One of the biggest concerns a business owner will face when delegating any task is this:
Will they be able to do this as well as I would do it?
This worry remains the same, whether you’re passing on responsibility to a full-time member of your team or outsourcing one small element of your service, such as your call handling.
The thought of hiring somebody to be your first point of contact, to be the person who engages directly with your client base can seem like a big move, particularly if you’re worried about your virtual receptionist being able to convey your brand values, voice and standards.
Do you really want to be your own gatekeeper?
We all know that having those ringing phones constantly interrupting your flow is no way to stay productive at work. Chances are, most of those calls won’t even need your attention.
Do you really need to speak to every person trying to get you to switch suppliers or buy tickets for a networking event? Do you really need to be fielding calls that were meant for another department? Do really need to be spending all your time giving your clients project updates rather than actually doing the work?
Is being on the phone the best use of your time, or would you make a bigger impact if you could focus on business development and income generating tasks, before batching your call returns at a time of your choosing (safe in the knowledge that your clients are being taken care of)?
Let your values lead the way.
If you let the fear of someone not being able to do things the way that you’d do them stand in your way, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’re buying yourself a one-way ticket to burnout, and that is not where any business leader wants to end up.
Have faith that if your outsource your call handling, or any other client-facing tasks, to professionals, learning your “company way” will be part of their service.
Here at Verbatim, whenever we take on a new client, we make sure that our virtual receptionists are fully trained in:
- The services that your company undertakes
- Members of your team and their responsibilities
- Relevant in-house practices and procedures
- Your communication and style standards
- Your brand values
- Industry-specific language
Stand-out staff (without the overhead).
So you’re on board with the fact that:
a) You don’t want to be your own gatekeeper
b) Your brand voice can easily be conveyed by someone who isn’t you, as long as they’ve been trained properly
Now the question is… who do you hire?
You could opt for a full-time, in-house switchboard operator, which can work really well if you have a huge volume of daily calls. However, you would have the much bigger overheads associated with bringing a new member of staff on board. You will also experience periods with no phone cover – lunch breaks, annual leave, sick days and the like.
Your other option is to outsource your call answering to a third party service… just make sure you shop around. To feel confident that your brand voice is communicated at every step, look for a company that boasts a small team of virtual receptionists with low turnover, rather than a (probably less expensive) more anonymous call centre.
Here at Verbatim we have a “single point of contact” system – an account manager responsible for taking care of that client’s needs, so that they can feel the benefit of continuous, consistent care. That’s what we would want your customers to feel too, which is why we would allocate you regular virtual receptionists who have been through all the aforementioned training.
If you’re looking for a truly seamless service for your customers and clients, outsourcing your call handling might just be the way to go. With a little training and a little faith, you can feel confident that your people are being taken care of immediately, in exactly the way you’d want… leaving you to focus on what really matters.