Comparison: Hiring A Virtual Receptionist Versus Hiring An In-Office Receptionist


You can’t spend all day on the phone anymore. You have important sales to close, new clients to meet with, and a business to oversee. Spending all day on the phone hinders you from doing anything else. Obviously, you need a better solution. You need someone who can answer your phone calls for you while you’re in meetings, on the phone with other clients, or speaking with managers about your business’s performance metrics. The key to increasing revenue in any industry is increasing efficiency, which means streamlining communications.

You’re going to need reception. A receptionist is someone who can answer your phone calls for you, take messages, send outbound messages, and organise calendar dates and meeting appointments. Small businesses don’t always have receptionists because the overhead costs are too high. But the cost of a receptionist could create a return on your investment. With faster communication and increased efficiency when it comes to taking and receiving messages, you can expect to get more business done with your hands off the phone.

Clearly, there are huge benefits associated with hiring a receptionist. But there are a few ways to hire a receptionist. You essentially have two options: either hire an in-office receptionist to sit at a desk outside your office and take phone calls or hire a virtual receptionist who can take your messages and answer your phone calls without being in your office. These are your options and it can be hard to decide between them. There are pros and cons when it comes to hiring an in-office receptionist just as there are pros and cons when it comes to hiring a virtual receptionist. Weighing these pros and cons will help you decide whether to hire an in-office receptionist or a virtual receptionist.

In-Office Reception: Pros and Cons

There are some benefits associated with hiring an in-office receptionist. First, you can get your messages in person. Your receptionist can simply walk into your office and give you any notifications or alerts that you might need to know about. In the interest of speed and efficiency, having a receptionist who can personally hand you messages and notes is definitely an advantage.

Another benefit of hiring an in-office receptionist is that you can give a good impression to new clients when they visit your office in person. Having a reception area is smart because clients can sit down while they wait for you and even read a magazine or pore over some paperwork at a coffee table. However, you can also have a reception area without having a receptionist present. But, if you feel that having a receptionist makes the reception area more welcoming, you can always hire an in-office receptionist.

Unfortunately, there are several cons associated with hiring an in-office receptionist. They’re very costly compared to virtual receptionists. With a hired receptionist in the office, you’re paying someone’s salary instead of hiring a service from a private virtual reception company such as Message Direct. Thus, you have to pay benefits, insurance, retirement, and taxes for your hired employee.

In-office receptionists are usually hired on the clock, which means that they’ll realistically only be able to answer your phones for around eight hours a day. While this is somewhat useful considering that most business calls happen during business hours, you’ll have no one to answer the phones when your office is closed. So, what are you supposed to do if your client is experiencing an emergency after work hours are over and needs urgent work done? Your in-office receptionist won’t be there and you will miss the phone call.

There are clearly a few benefits associated with hiring an in-office receptionist but the alternative just might have even more benefits.

The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Receptionist

With a virtual receptionist, you have more control. Suppose that you’d prefer not to divert your calls to reception during slow business hours. With a virtual receptionist, you can elect not to send your calls to reception whenever you have free time to answer the phone on your own.

You might be concerned about someone who isn’t your employee answering your phones for you. This is a valid concern but you can rest assured knowing that virtual receptionists are briefed on all important matters relating to your business and will address callers by your business’s name to avoid any confusion on the caller’s side of the call.

With a virtual receptionist, you will never miss a phone call no matter what time of day or night it may be. As you know, the problem with in-office receptionists is that they can only answer calls for about eight hours a day. After that, you’re on your own and there’s no chance that your receptionist will be able to take emergency phone calls. However, with a virtual receptionist, you can get emergency phone call service at any time of day so you’ll be guaranteed to never miss a message.

Now, you might be concerned about how you’re going to get messages from a virtual receptionist. After all, you’re busy and you can’t simply stop whatever you’re doing to get messages from someone who’s not in your office. Well, virtual receptionists actually simplify the entire message delivery process. Virtual receptionists can send you your messages via email, fax, or even text messages sent to your mobile device so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing just to listen to your messages.

Virtual receptionists are also priced flexibly, which means that if you don’t need them all the time, you don’t have to pay them all the time. This pricing structure is arguably much more cost-effective than hiring an in-office receptionist on a salary that you have to pay him or her at all times, even when you don’t need him or her.

While there are definitely some benefits associated with hiring an in-office receptionist, hiring a virtual receptionist is the better way to streamline your business communications. Virtual receptionists can respond at any time of the day or night, you can hire them whenever you want, they’re more cost effective, and they’re just as responsive as an in-office receptionist.