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Cover your business during the Easter break

One of the downsides of having a small business with a limited number of staff is that it is difficult to take a break from it all because when you do you end up leaving your business exposed. Unfortunately, your kids probably won't understand this as a genuine reason and after a few missed holiday breaks your spouse/partner may also get a little disgruntled. Fortunately, there is now a way that you can have your cake and eat it as well. By getting Virtual Reception to help you will be able to enjoy Easter, have a memorable time with your family and keep your business humming along at the same time. Here are 8 genuine ways that our professional staff at Virtual Reception can help you during this Easter break.

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1. Cover the phones when you or your staff are on leave

Even though you or your staff are away from the office it is quite likely that the telephone calls will continue to come in. One of the worst things that you can do is to simply let those calls go through to an automated telephone answering service. Studies carried out in the UK by a large telecoms firm have shown that the majority of business customers will hang up rather than leave a message on an automated service.

An alternative to the automated service is to use a live telephone answering service like the one provided by Virtual Reception. The way our service works is really quite easy, once you have your account set up and we understand how you want your customers greeted and how you want to receive notification of your messages you simply forward your number to a number that we provide and we can then start answering your incoming calls.

With Virtual Reception you don't have to lock in for a specific period of time. You may just need us to answer your calls while you or a specific staff member are on leave or you may want us to cover during lunch breaks or when someone is sick. It really is incredibly flexible. You can use us when you need support and keep the account in the background during other times (for a slamm retainer). Covering your business this way is significantly cheaper than trying to cover with temps or casuals.

2. Act as a virtual skeleton crew

These days small businesses can never shut down completely. There will always be people who need information or assistance with something. Rather than pay expensive overtime rates or temp rates why not make use of the Virtual Reception staff to act as your virtual skeleton crew. Our team can perform a variety of functions ranging from answering company related information (you will need to provide details), taking phone orders, providing help with website navigation etc.

3. Take your orders

Does your business have an online ordering system or eCommerce module? Do you or your current staff still need to process customer orders through this module as your customers are not overly comfortable doing it themselves. Alternatively, do you regularly just take orders over the phone? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then there is a good chance that you can make use of our professional virtual assistants to take your orders and populate your online forms. Even if you don't have a fully automated sales order system we can even set up an online form to either allow our staff to work with your current sales system or we can deliver all of the orders to you in an email or SMS.

4. Give out information

How many phone calls do you get each day where the caller just wants to know some basic information about your business. They may want to know the address or they may want to know where the best place to park is, either way, if you are the only one in the office you will quite likely have to drop everything to attend to that phone call. Even worse, if you are not in the office and you are on your Easter vacation then your customer may end up getting pushed to an automated answering service. The good news is that it doesn't need to be like this. If you make use of a telephone answering service from Virtual Reception then we can have a list of commonly asked questions and we can address them as they come up. It should make your life a whole lot easier and leave you with time to focus on either spending time with your family or getting on with strategy.

5. Book your appointments

If you are the type of business that sees customers in a systematic structured manner like a lawyer, accountant, chiropractor etc then taking time off doesn't just mean that you don't have appointments on those days but it also means that you don't have anyone in the office to take your appointments. No problem! Our professional virtual assistants here at Virtual Reception have training with a range of appointment setting packages and can work in with you to ensure that your diary is booked up. Our assistants are charged out by the minute so you will only need to pay for them when they are actually working with you.

6. Survey your customers

If you need to take a break but you still want to keep things moving with your customers then it may be an idea to survey them and find out what they think of your business, what they like about how you do things, what they think you could do better and what they think you do well. Our receptionists are experienced at conducting customer surveys and the surveys themselves can be structured any way that you want. Our virtual assistants are charged out on a per minute basis so you only ever have to pay for the time that you use. While you are off having a break our professional team can be gathering data to help you better run the business when you return.

7. Keep the urgent calls flowing

We understand that not all phone calls are equal. 95% of the calls that you receive are probably from telemarketers or people wanting some basic information about your company. The other 5% however are the gold plated calls that could lead to serious business or that are potentially from existing customers who deliver serious business. Even when you are on holidays it is quite likely that you want to receive these calls. Because of this, we can set up a whole series of rules in relation to your incoming calls. It may be that calls from specific numbers automatically get forwarded through to you while calls from others simply get answered with an email message forwarded on. It is all very much to you as our system is extremely flexible and malleable.

8. Add some seasonal cheer

The greeting that is used when answering your incoming calls is not fixed. You can change that greeting at any time that you like. You may want to add a specific message during the Easter period but then during other periods when we are simply covering for illness or staff holidays you may want to keep that greeting more formal. It is all totally flexible and you can change it as often as you want. Changing your greeting (or other aspects of your setup) is really very easy. All you need to do is login to the admin backend (you will see a link in the top right corner of our website) and follow the instructions in relation to changing your greeting. If you are unsure or have any problems then feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to walk you through the process.

Growing your small business effectively means that you need to be there for the long term. Unfortunately, if you don't get yourself a work life balance during the building of your small business you will either burn yourself out or you will create issues with your partner/family members. By making use of the Virtual Reception team to fill some of the gaps during a break you can effectively keep your business moving along while taking a bit of time out to enjoy Easter with your family and friends. It really is the best of both worlds. If you would like to find out more information about how we can help you and your business then why not give us a call on 1300 893 820 today and one of our helpful customer care representatives will be happy to help.



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