The idea of a receptionist for hire isn’t new. For years, businesses have contracted with call centers to answer their phone lines when they’re not available. In fact, back in the early 1990’s, I hired a call center to answer my business line when I was unable to be reached. Many doctors have used similar services during their off hours.
Several things have changed since the 1990s. One is the growth of small or 24/7 virtual businesses has increased the need for answering services. Further, technology has it made it so that people wanting to offer answering services can do it from the comfort of their home.
What is a Virtual Receptionist?
A virtual receptionist provides answering services from the comfort of home. While you can offer virtual services as a home business, many companies hire virtual receptionists. Plus there are a few companies that provide virtual receptionists services that frequently hire home based receptionists.
What do Virtual Receptionists Do?
Basically, a virtual receptionist provides answering services. Beyond that, a virtual receptionist:
- Takes messages
- Answers questions
- Forwards messages and other issues from the call to the client through email or messaging
- Is a helpful voice on the other end of the line
- Makes the client look good.
In some cases, virtual receptionist may have expanded duties similar to a virtual assistant, including transcription, managing the client’s calendar and more. Or they may have expanded phone duties such as appointment setting, taking surveys, doing pre-sales pitches, and making confirmation calls.
What is Required to Become a Virtual Receptionist?
Each company will have it’s own requirements, but a basic list of what moderators should know include:
- Friendly voice that is easy to understand
- Ability to communicate clearly verbally and in writing
- Typing skills (many require a set typing speed)
- Comfort in using the computer (many require that you input information from calls into their systems).
You may need a few tools beyond a computer and a phone, such as a headset. In many cases, you’ll be answering calls through your computer, so reliable, high-speed Internet would be a must.
What do Virtual Receptionists Get Paid?
Virtual receptionists are paid an average of $10 per hour, but wages can be less or more depending on the company or if you decide to start your own virtual answering service.
Sources for Virtual Receptionist Jobs
The one place frequently hiring virtual receptionist is Vicky Virtual. You can search for more virtual receptionists jobs on WAHS’s Job Board, through freelance sites like Upwork, or check out the virtual receptionist jobs listed at FlexJobs.
Other resources for virtual support work:
Providing phone support isn’t your only option for providing office support work. Check out these other articles for more ideas and job resources to provide virtual support:
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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