How to Set Up a Virtual Assistant to Answer Phones
In today’s fast-paced business world, effective communication is vital to success. One way to streamline communication and improve customer service is to hire a virtual assistant to answer phones. In this context, a virtual assistant is a real person who answers incoming calls remotely.
By using a virtual assistant, companies can ensure quick and professional responses to customer inquiries and create a positive impression.
What is the difference between a Virtual Assistant to Answer Phones and Intelligent Software?
Virtual assistants are real people who provide customer service and remote assistance. This is typically done through phone calls, chats, or video calls. These are people trained to deal with customer queries and support problem resolution.
On the other hand, intelligent software, also known as an automated or virtual assistant, is a computer program or AI system designed to simulate human-like interactions and provide automatic responses to customer inquiries.
Why Prefer Virtual Assistants over Intelligent Software?
Although intelligent software has benefits, there are several reasons why investing in virtual assistants to answer phones has greater advantages:
- Emotional intelligence: Virtual assistants can empathize with customers, picking up on subtle cues such as tone of voice and the emotionality of customers. This allows for a more personalized and compassionate customer service experience.
- Complex problem solving: Virtual assistants excel at handling complex situations that require critical thinking, creativity, and decision-making skills. Virtual assistants can find customized solutions to meet customer needs.
- Establish rapport and trust: Interacting with a person fosters a sense of trust and connection between customers and the company the VA represents. Customers prefer to talk to a person who gives them time, attention, and reassurance. This translates into increased customer satisfaction and therefore greater likelihood of building loyalty.
While intelligent software and AI systems have made incredible advances, investing in virtual assistants to answer phones remains crucial for all businesses that aspire to deliver exceptional service and build lasting relationships with their customers.
In this article, we will explore the steps needed to prepare a virtual assistant to answer phones. This will help improve communication processes and enhance customer satisfaction.
Step 1: Define the Protocol for Answering Phones
Before hiring a virtual assistant, it is critical to establish a clear telephone answering protocol. Determine specific guidelines for answering calls, including the standard greeting, tone of voice, and information to be gathered from callers. Creating a script, or guidelines, ensures consistency and helps the virtual assistant present a unified image of the company.
Step 2: Establish Communication Tools with your Virtual Assistant to Answer Phones
In the first instance, to collaborate effectively with your virtual assistant, it is essential to have reliable communication channels. For this, you can use tools such as email (Gmail, Outlook) or messaging platforms such as Slack or MS Teams.
Secondly, it is very important to choose the platforms that your virtual assistant will use to answer calls. You can evaluate which ones are the best for your company, however, the common ones tend to be 8×8, RingCentral, Grasshopper, and Vonage among others.
Step 3: Choose the Right Virtual Assistant to Answer Phones
Selecting a quality virtual assistant service is key to ensuring professionalism in calls. To do this you can get virtual assistants through talent platforms or you can choose an agency like There is Talent.
At There is Talent, we take care of getting the best fit according to your requirements. You can meet them before hiring them and create tests to verify their responses to frequent situations. The virtual assistants to answer phones that you will get at There is Talent have high levels of English and have the knowledge to provide the best experience to your customers.
Step 4: Provide Training and Detailed Instructions to your Virtual Assistant for Answering Phones
Once you have chosen your virtual assistant to answer phones, make sure you provide the necessary training. Share information about the company so that your assistant knows what image to preserve on each call. This is the time to share the phone etiquette and communication tools you established in steps 1 and 2.
Conduct training sessions and provide materials about your products or services to make sure your assistant knows all the details to do his or her job properly and completely.
Step 5: Implement Call Routing and Call Forwarding
Make sure calls are being handled correctly and implement an efficient system. You can forward calls directly to your virtual assistant’s phone or rely on the system of the platform you use. The important thing is to ensure that calls are handled efficiently and that customers receive the attention they need.
Step 6: Monitor and Evaluate the Performance of your Virtual Assistant
One of the most important points to understand what is working and what is not is the metrics. Establish the data you want to evaluate on calls (KPIs), this can be time, quality of responses, or the rate of conflict resolution. Whatever are the most important points in your company, you must make sure to measure them.
Once you have measured the results, be sure to give constructive feedback when addressing any areas of opportunity.
Step 7: Establish a Feedback System with your Virtual Assistant to Answer Phones
One of the most significant areas of opportunity for many entrepreneurs is in effective communication with their virtual assistants. To ensure that communication channels are working between the two of you, schedule short weekly meetings. These can be an opportunity to give updates, track performance, and listen to feedback from your virtual assistant.
Encourage your virtual assistant to share their ideas and suggestions for process improvements. This helps you create an environment of collaboration and openness where everyone can learn what will help improve the experience provided to your customers.
Step 8: Ensure Data Security and Confidentiality
Data security is one of the most important things to remember when it comes to calls. That is why you must make sure you have the right tools so that your virtual assistant can have access securely.
Some security measures can be:
- Having an identity and access management system in place
- Having an intrusion detection system in place
- Verify the data encryption of the platform you use
- Perform vulnerability and penetration tests
- Implementing micro-segmentation
- Add a state-of-the-art firewall
Step 9: Expand your team
You may need more support once you find the sweet spot with a virtual assistant to answer phones and your business continues to grow. Monitor call volumes and customer demands with a team of virtual assistants.
Evaluate whether you need to modify your phone answering protocols to adapt to the changing needs of your business. Verify that the training provides all the tools necessary for your team to do their job effectively and make any changes in the areas you need to strengthen.
The Bottom Line
Setting up a virtual assistant to answer phones can revolutionize your company’s communication processes and improve customer service. At the same time, following the steps we have shared in this article helps you to have more clarity and facilitate the process.
Remember that regular monitoring, feedback, and security measures will further contribute to the success of your virtual assistant in handling calls.
Harness the power of virtual assistance and unleash the potential to improve your company’s customer service and operational efficiency.
We are the experts in getting the best fit for you. Book a discovery call with Claudia and start working with your ideal virtual assistant!