I need a receptionist in a virtual way
February 13, 2012 5:10 PM   Subscribe

I am in need of a live (real person) virtual receptionist for my growing small business. I

have found quite a few using google, a majority of them do not have their prices listed on their website.

The one who do seem awfully expensive.

I was wondering if there are any other people with tiny companies
who could recommend a live virtual receptionist who doesnt cost
an arm and a leg.

(I understand that this might not exist)
posted by digividal to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Telling us your price range would be helpful.
posted by crankylex at 5:41 PM on February 13, 2012

Response by poster: I guess around $60-$80 per month
posted by digividal at 5:45 PM on February 13, 2012

Check out the WAHM forums. There is a section for virtual assistants. It's here. You can join and then explain what you're looking for as well as your price range and expectations.
posted by Ostara at 5:54 PM on February 13, 2012

Check out www.odesk.com. I get admin jobs through them, and some contractors charge an absolute pittance.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 6:05 PM on February 13, 2012

digividal - what is it, exactly that you expect of this person, because to be perfectly frank $60-80 a MONTH is 1-2 hours worth of work depending on where you are. How many calls do you get a day/week? What do you want this person to do with your calls? Do you want them to handle mail? Inbound/outbound?

If you want that person to have a dedicated line to answer that pretty much can't happen on that budget unless you're paying for that separately.

You might need to realign your expectations in this regard.
posted by FlamingBore at 6:33 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

$60 - $80 a month is hilariously insulting.

Rethink what you want out of this person and value it correctly.
posted by Sphinx at 9:08 PM on February 13, 2012 [5 favorites]

I would be your receptionist for $60-$80/month, but you might not like what I'd say to your clients.
posted by parrot_person at 10:33 PM on February 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Say you wanted five hours per week of this person's time, that works out to twenty hours a month. That would put this person's hourly rate at $4.00. I would personally be embarrassed to ask someone to work for $4.00 per hour, but your mileage may vary.
posted by crankylex at 6:11 AM on February 14, 2012

Response by poster: I expected to sing up with a company that does virtual receptions services as their business model. So they would have a bank of people who answered phones. A resource can probably handle quite a few different clients per hour and have a multitude in a week.

I am not expecting to hire a single individual and have him wait by a phone all day long and be dedicated to helping only me.

I think that $60 - $80 for a virtual time shared receptions (so someone else might
answer the call depending on who is available) is pretty reasonably.

If the company pays them $8/hr and I pay $80, I have paid for 10 hours of his time.
(I know with taxes, overhead for the office etc should be taken into account).
So they have 10 employees working for $8/hr, and they have 300 clients signed up
at 80. They make 24K per month, they have 12.800 to pay salaries, leaving them with
11200 in taxes and overhead.

Now they are probably more likely to have 50-100 people working there.
I know there are a lot of expenses I have left out.
posted by digividal at 1:55 PM on February 14, 2012

I think what you're looking for might be an answering service.

I don't have one to recommend, but I typed "answering service bay area" (I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, I don't know where you are) into Google and here are two of the first hits that came up:

Direct Line Tele Response - the first bullet point there on that page describes their "virtual receptionists"

Voice Nation - their regular plans start at $50 a month plus $.95 per minute.

Again, I know NOTHING about either of these companies or whether they would be any good - I just think "answering service" is going to be a better search term for what you describe.

Twenty years ago, I used an answering service; they were good, and it was nice to have a live human answering the phone, but it was ultimately very expensive for me compared to voicemail.
posted by kristi at 9:10 AM on February 15, 2012

Ruby Receptionists sounds like it might fit the bill for you, services-wise. They post their prices on their website and it looks like their least expensive package is a little over $200/month, and you get a 14-day free trial if you sign up.
posted by meggan at 2:11 PM on February 15, 2012

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