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How to best handle incoming calls?

StartupMike80StartupMike80 subscriber Posts: 2
Hi everyone,
I`m going to be launching a new internet business by the end of the month. All of the people in this market have an 1-800 number posted on their site to handle incoming calls/questions from customers. I have signed up for 1-800 service from RingCentral.com which basically allows you to have a virtual 1-800 that will forward to any number you specify, which meets my needs pretty well.
Here is my question....
I still work full time during the day, from about 8am-4:30pm. So, I`m not going to be around to answer the calls between that time. RingCentral.com also allows you to setup all the calls to forward to a virtual voice mail. I was thinking of just using voice mail, and then returning the calls when I get home from work.
My site is B2B, and has a subscription based revenue model, so one missed sale could mean a missed opportunity for $600+ revenue over the course of a year. That is, if they don`t leave a message.
I was thinking of using a virtual assistant, but I believe the volume of calls will be very low, especially in the beginning, so that may just be a waste of money. It would be nice if someone offered a charge per call model, but I have yet to investigate that. Quality might also suffer if I outsource it so early into the startup phase.
Thoughts? Suggestions?
Thanks everyone!


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    DavidJacksonDavidJackson subscriber Posts: 143 Silver Level Member
    Just use a basic answering service with an 800 number.
    David Jackson
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    Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    Have it forwarded to your cell phone.  I got 2 pay-as-you-go cells for that.
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    BlenderhouseBlenderhouse subscriber Posts: 0
    Juggling a business while having a full time job is always difficult. I did it for a few years and missed a few opportunities because I couldn`t get to the phone during the day. I would try to have your 800 number forwarded to you cell phone if possible. If you get a call from your 800 number while at work step out to use the bathroom or get some coffee and call them back. I had to do that many times. It`s not ideal, but hopefully your business jumps off quickly and you won`t need the full time job anymore!
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    dirk33dirk33 subscriber Posts: 0
    I provide custom call center solutions for individuals - nationwide multi-branch companies. Everything from virtual receptionist to high end customer service solutions. Our experience is that more and more people want instant communication/contact when looking for goods/services and simply will not leave a message.
    Many of our clients are in a service industry (HVAC, Construction, ect). Take a small shop `plumber` for example. Many of them use vm/answering machine throughout the day. Customers with immediate needs will go through a directory and call biz after biz until someone answers the phone. Today you can`t afford to miss even one lead. For most small biz, just one extra client a month could pay for your phone service for many months if not the entire year.

    I’m a former radio Account Executive, so I’m very familiar with the business environment and very knowledgeable about business marketing, advertising and promotion. I look at ways we can help business retain/serve current clients, generate more leads and most importantly for after hours phone calls – You get the calls you need to immediately and screen the rest to hold for the next day.


    A live person answering works better and results in more happy customers, sales, fewer hang-ups and ultimately a better bottom line. Voice Mail on the other hand results in a huge amount of lost revenue and frustrated clients.
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    DaveBDaveB subscriber Posts: 0
    i personally know someone working as a virtual assistant. i mean, for your industry, it is too costly to skip and miss calls. i would say you should hire one if you really need one
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