistant system through AccessDirect requires no administration. It’s a worry-free solution to your communication needs.
VIRTUAL ATTENDANT ADVANCED FEATURES
In the “old days” businesses often found that their phone systems were quickly outdated as new technologies came into play. That often meant that significant investments in equipment and software quickly became obsolete, requiring either expensive upgrades or missing out on opportunities to improve service to customers. Today those risks have been eliminated. Some of the more advanced features that AccessDirect offers today include:
- Sophisticated Caller InterfaceOur virtual attendant software lets you receive calls through a dedicated connection, providing a sophisticated interface to your callers through our virtual attendant. Callers will hear a welcome message, along with various options to choose from, like dial-by-name, dial-by-extension, dial 0 for a live receptionist, or to simply leave a recorded message in the voicemail system. We’ll work with you to create a welcome message and options based on your business and customer needs.
- Find Me, Follow MeBusy businesspeople are often on the go, traveling between multiple locations and frequently not sitting at a desk. AccessDirect’s virtual attendant ensures that you receive your business calls no matter where you’re located.Our auto attendant phone system comes with an advanced form of call routing called follow me call forwarding. Under this system, each phone extension is associated with a list of additional phone numbers that might include the cell phone number or residence number of the extension owner. Calls to a particular phone extension will be routed through the predefined list one by one, until someone attends the call. So you can, for instance, receive calls on your cell phone when you are not in the office. This is a standard feature of our cloud PBX, which includes a full array of virtual messaging services – such as voicemail-to-email and fax-to-email services. It works with your existing phones – you don’t have to buy new ones – and most importantly, you’ll never miss an important call again.
VOICE MAIL TRANSCRIPTION
If you’re in a meeting and an important call comes in, you may be hesitant to create a distraction by excusing yourself to pick up a voice mail. You don’t have to. Our voice mail transcription service means that your calls can be automatically converted to text, making them much easier—and far less obtrusive—to access.
If you’re not able to be reached through any of the phone numbers in your follow me list, the virtual attendant will route the call to the voicemail system where callers can leave a recorded message for you, and you’ll receive your voicemails through your email account.
New functionality is constantly emerging. Fortunately, you no longer need to be burdened by big investments into dated equipment. And, as new innovations occur, AccessDirect incorporates them into our services. You’ll continually have access to the most advanced technology options to serve your employee and customer needs.
EASY TO CONFIGURE
AccessDirect’s virtual assistant services are a significant feature of its hosted PBX phone system. We can configure this advanced telephony solution to suit your needs. What’s more, all of this is available without your having to invest in expensive, premise-based hardware and infrastructure. Take advantage of our high-tech telephone system with its virtual attendant feature and give your company the professional image it deserves!
You don’t have to set everything up on your own. We will set up your call attendant in a way that works best for your business. Still not sure about what a virtual attendant can do for your business? Call 877-599-6500 or contact us for more information about our virtual office systems.