Saturday, May 21, 2011

The True Value of Buying a Phone Service: Hiring a Virtual Assistant VS a Full Time In-House Employee

By phone service, I’m not talking about your cellphone service provider that gives you with whenever wherever minutes or unlimited call and text. What I’m talking about are receptionist services, taking messages, call answering and transfer, order taking and more.

With the advent of the Internet, people working from any location and delivering efficient work on time are made possible. Savvy small business owners nowadays are starting to see that outsourcing their telephone answering services in the form of a virtual assistant who is dedicated to a phone service is a more cost-effective way to enhance customer service than hiring a full time in-house receptionist.

Unlike a traditional telephone answering service, modern-day virtual assistant offer a wide range of services including live telephone answering, appointment scheduling, data entry, web research, transcription and more. A virtual assistant can help you with anything and everything which can be done over the internet and phone. The best thing about them is that they consider themselves as your employee and not just some third party call center. They have a strong sense of ownership for the task and are committed to completing it efficiently.

So, what is the true value of a virtual assistant that’s dedicated to phone service and how it is different from hiring an in-house employee?

Costs. You can get an efficient virtual assistant for less than half the salary  that you would be paying a regular in-house employee. Aside from salary, there’s vacation pay, holiday pay, travel allowance, food allowance and more for an in-house employee. An employer is said to be spending an additional 10%  worth of an employee’s annual salary on various benefits depending on the type of agency they are in. This would pretty much cover 4- 5 months salary of a virtual assistant.

Benefits. Another advantage of hiring a virtual assistant is not having to worry about expenses related to medical and health benefits. No medical, dental, and vision care benefits. No other employee benefits, like 401K, pensions etc., to pay.

Taxes. You don't have the burden of employer’s social security taxes, worker's compensation insurance, and unemployment taxes.

Employee Policies. You don't have the responsibilities associated with employee policies on working hours, vacation time, sick time, leave of absence, holidays, performance reviews, pa0yrolls, training, etc. Hiring a virtual assistant can help you to do away with all of these while saving a good amount of money.

Office Amenities. Aside from phone service, no office space, equipment, furnishings, office supplies, or training is required.

Performance and commitment. A virtual assistant understand that their proceeds depend on the results that they deliver to their client and they are most likely to spend more time trying to make sure that their outputs are correct and accurate unlike full time employees who get paid regardless of their effort. They provide you not only with phone service but also administrative support which in turn frees you up to focus on other office matters that bring in the most income for your business

Overall, when you consider the many related costs and the time involved in hiring, training and retaining good employees, most will agree that hiring a virtual assistant specializing in phone service is a definitely the way to go.


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