A high-quality virtual reception service can save you time and money, but providing offsite answering services with the right information helps ensure maximum ROI. Here are five pieces of information to give your provider.

1. Your Brand Mission and Values

Sure, your offsite receptionists aren’t going to spout mission, vision and values to every caller — it’d even be weird if your onsite staff did that. Virtual reception companies also have their own mission statements and goals, but when they understand what’s at the heart of your business, they can better provide customized service that creates a seamless experience for your clients.

2. Your Business Details

Addresses, business hours, a list of products and how appointment processes work: These are all details you might define for your answering service company. If you’d like your VR to be able to answer basic queries or point clients in the right direction on your website without bothering in-house staff, ensure they have updated documentation with all the right info. A good answering service works with you to get these details up front, but if you have information unique to your brand, highlight it during early communications.

3. Any Special-Care Client Instructions

It’s not that you’re playing favorites; business owners know that some clients need special consideration. Whether you’re dealing with a picky client that should only be routed to a specific CSR, you want certain high-end clients sent right through to the CEO or you’d rather not deal with a pesky telemarketing agency right now, your answering service should know how to react to special situations. Before you sign up with a vendor, make sure you understand what white-glove services they are and aren’t able to provide.

4. The Names and Extensions of All In-House Staff

This might seem like a no-brainer, and a list of extensions and names is likely something your answering service asks for when they set up the contract. Calls can’t be routed appropriately without that info, after all. Where companies often go wrong is forgetting to update virtual reception in a timely manner when employees leave or are hired, which can lead to communication issues or unintentional professional faux pas.

5. Your No-No List

Finally, work with your VR provider to ensure outsourced staff understand any prohibited communication behaviors associated with your processes or industry. Medical, financial and legal companies must ensure answering service providers are compliant with industry laws such as HIPAA, for example, and any SMB might want staff to avoid certain phrases or words when interacting with callers.

Clear communication with your virtual reception provider helps everyone ensure customers get consistent, quality service on every call.