A virtual receptionist or assistant can help you reduce the operating cost of your business by nearly 80%. That kind of savings can free up room in your budget for all types of projects and tasks that might currently seem unaffordable.
The right VA will also take tons of small tasks off your plate, leaving you available to focus on the big picture of business management.
Sounds good, right?
If you’re currently struggling with financials and time management, you might be missing out on a big opportunity. But, before you hire that new virtual team member, you’ll need to figure out how much you should be paying them. This process includes calculating hiring costs and determining what their role will be within your company.
Keep reading for a complete guide, designed to help you figure out the costs, make a good hiring decision, and avoid going overboard on your spending.
What Kind of Work Will the Virtual Receptionist Be Doing?
Before you shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars on a virtual receptionist, you need to determine their exact role and responsibilities.
What work will the VA be doing? Will they only be answering calls and emails? Will they help with customer service as well as business-driven projects?
Answering these questions can help you decide what you’re looking for and what your business needs to help reduce operational costs.
You should also consider each candidate’s work experience. This will play a vital role when it comes to deciding what projects you can trust them with, and will also dictate how much they charge for their services.
Some may have experience in the corporate field, while others might be recent college graduates. It’s also important to find out what each VA’s career aspirations include. You may find that some of your best applicants do VA work as a secondary source income, whereas others have made it a full-time career.
What Kind of Service Do They Offer?
Another factor that will affect who you hire and how much you pay is the specific services a virtual receptionist brings to the table.
A skilled receptionist should offer more than answering the phone and taking down messages. Depending on their experience, they may also be able to help with video and email marketing, data entry, accounting, and more.
During the hiring process, it’s essential to find out how fast each candidate works and how much supervision they will require. Can they handle the pressure of working under tight deadlines? How much time do they need to complete simple and complex assignments?
Answering these questions will help you decide how much to pay your VA and choose which candidate best fits your business needs and budget.
How Much Should You Budget?
After you figure out which services you need, and decide on the exact work that your new VA will be doing, it’s time to determine how much you can reasonably pay for their duties to be completed.
A virtual receptionist can cost anywhere from $15 to $100 per hour. Having said that, an average wage of $30 to $40 an hour is fair if they are taking on additional tasks like marketing, customer service, and bookkeeping or other financial responsibilities.
Another key consideration when you hire a virtual receptionist is whether you prefer to pay them a monthly retainer or by the hour. Some receptionists prefer to be paid on a retainer because their position is more secure, and their wages are more predictable.
If you decide to employ your VA on a retainer, you’ll be contractually obligated to keeping them on your team for a specific time period, rather than using their services on an ad-hoc basis.
If you really prefer a candidate but can’t quite afford them, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Offer a fair wage within your businesses budget, and see if they bite. After all, the worst thing they can say is no!
Before you discuss wages or hiring, you should always ask for client testimonials and examples of past work. You might also want to ask for a few personal and professional references.
The more you know about a virtual receptionist, the more confident you’ll be when it comes time to make a hiring decision. And, paying a hardworking VA fairly for their time is the only way to keep them on your team for years to come.
The Benefits of a Virtual Receptionist
Hiring a VA comes with a few big benefits.
Studies have shown that virtual receptionists are less stressed than cubicle workers, and enjoy a better work-life balance, too. So, they’ll likely be an upbeat and positive addition to your team.
Because they don’t have to drive to an office, they are also more flexible in their working hours. Virtual employees can easily work around the clock to perform specific tasks for your business instead of the standard 9 to 5.
Remote workers are also nearly 15% more productive than those who work in the office. This is because they take fewer sick days and on the clock breaks.
Another benefit of hiring a virtual receptionist is that you’ll have more time for the things that matter. This might include developing relationships with clients or focusing on the core operations of your business.
Freeing up this extra time will likely help you generate a profit and steer clear of time-wasting busywork. Simply put, you won’t have to sweat the small stuff.
Why You Should Hire a Virtual Receptionist
Now that you know a bit about the benefits of hiring a VA and what it will really cost you, you’re probably excited to get the process started.
Use this article as a guide while selecting your virtual receptionist, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the ideal candidate.
In addition to these tips, don’t forget to trust your gut. While you won’t be interacting with them as often as a regular employee, you’ll still want a VA to fit well with the rest of your team.