Why Virtual Answering Service is Popular Today? 5 Amazing Reasons


If we look back a decade, we will find that virtual answering services were not that popular. Today though, most companies use these virtual answering services to handle a variety of needs. From communicating with customers to solving customer grievances to actually ensuring that they keep in touch with their clients all the time, there are a number of benefits to having a virtual answering service. To put it simply, you will need virtual answering service to help you in a number of ways. If you are still thinking as to how this answering service can help you, here is a look.

We give you 5 amazing reasons why virtual answering services have gained so much popularity in recent times.

  • Available always, whenever you need it!

A virtual answering service is available day and night, throughout the year so that you never have to miss out on any call ever again. Also, in the stressed kind of lifestyle that you have, you wouldn’t have to answer business calls at odd hours and be stuck with work even when you are relaxing or are out with family and friends.

  • No need to worry anymore!

You just don’t need to worry whether your virtual receptionist is representing your business well or not, as trained professionals work as operators in a virtual answering service who know their job well and offer superb services take all the calls.

  • Save time, invest it elsewhere

Hiring a virtual answering service will help you save a lot of time and money as you will not have to hire a live receptionist for the job. Also, you will be able to focus on other jobs and be rest assured that your customers will be attended in the best possible manner.

  • No difficulty in setting it up

One of the main reasons that this service has gained popularity is that it is very easy to setup, monitor at any time you want and also tweak. You get to control the smallest of details and can alter anything you feel is not up to the mark by just making a call to them.

  • Customized offerings according to your requirements

Another reason for its immense popularity is that virtual answering services offer a variety of services, depending on your unique needs and requirement and also charge you according to the package you choose. The level of expertise differs from one service to another allowing you to analyze them all before hiring the services of one for your business house or organization.

So, are you looking for new business goals to achieve? Our virtual answering services will ensure that you can do more, always!

5 Interesting Phone Answering Services Statistics that You Need to Know


Once upon a time, new businesses struggled to get clients, retain them and satisfy them. Not any longer though.

Today, we have business phone answering services that have helped small businesses do more, time and time again. So what are the amazing benefits of a phone answering service? Why are businesses increasingly relying on it to solve their logistical and organizational needs?

A look at the phone answering services world

There is a reason why phone answering services are gaining immense popularity in recent times and these 5 interesting statistics will help you understand in detail why it is so. You should know these statistics if you are planning to subscribe to these statistics soon.

  • No more hanging up!

Statistics reveal that 72 percent of callers who call a company or business house hang up the call instead of leaving a message if their call gets transferred to a voice mail system instead of a human voice answering the phone. Most callers wish to speak to a live person be it someone from the office or a friendly and professional operator from a phone answering service.

  • Are you not qualified?

98 percent of callers state that they get a bad impression of the company if a non- qualified and ill-informed operator picks up the phone who does not know exactly what to do or so.

  • It’s always good to be personal

80 percent of the callers prefer to hear a voice as compared to receiving a mail or email and think it to be one of the best forms of communication. It gives a personal touch to your company, making the caller feel that he is special and unique.

  • Nobody likes unpleasant experiences

71 percent callers revealed that due to a bad customer service experience they had ended their business relation with that particular company. If a customer is not attended to properly or does not get all the required attention and information on time, he is bound to get angry. A phone answering service ensures all this and much more without fail.

  • Offer your customers what they need

69 percent callers stated that if their call was not attended to properly or they were not given the information they asked for, they stopped calling that company altogether and started looking for alternatives. A phone answering service always has the right answers and information ready at hand so that the customer never feels disappointed after the conversation is over.

Of course, there are a number of other advantages too to having a phone answering service. As a business, look for an affordable phone answering service but do not compromise on the quality.

Main Virtual Office Rebrands As Best Phone Answering Service

Main Virtual Office has launched a new website www.bestphoneansweringservice.com. After a year in Beta, Main Virtual Office has now distinguished itself as the premier small business alternative to voicemail.  Our phone answering service is really the only viable and affordable alternative for very small businesses looking for a voicemail alternative, said Jim Plunkett CEO and Co-founder. We founded Main Virtual Office to specifically cater to the nations smallest businesses.

We predict that most of nations workforce will be freelancers and solopreneurs in the next 5 years. Most of these small businesses are still using cellphones and the voicemail provided by their carriers, even though studies show that more than 80% of callers will hang up when they are sent to voicemail.

Most believe that the high hang up rate is due at least in part to scheme concocted by the four major cellular carriers in the early nineties. Realizing the dramatic increase in cell phone adoption, especially by small businesses, they decided to add 15 -20 seconds of instructions in their voicemail recordings, increasing their annual revenue more than $750 million per year, each.

What was once considered the “norm” for handling calls you cannot handle has now become a liability for these small businesses. Only the most competitive of these small businesses are now seeing this and beginning to gain a competitive advantage by having their calls answered live.

About Jim Plunkett

Once lead engineer on the cleanup of the nations worst hazardous waste sites, Jim entered the digital world in 1999, founding Vacationharbor.com (think Air B&B 1.0). In 2001, at Wright Express, Jim conceived the “Daily Best Fuel Price”, now branded Octane, arguably the first “app” ever developed. Jim was employee number 11 and EVP at PowerPay, which grew 900% from 2004-2008, making the Inc. 500 list. Jim is presently Co-founder and CEO of US Answer.

About US Answer

US Answer is cloud-based answering service and mobile app built on the Salesforce.com and 8×8’s cloud-based Contactual software.  More information can be found at http://www.bestphoneansweringservice.com/

More Than 60% Of Your Answering Service Competitors Are Not Doing This – Why Not Take Their Customers?

A study by SMB Digitalscape showed a remarkable opportunity for many of the nations smallest  businesses.  More than 60% of the nations smallest businesses do not have their telephone number featured prominently on their homepage.

According to a study of 8,000 telephone calls by RentLinx, a property management software company, only 20% were answered live. The rest went to voicemail.

That means that only 15% of incoming leads get answered live. With small businesses increasing over 300%, from 15 million in the early 90’s to over 45 million today, many small businesses are realizing they can no longer afford to 85% of their incoming leads to voicemail.

Answering services are their only choice.  But, the answering service industry has a bad reputation and rightly so.  More than 95% of answering services are over ten years old and are using outdated, complex telecommunications equipment connected to the public telephone system.

A new breed of answering service is emerging, using cloud-based systems, connected to the voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) network. The VOIP network is slated to completely replace the circuit/switch public telephone network by 2018. It will be very interesting to watch what happens in the answering service industry, when this occurs.

Most likely a significant consolidation will occur. New emerging companies like US Answer and Main Virtual Office are giving entrepreneurs a new alternative to quickly and cost effectively gain a significant competitive advantage over their counterparts still using voicemail.

About Jim Plunkett

Once lead engineer on the cleanup of the nations worst hazardous waste sites, Jim entered the digital world in 1999, founding Vacationharbor.com (think Air B&B 1.0). In 2001, at Wright Express, Jim conceived the “Daily Best Fuel Price”, now branded Octane, arguably the first “app” ever developed. Jim was employee number 11 and EVP at PowerPay, which grew 900% from 2004-2008, making the Inc. 500 list. Jim is presently Co-founder and CEO of US Answer.

Why Voicemail Sucks – Reason Number 2

If you are a small business, trying to grow, and are still depending on voicemail when your new business prospects call in, you are committing suicide.




“The brick” weighed 2 pounds, offered just a half-hour of talk time for every recharging and sold for $3,995.

Consumers lined up in droves to buy it in 1984 as soon as it hit the market. It was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. I had one when I started my first company, an environmental consulting firm. By 1995, most small business owners were running their businesses with their cell phones.

Cellular service companies as I noted in my previous post, immediately offered voicemail because the their recordings with instructions added more than 10 seconds to each call with voicemail. We all got used to using it until text messaging took hold.  Now, most teenagers never use voicemail. They are leading the exodus from voicemail.

Small businesses though, are hooked, as though it is heroin, because they have been doing it for so long. 5 million even signed up with virtual phone services like Google Voice, Ring Central, OneBox and Grasshopper. These companies allow you to record a greeting, require the caller to announce their name and then wait as the service rings your office and the cell phone and ultimately most end up in VOICEMAIL.

So what, you say? When someone is calling your number for a local service or product, after they have found you searching the web, if you do not have someone answering the phone, studies show 80% of your callers will hang up and call the next listing on the search page.

Jim Plunkett
Main Virtual Office

Why Voicemail Sucks – Reason Number 1

Its a blatant cash grab by the cellular networks

Back in 2009, David Pogue, a NY Times columnist with more than 1.5 million twitter followers, had had enough. He went on a crusade of sorts to put pressure on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon for imposing 15 second instructional messages in every voicemail message. He speculated that these major mobile companies where reaping upwards of $750 million every year just by making these pre-recorded instructions mandatory on their customers voicemail systems.

Cellular carriers have a code to bypass the instructions but the problem is its different for each and they keep it a secret. As part of David Pogues crusade he encourages everyone to inform their callers by recording the code on your voicemail message so your callers no how to bypass the instructions.

If you are using your cell phone for your business, you hae already suffered a setback as these instructions indicate to your callers that you are using a cell phone for your small business.

But that is not the worst part that comes in Part 2.

Jim Plunkett
Main Virtual Office


Main Virtual Office Chosen By Mathnasium Centers


Mathnasium Centers In Colorado, Michigan, Georgia and New York have selected Main Virtual Office as their live answering service to make sure they do not lose any new parents to their competitors, because of voicemail. I think why this is occurring is most succinctly expressed by Bernard Douthit, Center Director for Mathnasiums in Greenwood Village and Cherry Creek, Colorado

“Core competency is critical.We teach Math and we do it really well.  They answer the phones and they do it very well.” Many Mathnasiums are now evaluating whether or not they can afford to have their calls go to an automated answering service.

Not having a live person answer answer the phone, when a parent calls in can be disastrous, especially for the emerging group of Mathnasiums in Canada that are competing against established tutoring franchises like Sylvan and Kumon.

Mathnasiums, which focus on helping kids with problems get back into the mainstream by conquering math have grown to over 350 locations in North America. Main Virtual Office is helping them compete against established, larger math tutoring franchises.

Answering services are going through a renaissance period.  Once burdened by technology limitations and call center behavioral attitudes, new cloud based companies are demonstrating that this technology/service combination can make small businesses much more competitive than those depending solely on voicemail

Jim Plunkett
Main Virtual Office

Are You Sure You Still Want To Use Voice Mail For Your Small Business?


We at Main Virtual Office hate voice mail even though we offer a voicemail transfer and after hours voice mail capability for our clients that request it. Quite simply people don’t like voice mail

5 Million small businesses have signed up for “virtual” phone systems like Google Voice, OneBox, Ring Central and Grasshopper to make themselves look more professional.  While many believe this is working well, their customers and prospects would probably tell them something different.

Data shows more than 50% of small business calls end up in voice mail and more than 80% of those callers hang up. Contact me directly if you want the data sources.

This also applies to the other 40+ million small businesses that depend just on their cell phone and voice mail.




Jim Plunkett
Main Virtual Office

The Freelancers Union Selects Main Virtual Office


We are proud to announce we have been selected by the Freelancers Union, to offer the Union’s more than 200,000 members a special offer when they sign-up for Main Virtual Offices live answering service and mobile app.

The Freelancers Union is the largest group of independent workers, freelancers and solopreneurs in the US. Early in her career, Sara Horowitz, couldn’t get health insurance from her employer because she wasn’t considered a full-time employee. Recognizing that there were a lot of people like her, she founded the Freelancers Union to represent the nearly 1 in 3 Americans who are one man or one woman companies. Sara is now widely considered the leading authority in the Freelancers community, having authored the Freelancers Bible. She was also recently appointed to the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

While more than 5 million freelancers and very small businesses signed up for “virtual” phone systems, like Google Voice and Ring Central, over the last decade, many are now realizing that most of their new sales leads-potential new customers-are going to voice mail, where research says that more than 80% will hang up.

Main Virtual Office developed their cloud-based live answering service and mobile app specifically for one-man companies, freelancers and solopreneurs. Main Virtual’s business model is different than every other answering service. We actually strive to keep our customers minutes down by efficiently managing their calls. But, clearly, the main value that we bring is that we engage new sales leads, transfer them to our customers or get their contact info immediately to our customers so that they can respond to these leads quickly”.

With freelancers and solopreneurs now 1 in every 3 workers in the US and projected to comprise half the US work force by 2020, those that continue to depend on voice mail instead of a live answering service for their incoming calls are putting themselves in a precarious position.

Using Ring Central, Google Voice or Grasshopper? You Are Still Losing New Business!


More than 50% of our small business answering service customers are already using a virtual phone system like Ring Central, Google Voice, OneBox or Grasshopper. However, most of their callers still end up in voice mail and they are losing a lot of business because of that. That’s what they tell us when they call.

More than 5 million very small businesses signed up for virtual answering services that emerged in the early 2000′s.  And, while these services work really well for these small businesses, they do not work so well for their customers.  New customers that call, are expecting to talk with a live person and when that doesn’t happen, they are forced to listen to recordings and prompts and ultimately end up in voice mail where reportedly (Fortune 2006) more than 80% hang up.

When these systems emerged, they were considered the “ultimate phone solution” for very small businesses and solopreneurs.  Many users of these “virtual phone systems” however are now facing a much more competitive environment.  One man companies or solopreneurs have tripled since the early nineties and now number 45 million. With a reported 80% of callers that are sent to voice mail hanging up…small businesses that continue to depend on it are literally committing suicide.

Many now realize that a live answering service is the only way they can keep from loosing new customer inquiries. They also don’t want the traditional answering services that have been available the last quarter of a century.  They are looking for more advanced services that can handle scheduling, lead management and call transfers.

Jim Plunkett
Main Virtual Office