Entrepreneurs will agree that the early stages of business growth can be incredibly taxing. More often than not, if you own a small business or startup, you’re the one in charge of everything – even receptionists work like taking all the calls and scheduling the appointments.
Instead of doing everything yourself, delegating these and other administrative or call-handling tasks to a remote receptionist might be better. You get to free up time for yourself while ensuring your customers get the timely support they expect.
Hiring a virtual receptionist for your small business is cost-effective too, as services typically cost less than their in-house counterparts. Plus, you don’t have to worry about training, onboarding, and equipment costs.
Hiring a Remote Receptionist
Many agencies are offering to connect businesses with outsourced receptionists, and there are even more independent or freelance assistants advertising their services on job boards. It can feel overwhelming to sift through their listings, review applications, read resumes, and conduct interviews.
To make choosing a remote receptionist easier, you must create hiring criteria based on your needs. Ask yourself questions such as: Do you need a receptionist who knows how to use specific scheduling software? Do you need one who knows Excel?
Apart from technical skills, personal qualities are important and should be part of your hiring criteria as well. A virtual receptionist who is a good fit personality-wise is easier to integrate with the rest of your in-house or contractor team.
Here are five qualities you should look for when choosing a remote receptionist:
The ideal receptionist does their work skillfully and completes tasks on time. They are courteous, honest, and responsible when interacting with their employer, other team members, and customers.
2. Positive Attitude
No one wants to work with—or talk to—a surly, sarcastic, or apathetic receptionist. The virtual receptionist you choose should have a cheerful voice and demeanor, as this reflects how they work, communicate, and deal with challenges. A remote receptionist with a positive attitude learns from their mistakes instead of dwelling on them and is open to constructive criticism for improvement.
A proactive receptionist can be a lot of help to an entrepreneur who doesn’t have the time to supervise their employees. This kind of receptionist works under their own initiative, is resourceful, and enjoys solving problems.
You can’t check in on your remote receptionist every hour of every single day. That’s why you must choose one who is dependable. The person you hire should understand the importance of being on time and respecting and meeting deadlines, so you won’t have to constantly remind them.
5. Good Communicator
Receptionists should be friendly and capable of creating rapport with your customers. Even when asked difficult questions by angry callers, they should keep their heads about themselves and answer with empathy and confidence.
You can gauge if an applicant has these qualities by asking situational questions during interviews. For instance, to learn more about their attitude towards challenges, you can ask them to recount a difficult work-related problem and how they overcame it.