Face to Face vs. Virtual Receptionist: Why not both?

by | Nov 16, 2022

Are you looking for virtual receptionists to support you but unsure where to start? Did you know that virtual reception services do more than just answer calls?

Your reception is the first point of contact for your visitors – whether it’s employees, contractors or couriers walking through your doors, the crucial first impression is made when they engage with your receptionist.

As we head steadily towards hybrid and remote work, having full-time receptionists working on tasks that can be easily digitised is simply no longer beneficial nor cost-effective in the long run. So how can virtual receptionists play a vital role in maintaining this valuable face-to-face interaction in customer service, while also optimising efficiency and productivity?

In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of using a virtual receptionist service and the best practices for how a virtual receptionist can add to the human experience at the workplace.

  1. What is a Virtual Receptionist and What do they do?
  2. 9 Benefits of hiring a Live Virtual Receptionist
  3. Can Virtual Receptionist Software replace reception staff?
  4. How can Virtual Receptionists support Face-to-Face human interaction?
  5. Key Takeaways


What is a Virtual Receptionist and What do they do?

The definition of a Virtual Receptionist is a person who picks up your calls and answers whatever questions, queries and concerns your customers may have – just as you’d expect a regular receptionist to do. The notable difference is that virtual receptionists work remotely which means they don’t speak to customers on a face-to-face basis.

However, through modern technology, virtual front desk receptionists can deliver the best face-to-face customer service from anywhere in the world. They can handle video calls just as easily as audio calls: you can put calls on hold, transfer calls to others, and add people to your calls, all with the added benefit of being able to share information on screen while talking face-to-face.

Virtual receptionists are hired through specialised call answering services such as Moneypenny, Comxo, and more. More than a call centre, individual receptionists have the sole purpose of answering phone calls and providing high-quality and personable customer service.

How does a virtual receptionist work? A virtual receptionist job includes:

  • Answering business calls during scheduled hours or whenever reception is busy
  • Acting as an extension of the business over the phone
  • Providing personalised customer care
  • Capturing names, contact details and messages for your reception
  • Request signatures from customers on NDAs and important documents
  • Transcribing voicemails
  • Sending important data directly to you through email, text message or by adding them into your CRM system


9 Benefits of hiring a Live Virtual Receptionist

The benefits of hiring a virtual lobby receptionist to support your front desk include increased productivity, business growth, and 24/7 customer service.

Whether you’re a small business looking to expand your capacity or a large company looking to improve efficiency, there are several advantages of hiring a virtual receptionist:

1. Exceptional customer experience

Anyone can pick up a phone, but not everyone knows how to create good experiences. Virtual receptionists are communication specialists who understand your brand so they can provide excellent service. Every call is personalised to give each customer the best experience.

2. Grow your business

Even from their virtual office, virtual receptionists act as an extension of your team. No call will go unanswered – whether a caller rings at 1 pm or 2 am, they will reach a real person who knows how to follow a lead and turn small conversations into big business wins.

3. 24/7 live call answering

Working with a virtual receptionist service means you get 24/7 consistency from skilled professionals without the need for the business to provide sick days or holiday – nor the risk of the receptionist turning up late for work. Keep up with rising expectations by allowing your customers to reach you wherever and whenever they want.

4. Improve brand image

Happy customers are loyal customers who can spread the word about your business and services. By improving your business’ reputation, you increase your chances of success.

5. Expand capacity

Virtual receptionists can play a vital part in expanding the capacity of small businesses. Equally, large companies can benefit from a virtual service to grow their customer base even more without losing their good customer service.

6. Increase productivity

With calls taken care of, your managers and on-site receptionists have the chance to focus on more important tasks and work uninterrupted.

7. No need for long voicemails

Your virtual receptionist will pick up every call and send you everything you need to know afterwards. No need to dial and check your voicemail because everything will be available for you directly in your inbox or your CRM.

8. Relieve pressure during stressful times

At times with high traffic, your Front of House staff can outsource all calls via the virtual receptionist software, allowing them to take care of the tasks at hand without any disruptions.

9. Keep up with the competition

Innovation drives progress, and if you refuse to follow technological advancements, chances are you’ll be overtaken by competitors who optimise their systems and keep up with modern solutions.

Can Virtual Receptionist replace traditional reception staff?

If you’re looking into automating your reception service, you will not have to replace your entire staff with virtual receptionists. Digital reception software and related technologies that digitise reception tasks can be used to support your reception staff while maintaining that crucial social part of the reception.

The modern workplace is technological and human

The workplace has transformed more in the last 5 years than it did in the 50 years before, but regardless of new trends and automation, humans are still social creatures. On days when traffic is bad and the coffee is bland, a kind word in the morning can make all the difference for people passing through reception.

At Vpod, we don’t believe that technology can ever replace humans – nor should it. Instead, smart technology can be a solution to simplify tedious manual tasks, increase staff productivity, and enhance the overall work experience.

A PwC study shows that 75% of people worldwide want to interact with a real person more as technology improves. They don’t want to talk with chatbots and holographic women, or be directed to long FAQs, they want to speak to real-life people who can listen to their challenges and help.


Evidently, virtual receptions won’t replace face-to-face communication any time soon. Instead, the focus must be on developing ways to facilitate and assist human interaction to meet the needs of the modern workplace.

How can Virtual Receptionist Software support Face-to-Face human interaction?

If the on-site reception staff is busy, how can you provide tailored customer service without sacrificing face-to-face interaction?

Different types of reception cannot maximise their service delivery without the help of technology

With Video Concierge software, you can use a virtual receptionist system as an expansion to your on-site FOH staff. When your choice of reception service is no longer limited by location, you can benefit from a virtual receptionist without losing the face-to-face component.

Let us explain:

1. A Virtual Receptionist Kiosk to deliver the best first impression

A virtual receptionist kiosk, or visitor management system, is a self-service kiosk that plays a crucial role in delivering face-to-face customer service.

The Vgreet virtual reception kiosk helps streamline and organise the visitor check-in process which greatly decreases queues and increased security. Most importantly, it frees up staff to focus on in-person customer service. The self-service kiosk is easy to use and allows visitors to move through the reception in seconds by simply scanning a QR code.

Vgreet has features such as:

  • Visitor check-in and pass printing.
  • Visitor access control.
  • Wayfinding.
  • Handling of deliveries.
  • Resource booking.
  • IT support.
  • Video calling a live virtual receptionist (Using the technology we are going to introduce below – Dialog)

Anyone passing through reception can quickly access help from a virtual receptionist in the UK – or wherever the service operates from.

With everything available right at the reception, visitors will never need to enter an office with unanswered questions. It gives the impression of an organised and professional business and provides a great user experience.

2. Face-to-Face with a Live Virtual Receptionist

Dialog video concierge breaks down the barriers between virtual receptionists and callers by connecting them through video. It makes it possible to combine the convenience of a virtual receptionist service with the comfort and familiarity of face-to-face customer care.

Even if a workplace has on-site receptionists, it’s never guaranteed that they are always available; staff may be busy with important administrative tasks or attending to other visitors. A virtual office receptionist would be a perfect way to solve this possible availability problem.

Accessible from laptops, mobile phones, iPads, or on our Vgreet virtual receptionist kiosks, the Dialog virtual receptionist service ensures that customers, employees, contractors, and couriers always have access to face-to-face assistance at your reception if they need answers and guidance.


Key Takeaways

There are many benefits to using a virtual receptionist service for both big and small businesses, and automating your reception services to improve efficiency doesn’t have to take away the human element.

Implementing technologies, such as Vgreet and Dialog, can greatly benefit your employees, your visitors, and your business. If you are looking for extra support for your reception to process the visitors, the Vgreet virtual reception kiosk allows you to support your reception by streamlining tedious manual tasks, subsequently optimising your staff’s efficiency.

Your reception will be able to focus on important on-site tasks and personalised customer service, which improves that ever-important first impression. Especially if you add the functionality to video call a virtual receptionist, ensuring that callers always reach a real person who knows how to help, even if your on-site receptionists are preoccupied.

Download the Vgreet brochure here

If you are looking for a call answering service for your virtual reception, Dialog virtual concierge partners with market-leading call answering services for you to manage your face-to-face calls efficiently.

Download the Dialog brochure here

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