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Case Study: Virtual Receptionist.

The Problem: Our customer, a technology based consulting firm, has about 33 employees, of which about 20 are full and part time consultants who work from home or spend a great deal of time on the road. The 3 main partners and a small support staff work out of an office. However, they were spending a good deal of their time tracking down their road warriors and almost acting as full time receptionists themselves. They hired several receptionists over the years, but had a hard time keeping people due to low unemployment in the area. Most of the time the support staff ended up answering calls instead of getting their regular work done. It was a hectic work environment and nobody was happy about it.

Our Customized Solution: What they really need is a way to not only get their calls answered, but a way of keeping track of the individual schedules of each of the consultants and the internal staff. In addition, during our fact finding, we discovered that in almost all cases nobody was keeping track of who called, why they called or when they called.

The first thing we did was to set up a decision tree for handling the incoming calls and which calls went to what internal contact. We then set up individual profiles for each person. These profiles included an on call schedule (if applicable); a calling tree, IE cell first, then home number and so forth. Each profile also contains all of the contact email and phone numbers that are associated with that person and each of these is set up to be automatically dialed by our system to avoid mistakes and misdials. This of course also saves time and expense. In addition, each of these individual profiles has the ability to automatically track temporary changes.

Now, when calls come into our office they are automatically identified by our system and each call is answered with the company name. We then determine who the call is for and then follow our calling tree to transfer that caller to the appropriate person. Each call is recorded and a copy of each message is sent not only to the person it was meant for, but to the main administrative assistant, who can now track and record each call and or sales lead in their internal systems. We also set up an automatic reminder program (ACC Announce IT!) that dials out and delivers a pre-recorded announcement for meetings and “pep talks” to each person’s cell phone.

The Pay Off: As our customer said to us during a routine customer service survey, “Stress, what stress? This place used to be a mad house with all the calls coming in and trying to track down people everywhere. Now when I want to find out who’s where…I just call ACC!”

In addition, they are saving thousands of dollars per month in direct payroll expenses and customer and employee satisfaction is way up. They are now able to have their internal support staff working on supporting the customers and not playing receptionist.

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