What are the pros and cons of outsourcing your receptionist


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Outsource it?

There can be some great cost saving benefits to be had by outsourcing your telephone answering service but do these cost savings outweigh any negative aspects of moving your telephone answering to a third party?

From a small businesses perspective you need to weigh up all of the pluses and minuses when making the decision to outsource any function within your company. Fortunately with the development of cloud technology there are many more opportunities to outsource more and more roles.

 

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Pros and cons of keeping your telephone answering in house

 

Firstly, lets look at the pros. Keeping your telephone answering in house can often mean that you have a receptionist who can not only answer your incoming calls but can also greet visitors when they come for meetings or drop by your office. Your receptionist can assist with organising your meeting room, making coffee or tea for your visitors and ordering the stationery when you need it. Your in house receptionist can organise the incoming and outgoing mail and will also be there when you need to get packages collected by couriers or when packages are being dropped off. With your own in house service your customers will get to know your receptionist and hopefully get a personal level of service.

So what are the cons? Well, unfortunately not all of your calls happen in a linear fashion across the day. This means that you could receive 10 calls in quick succession and then not receive any for the next 2 hours. Similarly, in this technological age there are not as many letters being sent or received as everyone is sending emails. Your receptionist may wait 2 or 3 days before getting any mail to deal with.

In addition, your receptionist takes up valuable real estate in your office. You need to provide a reception desk, computer equipment, probably a PABX or a PBX. Your receptionist will probably cost around $50k per year on op of which you will need to pay super, allow for holiday pay and provide long service leave. All up the on costs will probably be closer to an additional 20%. On top of this, your receptionist will need a manager who will need to provide performance reviews, set targets and manage any issues. All the while, your receptionist may only be busy for 50% of their working day.

What about using a virtual receptionist?

 

Here are some of the benefits of using our outsourced receptionists

  • You can save money. Sure, money should necessarily be the main driver however some of our customers are saving as much as 40% of the cost of having their own in house function.
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  • It is really flexible. If you receive 5 calls an hour or 50 our receptionists can handle it. During those manic rush periods we will be there to help and during your slow periods our focus will be elsewhere.
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  • Our system has been written in Australia for Australian businesses. We have tailored it to provide a first class level of service. When people call through our receptionists will answer the call within 6-8 rings and then will forward you details of the message.
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  • No on costs or real estate costs. You pay a simple fee. You don't need to pay super or long service leave and when one of our receptionists is away on holidays then there will be another one in the wings waiting to answer your call.
  • Our receptionists are all local Australians. Your customers will think that they are in your office with you. We employ more than 70 Australian receptionists who work remotely from locations all around the country.
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  • We are locally based and are available to take your calls if you have any concerns or wish to change an aspect of your package. Our customer service staff are friendly and efficient and will be happy to help you out.
 

So, what are the downsides of using an outsourced receptionist service. Well, with some services they transfer the calls to offshore call centres to take your call. Your customers could end up with an operator that they don't understand or that doesn't understand them. Another potential downside is that you don't physically have a person on the front desk to do all of those fiddly little jobs. Most companies however simply reallocate those jobs to other members of staff.

How quickly can I set things up?

 

You could actually have the whole thing set up in a matter of minutes. Our system has been custom written to be intuitive to use and if you have any issues at all in setting things up then our customer service people can help you out.

 

What greeting do my customers get?

Your calls will be answered with a personalised greeting. With our user friendly system you can get in and change your greeting at any time. You can also ring our friendly customer service staff to make changes to your greeting.

 

How do I get my messages?

Your messages can be sent to you via SMS or via email. Our efficient receptionists will answer your call in a prompt and professional manner and will have your message to you in minutes.

 

How much will it cost?

How much it costs will depend on how much you use the service. A light user may spend $40-$50 per month while a moderate user could be spending $150 per month. All up it is significantly cheaper than employing your own receptionist.

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