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Finding the right virtual office receptionist is important in moving your business forward. Since the receptionist plays the role of a telephone contact person with the public,it’s important that this person represents your business properly. Choosing a voice for your company should come down to four crucial factors: experience, professionalism, tech savviness and time management.
The Right Voice
Your live virtual receptionist should be friendly and someone with strong communication skills. The job requires knowledge about the history of your business and its image. The candidate needs to be able to learn company information quickly and demonstrate an understanding and loyalty to the company. The right voice is someone who can answer all the simple common questions about a company, as well as project an engaging personality that helps expand relationships. It’s a community position that could have a huge effect on how the business is perceived.
The virtual assistant must treat clients in a way that they feel they are served in a timely manner. The position involves respecting clients and resolving conflicts. It requires a mature thinker who can clarify confusing situations. It’s all about keeping heated situations under control. It requires an understanding how to treat people fairly and give them a sense of comfort. The receptionist must be easy to train about company policies. To find out how well your clients are being treated, call them up sometime and ask.
It’s essential for your live virtual receptionist to keep up with technology, at least for work that pertains to office management. The individual should at least know about Microsoft Office and QuickBooks. Being familiar with Word documents and Excel spreadsheets helps the business save time and money. Find out the extent of a virtual assistant’s knowledge, whether it includes graphic arts, web design or programming. You can save a lot of money on overhead the more you can consolidate several jobs into one position. Since the tech world is always evolving, it’s important to find a receptionist who enjoys learning about new software.
The key to the success of a live virtual receptionist is how well they can efficiently manage time. They need to make significant accomplishments that can be measured several times per day. You will need to communicate to the receptionist prioritized tasks, so that the most important jobs get done first. The best candidate is the one that effectively saves you the most time to concentrate on organizing and growing your business. An ideal virtual receptionist can handle a variety of assignments within a reasonable time frame.
Few of us would have predicted, just a few years ago, that telecommuting would become such an integral part of America’s business culture. Worksimple found that, as of 2010, more than 26 million American workers were categorized as teleworkers; this represented fully one-fifth of the total adult working population. In the same year, almost two-thirds of companies reported that at least parts of their staffs were working remotely either full-time or part-time.
The virtual office has clearly arrived. It would not have been so widely adopted if it did not have obvious benefits. Virtual offices remove many of the fixed costs that plague businesses but they also seem to foster greater productivity. A recent study, found that 63 percent of New Zealand companies are reporting higher levels of productivity because they instituted flexible working practices, including telecommuting and virtual office spaces.
The mechanisms that make the virtual office into a buzzing hive of productivity haven’t been precisely worked out. But there is one thing most every worker, regardless of his/her position (or location) can agree on: coffee can further augment your natural productivity. A recent survey found that more than 40 percent of coffee drinkers say they are less productive than they are without it. Many of us, it would seem, can’t function as well as we would like if we are deprived of our morning (or afternoon) brew.
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that coffee does exactly what we caffeine-fiends have long claimed: it makes us better workers. A recent study by the Leeds University Business School, in Leeds, England, argued that there are considerable benefits to offering employees coffee. Employees, the study found, tend to work harder, solve more problems together and share resources in a way conducive to getting things done. Coffee, these researchers contended, was an essential ingredient to a business’s success.
That’s something any caffeine addict could have told them.
So, if you are looking to turn your business into a hyper-efficient profit engine, abandon the brick-and-mortar and let your employees go virtual. They will reward you with enhanced productivity and will be happier and more invested in your enterprise, as a result. But if you really want to see all the benefits associated with a virtual office – don’t skimp on the caffeine. Your employees will thank you.
Virtual phones offer the benefits of a local phone number as well as the convenience of a virtual office. If you own a business and are constantly on the go, a virtual office may work well for you. No matter what business you’re in, if you work with the public you know the importance of being able to communicate. By using a virtual phone system you bring your office to your customers.
One of the benefits of having this type of service is being able to have a local phone number for your customers. For example, as an independent contractor, plumber, insurance salesman, etc., your office may be in one town, but the majority of your clients are in three towns in the next county. Having a local number for each of the towns your customers reside in, eliminates the need for them to make a long distance call when trying to reach you. Having a local phone number is beneficial to your business in numerous ways. Virtual phones enhance the benefits even more.
*Local number = easy access- When customers see a local number, they associate that with your business being close to home and readily available whenever you need them. It gives them a sense of confidence in your company knowing they are just around the corner.
*No long distance numbers for customers- Customers are more likely to choose a company with a phone number that is local to their area. By using virtual phones and the services they offer, you can increase the efficiency of your business by making your business more appealing to clients.
*Convenience- Clients want convenience. With virtual phone services and phone numbers in your client’s areas, the local leads you receive from promotions, advertisements and the yellow pages can increase dramatically in just a few short weeks.
Virtual phones and offices work together you to provide you with all of the tools you need to make your business a complete success. From making appointments to following up after the close of a big deal, these services add convenience as well as professionalism to any business.
Being a realtor is an exciting career. You are always on the go, showcasing houses and meeting new clients. The only problem is your desk with all of the tools you need to do your job is in an office miles from wherever you may be. Virtual phone services sets up your office right where you need it. Using the same technology as your cell phone, you will have everything you need at your finger tips. Screen and route calls, customize greetings with a professional flair, record phone calls and meetings and work with buyers and sellers at a moment’s notice with little or no down time.
The benefits of having a full feature phone service at your disposal are numerous. Virtual phone services can make conducting business so easy, you can do it from almost anywhere there is a phone signal.
- Convenience – A virtual phone system allows you to conduct business anywhere you need to be. If you have meetings across town, connect with the virtual service and do what you need to keep your business on track. Make appointments and check the status of a pending contract with the touch of a button.
- Real time communication – Communicate with clients and co-workers on a real time basis. There’s no need to wait to get to the office to review a case and call the client. Connect to the system and do both. Whether you or at the office or on the road to your next showing, everything is within reach.
- Live Virtual Receptionist– Virtual phone services sometimes offer a “virtual receptionist” to assist you in handling your affairs if you are in an important meeting and can’t take a call. They are also available to perform other duties, such as transfer files and make sure you receive important messages.
- Immediate scheduling – Using virtual services allows you to receive a phone call, schedule a meeting and connect with clients all within a few minutes. The versatility of the service allows for fast and efficient communication between all parties.
Using a virtual phone service allows you to take your business with you precious time isn’t loss running and back and forth to the office. With the advanced technology we have at our disposal, we no longer have to remain tethered to an office to conduct business.
Time is money no matter what your profession, but lawyers deal with many duties at one time. Successful multitasking is not necessarily part of the curriculum for law school. Organization is the key to improving productivity in a legal office. Time management for attorneys is paramount because the details are critical. Lawyers can use tips and tricks to improve their skills and adapt a time-efficient lifestyle.
Good Morning Sunshine
The early bird gets the legal worm, as they say. Start the day earlier to get some personal chores out of the way. Even just one hour will give you time to exercise and avoid spending part of your workday at the gym. As you sit and eat breakfast, go through the to-do list for that day and plan. Create a travel route that makes the most efficient use of your time. For example, whether you have to pick up court documents or your dry cleaning, schedule the trip at a time you will be in the area.
Organize by Assignment
Time management for attorneys means good organization skills. Create a template to help structure time for new cases. When you get a client, break the workload down by task and objective. Create lists of questions that need answers for during investigations. Develop a workflow chart that every person working on the case can refer to while doing his or her part. Add deadlines for tasks as much as possible. Even better, delegate and have a secretary or paralegal do this for you.
Don’t overbook your time. Instead, outsource work when you can. This could be case related items or just general office management. A live virtual receptionist is a cost-effective approach to managing the phones, for example. Save your valuable time for supervision and fire prevention.
Create Virtual Offices for Lead Generation
A lawyer spends years in school learning how to interpret the law, but that doesn’t bring clients to the door. Most attorneys need to spend some time looking for business, especially in the beginning. Technology offers a solution to this problem through telecommuting.
Virtual offices are the new-age way to handle time management for attorneys. A virtual office allows you to hire someone to do the legwork and marketing without spending the time or money on a physical location. Setting up virtual offices will allow you to micromanage the situation via the Internet or phone. That frees up time to deal with the actual legal requirements of the job.
Between court visits and digging up new clients, an attorney can easily end up spinning his wheels when trying to build a practice. Time management for attorneys is a necessity in the legal business world. Utilizing the modern tools available today will help lawyers stretch their time. With proper time management, attorneys increase productivity and decrease stress to balance out their lives.
With the advent of smart technology, it’s never been easier to take your work with you wherever you go. For some small business owners and entrepreneurs, having a portable office as well as a bricks and mortar building has always been if not a necessity, then at the very least desirable. Nowadays, virtual offices rather than a fixed location are becoming a conscious choice for many.
Most small businesses going down the virtual office route do so for cost reasons. If paperwork needs are small, it is more efficient to hire experienced secretarial help by the hour from a pool of dedicated workers. The obvious dilemma in the past for small businesses has been the lack of a fixed address. A virtual office could take you from appearing to be an unreliable, fly-by-night operation to having one of the best commercial addresses in town. Providing a mailing address, virtual phone services with a live receptionist to answer your calls, and even meeting and conference room facilities if required, it’s a huge step forward in working smart.
A major consideration for any small business owner or entrepreneur who uses virtual office services is that the privacy of their residential address is immediately protected from their clients. One particular profession that would find this obviously advantageous is anyone working within the private investigation and detective fields.
Since a detective (themselves) is their own biggest business asset and needs to be readily contactable, having a virtual assistant to pick up calls at the end of a phone line is preferable to the frustration your clients might experience at having to leave you a message and wait for a callback. Having calls and messages immediately forwarded to you is very convenient because you can take the calls you want and don’t have to jeopardize the case you’re currently working.
In addition, the occasionally sensitive nature of the work can make virtual offices the ideal solution — customers are reassured by a physical address, and home and work are kept separate.
Virtual offices allow numerous professionals to perform a variety of tasks while keeping administrative costs down. If you are a legal assistant who wants to take advantage of having a virtual office, here is how you can use them to your benefit:
A great thing about having such an office is that you can get a prodigious physical address at a very decent cost compared to having your own premises. You can choose an address at a prestigious business district in cities located throughout the US to impress both current and potential clients and expand your operations.
Meetings with Clients
You can suggest your clients to meet them at their offices. Although this implies transportation costs, these costs are much lower than those associated with renting out an office space. However, if you want to host them at your office, you can rent a fully furnished and state-of-the-art office at the same address as your virtual office.
Perform Various Tasks
Virtual offices pretty much require one thing: an Internet connection. With the help of the worldwide web, you can perform any task, such as conducting legal research and accessing different systems to drafting documents pertaining to prenuptial agreements, divorces, adoptions, and so on.
General Office Duties
As a legal assistant, you have to complete general office duties, including preparing records for trials, filing documents, and many others. A virtual office gives you the chance to do all these at home or in any other location without being disturbed by unscheduled interruptions.
Telephone and Live Virtual Assistants
Most virtual offices include telephone and live virtual assistants, which are useful not only because they can be answered in the name of your office when clients cannot reach you, but also because they make your office appear larger than it actually is.
Besides the aforementioned facilities, numerous service providers offer mail forwarding services that can help you receive and send messages at any time, regardless of whether you are at home, in your car, or at the airport.
The recent rise in technology has whipped entrepreneurs into a smartphone frenzy. With most smart devices giving users access to a concoction of applications, it is no surprise that over 88 percent of entrepreneurs rely on applications like the following to help them manage business.
Rock The Post
This app is powerful for new entrepreneurs. Simply upload posts relating to planned projects, reach out to networks interested in swapping resources, and get your idea endowed.
Entrepreneurs have been relying on Mail Chimp to connect with their target audience since 2001. Extensive newsletter lists can be controlled and tracking data makes monitoring campaigns easy.
Hoot Suite boasts over three million users and allows for business maintenance when on the move. Use the integrated analytics to stay updated with social media presence.
E-commerce business owners can accept credit card payments out of office with Square. This app was created by Jack Tors, the co-founder of Twitter, and it can really help boost profits.
When you need to examine legal documents use Legal Zoom and avoid business disruptions, because this app enables you to gain access without lawyers.
More convenient than calculating transactions with standard methods, Expensify synchronizes purchases to credit cards so that expense reports can be generated.
Save time organizing trade shows and meetings with Open Table and reserve tables through your device in 150,000 worldwide restaurants.
Phone communications can be tedious but with Glympse, you can inform business associates of your location using Google Maps, with date and time of arrival included.
ToodleDo enables you to clean up your schedule in central locations by categorizing priorities, targets, task duration and to-dos.
Docstoc introduces various templates for documents, which can then be transferred to devices and accessed instantly.
About the Author
Jim Jacques is the President of United Virtual Office, which provides business owners with virtual office services to help them save money and grow their business. Virtual Offices include a prestigious business address in myriad U.S. cities, Virtual Phone Services, courier services and more.
Successful startups and New York City are a match made in heaven. Over 40 startups have been acquired this year to date, and the city’s reputation as a hub for talented entrepreneurs shows no signs of slowing. The big apple has been a global center for finance and fashion, and it’s more recently become a center for technology and innovation.
In a city where rent is notoriously among the world’s highest, what’s an entrepreneur working out of their Brooklyn apartment or the Madison Square Garden Starbucks to do?
Many local innovators are discovering that using a virtual office in New York fits their need for a professional image on a limited budget. You need space that’s as nimble, flexible and innovative as your business plans, and a conventional office arrangement isn’t likely the best choice. Here are some of the most popular benefits:
Mail Forwarding Service: You need a real address for correspondence with clients, potential investors and contacts. While a P.O. box might be more within you price range, can you really afford to reveal you’re not in a permanent brick-and-mortar structure? A virtual office gives you a real address in a prestigious business area (i.e. on Madison Avenue) without the need to sign a lease.
Reception Services: Never let your calls go to voice mail again when you’re in a meeting or sleeping off an all-night coding session. Your calls can be answered by a trained receptionist at your New York virtual office.
Meeting Space: While you might be able to work from home, being able to schedule meetings with associates in a furnished, non-residential space matters. Take advantage of furnished offices and conference rooms in the same office as your virtual address.
Temp Employees: If you need help on a short-term project but can’t commit to full-time employees, use talented staffing available through your virtual office in New York to get what you need to done.
About the Author
Jim Jacques is the President of United Virtual Office, a leading nationwide provider of virtual offices for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. A virtual office includes an address at a prestigious business location in the US, live virtual receptionist, courier services and more.
When you think of Disney, you might think about amusement parks, animated movies and people dressed in giant plushy mouse costumes.
But have you ever stopped to think about Disney and what their business model could mean to your small business? Namely, what would it be like if Disney ran your office?
If there is anything that the Walt Disney Company knows, it’s to provide a complete and total experience for their customers, not just a product. Actually, they don’t provide anything customers because they don’t refer to them as customers. They’re called “guests” when they visit a Disney Park and the employees are “cast members”. That’s the value placed on everyone involved with Disney, and it’s something your small business might want to consider as well.
Your small business might be very different from Disney, but you can take this total experience approach and apply it.
If you have an office, what are you doing beyond just providing the service that you set out to provide? Think about what your office looks like, how your employees dress and what the materials you send out to customers and potential clients look like. What is the message you send with all of these aspects of your business and how can you streamline them and everything else you do to provide a total and complete experience for your “guests”?
Or if your small business is a shop or service provider, you can apply the Disney principles as well. If customers come to your store to pick up products or items post-service, what is their experience inside the shop? Is it clean? It is inviting? Do you and your employees make customers feel safe and welcome?
Your business succeeds when clients and customers feel like you are looking out for their every need. Disney knows this better than anyone.
About The Author
David Nikolic is the owner of United Virtual Office, a leading provider of Virtual Offices for entrepreneurs and small businesses. A Virtual Office includes an address at a prestigious business location in the US, live virtual receptionists, courier services and more.