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Frequently asked questions – how can we help you?

Find answers to common questions using the search bar or browse all FAQs below. Can’t find what you need? Our customer service team members are ready to assist.


General FAQs

Having a virtual answering service is easy! With ReceptionHQ, an experienced and friendly remote receptionist answers your business calls and politely greets your callers based on your script. Our virtual receptionists can screen calls and handle them however you prefer. A live receptionist will call you to announce who is calling and about what, and then transfer the call to you to accept. However, if you’re busy, the live receptionist will take a message and send you a notification by text or email.

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Our US answering service clients range from small businesses to large enterprises. This includes corporate organizations, attorneys and law firms, medical centers and healthcare practitioners, accountants, real estate and property management agencies, IT companies, start-ups, franchises, contractors and home service providers, skilled trades and much more.

Yes, in addition to the United States and Canada, we offer virtual reception services and other business solutions in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. We also service some parts of Europe.

Please contact us for more information on our international services.

ReceptionHQ’s operations launched in the United States in 2007 and we’ve been helping US businesses thrive ever since! That was four years after parent company OfficeHQ was founded in Australia and our operations have since expanded into the United Kingdom in 2011 and New Zealand in 2018.

Virtual Reception Service FAQs

At ReceptionHQ we make it easy to connect you with your customers by answering your calls when you aren’t available.

Many callers hang up when their call goes to voicemail, so you can miss out on vital conversations or leads.  Ensuring your calls are answered by a live person, increases customer satisfaction, builds loyalty and improves your opportunity to create a rapport and obtain caller details.

Live call answering also allows you to screen calls, as you can advise your receptionist to transfer or take messages for only those call types you wish to receive.  Once answered, you can see each message as it’s taken and prioritize who you will call back first.

Live call answering increases revenue through better customer connections, reduces costs as you’re not paying for a full time receptionist and helps you to be more efficient with your time.

Utilizing ReceptionHQ’s answering services means you have an experienced and personable receptionist with exceptional customer service skills interacting with your callers, all while costing significantly less than a full-time receptionist.

At ReceptionHQ, we offer a variety of answering services to suit the needs of businesses of any size, from a small business to a large corporation.  Whether you require a virtual receptionist, assistant or corporate services, our friendly virtual receptionists are ready to assist.

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ReceptionHQ is based in Phoenix, Arizona. ReceptionHQ is a subsidiary of OfficeHQ, a global virtual reception company headquartered in Australia.

Our Australian, UK and US operations provide “follow the sun” 24/7 virtual receptionist coverage. The majority of calls during standard office hours are answered locally by US-based receptionists, with our international teams answering after-hours calls and assisting during periods of peak demand.

Yes, our receptionist can answer calls you’d usually miss.  You may be on another call or simply unable to answer because you’re busy at the time. Our receptionists will take a detailed message and send to you instantly by email or SMS. Every call diverted to ReceptionHQ will be answered – no matter what your circumstances are at the time of the call.

Many clients who subscribe to our service are surprised when they learn how many calls they’d been missing prior to having their calls answered by ReceptionHQ.

This can provide an edge over your competitors, with great communication helping you to stand out.  ReceptionHQ combines the best receptionists in the USA with cutting-edge technology to make your customers feel valued, understood and important.  Our extensive professional answering service experience allows us to provide high-quality and innovative features which utilize the latest technology solutions.

Yes. This is referred to as “call overflow”.

A lot of companies require their phone calls to be answered only when they are unable to take the call themselves. For example, if you step out of the office for an hour or your in-house receptionist goes to lunch, is on leave or is busy on another call and you have multiple calls coming in at the one time.

You can set your business phone number to divert (to the unique local phone number we allocate your business during the Free Trial setup process) only when the phone rings for more than a specified period (such as after 5 rings) or if your line is busy/engaged.

In such instances our receptionists will then answer the phone as if we were in your office. You’re always in control and can relax knowing you will never miss another important call again! 

Yes.  Our receptionists are always on call and you can opt-in for 24/7 live call answering on any ReceptionHQ subscription.

Having a 24-hour answering service means never missing an important call, opportunity or potential sales lead ever again.  No matter the time of day or night.

On average around-the-clock, our call answering service answers calls within 10 seconds, to leave a lasting first impression.

Yes.  Spanish bilingual service is included with every account at no additional cost.  Whether Spanish-speaking callers are common or occasional to your business, we provide customizable options free of charge to ensure exceptional experiences for your Spanish and English-speaking callers.

Yes, you are able to use our service for an hour, a day, a week, whenever you need our assistance. Many clients use our live call answering for short-term needs, for example, when their own in-house receptionist is at lunch, sick or on annual leave.  Some clients use the service during their busy periods only, as call overflow or for campaigns.  Our live call answering service is like having a casual receptionist who is always available.  It’s reliable and risk-free, as you only pay for what you use.

If you prefer to use our service seasonally, you can take advantage of our pause package.

ReceptionistPlus is a live call answering service where a friendly, professional receptionist answers your phone and handles your calls exactly as you require.  You may instruct our receptionist to take messages for one or more separate staff members or departments, transfer calls based on availability or provide basic information about your business.  Just like having your own in-house receptionist, but without the cost.  To your callers, they will feel as though they are speaking to someone sitting in your office.

When you sign up to the ReceptionistPlus service or the 7-day free trial, we will allocate an exclusive local telephone number for you to divert your business calls to.  When we receive calls to your number, we will answer with your customized greeting, take a message or transfer specific calls to you, if requested.  With the ReceptionistPlus service, our receptionists can answer basic questions about your business, such as your business address, hours of operation or when a return phone call might be received.

The MessageExpress service works best for those clients who just need messages taken for one person or team.  The receptionist will answer with a greeting such as “Good morning,  [your business name].  May I take your message please?” Messages can be instantly sent by email or SMS, however call transfers are not available on this service.  On the MessageExpress service, receptionists are focused primarily on message taking, so are unable to provide general business information to callers.

The ReceptionistPlus service offers more flexibility and customisation so we can give the impression we are part of your business.  It’s designed for those clients who would like to provide a more personal touch.  When subscribing to the ReceptionistPlus service, you’ll receive a fully customized greeting, the ability to take different messages or make transfer calls to different people or departments in your organization, plus receptionists can answer basic questions about your business, such as the location, your website URL, what your business does and when calls might be returned.

Many of our clients appreciate the personal touch that comes with having our live receptionist service team answer every call with their preferred professional greeting.  Custom greetings with your provided script helps provide a seamless callers experience.  It’s also possible to have tailored on-hold messages which take the customer experience to the next level.

If you’re not sure which service is best for you, please speak to our friendly consultants or sign up for a free trial of our ReceptionistPlus service so you can test it out.  Once you subscribe, you change between package types whenever it suits your business. No penalties apply.

Yes, we have a dedicated team of highly experienced receptionists who can book appointments for you. The MyDiary service is ideal for professionals who depend on appointments being made and managed while they are focused on their clients.  Our receptionists can schedule and reschedule appointments, manage cancellations and even take payments in your preferred software.  We support a large number of third-party appointment booking tools and CRMs.  Please contact us for more information.

Yes, we are able to transfer calls to any staff member on any phone (landline or cell).  With our innovative software, we can record availability preferences for each staff member and only transfer when requested.  Individual details can be updated at any time via our online client portal or mobile application.

We pride ourselves in offering ‘warm transfers’, that is, callers are always announced to you before the transfer takes place.  If you’re unavailable, or if you don’t answer the call, our receptionist will go back to your caller, let them know you’re unavailable, take a message then forward it to you.

We do not blind transfer calls (transfer unannounced) unless you request this.

Yes.  We can answer your calls and advise your callers you are in a meeting, travelling or with a client – you choose.  Our receptionists can then take a detailed message with the information you require and forward this message to you by email or SMS instantly so that you can return the call in your own time.

Yes, messages can be sent to multiple email addresses and cell phone numbers – it’s your choice.  We can also attempt to transfer calls to multiple people in sequential order.  How your calls are managed can be updated instantly via your ReceptionHQ online client portal or mobile application at any time.

No, there’s no lock-in contracts or cancellation fees.  ReceptionHQ offers month-to-month subscriptions for our virtual reception services, which can be cancelled by giving us 30 days’ notice.

This means total flexibility in how you use our call answering services and you always have complete control.  We take pride in retaining your business month after month by delivering exceptional service.

Yes.  Each staff member and/or department can set their own availability status and decide whether to have their calls transferred or a message taken.  All settings can be updated individually and instantly via the ReceptionHQ client portal or mobile application.

Yes.  We are able to answer basic questions such as your location, directions to premises, fax number, website, pricing and other general questions. Depending on your plan, you can provide us with detailed call scripts or answers to FAQs to assist your callers.  Just let us know your needs and we’ll set up your account according to your preferred process.

You can notify our live answering service online in real-time with our easy-to-use smartphone apps or web client portal to notify us of your greeting, call, transfer and message preferences.

Unavailable to take calls? Just quickly update your status and we’ll take messages for you, exactly as an in-house receptionist would do.

There are no set up fees for the ReceptionistPlus and MessageExpress services – you can start using these services immediately.

You can get set up in a matter of minutes, using your preferred and distinct greeting.  For a MessageExpress or ReceptionistPlus service, you can start using the service almost instantly. Simply create and activate an account yourself, using the free trial webform, or have our customer service team do this for you.  Either way, it only takes a few minutes to get started. Once set up, you can immediately direct or divert your calls to ReceptionHQ and we will answer your calls to your specific requirements.

If you’re interested in a MyAssistant or MyDiary plan, a short setup may be required, depending on complexity, to train our receptionists on your preferred software, business information or webforms.  Please contact us to find out more.

If you start with the virtual reception free trial, it gives you an opportunity to understand what call volume or duration you should select ongoing.  Once you’ve selected your plan, you can upgrade or downgrade at any time without penalty.  To help give you confidence you are on the correct plan, you will be provided with an online client portal and mobile application, which allows you to track your usage in real time. You’ll be able to see every incoming call by day and time, the messages received, where they were sent and whether any calls were transferred.

Yes.  We don’t have a minimum contract term and you may cancel your service at any time without penalty.  We simply ask for you to let us know three days prior to your billing renewal date.  If you want to keep your account available, but stop using it for a while, we also have a pause option.  Just speak to our friendly team for more information.

Yes, you have the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade at any time to a more suitable subscription that meets your requirements and budget.  For example, you can change the number of calls being answered by ReceptionHQ or you can change the type of package you have subscribed to.  There’s no cost to change plans.  We want you to feel comfortable you are on the right plan for your usage.

This means you can take advantage of our flexible and scalable virtual receptionist services to provide the level of support you need as your business evolves.  You can scale up your call answering plan as your business grows, or to cope with peak periods, as well as scale down during quieter times.  You have complete control.

Our billing system is fully automated.  You will need to pay by credit or debit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.  All invoices are viewable in real time within your client portal.  Invoices will also be emailed to you.

The live call answering free trial is based on the ReceptionistPlus service and is completely free.  We don’t require a credit card and it can be cancelled at any time.  When you sign up for a free trial, you’ll be allocated a local phone number to divert your calls to as well as gain instant access to a client portal and mobile application to manage your service.  At the end of the trial, you can simply add a credit card to continue, or stop using the service if you’d rather not continue with the service.  There is no obligation at all.

Yes, we allocate an exclusive phone number to each client so our receptionists know which business the incoming call is for.  If you have an existing phone number, simply forward your calls to the number we provide.  Through your telephone provider you have the option to forward all calls, or have calls only come to us when you’re busy or there’s no answer.  We’ll answer as many or as few calls as you need.

After our receptionist answers your call, they will introduce the call to you (or the appropriate staff member) before transferring your caller to you.  If you’re unavailable, or if you don’t answer the call, our receptionist will go back to your caller, let them know you’re unavailable, take a message then forward it to you.

All our calls are warm transferred to you.  We do not blind transfer calls.

Blind transfer is when calls are transferred to you unannounced.

No.  If you have a toll-free number, you can request to port it across to ReceptionHQ to save costs.  If you already have a local number, simply forward calls from your existing phone number to the unique number we provide.  We can work with any existing scenario, just ask.

Yes, in addition to your free local number, you can add one or more additional business numbers, with the area code of your choice, to give the impression you have localised coverage.  We have local phone numbers available across the US. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to give the appearance your business operates nationally, you can add a toll-free number to your service at any time.  Depending on availablity, most phone numbers can be set up for you instantly.  Please contact us for more details.

Call Routing & Business Phone Numbers FAQs

A call diversion service essentially enables you to divert one phone number to another.  For example, if you want to keep your cell phone number private, but need to use it for your business, you can advertise a business number (like a toll-free number) and divert the calls from this number to your cell phone.  Your callers will only ever know the advertised number and you’ll be able to see whether the incoming call is personal or business in nature.

The most common reasons for using a call diversion service are:

  1. The opportunity for your business to have a presence in another state so you are more appealing to local customers.
  2. The ability to keep your cell phone number private when you are operating a business from your personal phone (you can advertise a local or national number, and still receive the calls on your mobile).
  3. The ability to run several businesses with different customer facing numbers, but still have all calls answered on one number.

The MessageCenter Divert service includes a local phone number and can be set up instantly for as little as $20/month.  A call diversion service provides a very quick and cost-effective way to appear larger, start up a new business or gain an interstate or national presence.

If you have a live call answering service attached, our professional receptionists will answer your calls (either all calls or only when you are busy).  If you have a voicemail to email service, your voicemail messages will be sent to you via email.  Otherwise, your calls will be managed by your existing call answering solution, for example, on a cell phone, your calls would typically go through to a voicemail service if unanswered.

Yes.  When you sign up, you’ll gain access to a client portal and moblie application for managing your MessageCenter Divert service.  Using these tools, you can instantly change the number your calls are being diverted to.  Our customer service team is also able to make these changes for you during business hours.

No, there are no set up fees for a call diversion service.  The cost of a local phone number is included in your MessageCenter Divert monthly subscription.

Yes. Your MessageCenter Divert service includes the provision of a local number in your preferred location. While there are add-on options available, you don’t need any other services to get started.  Simply signup, tell us which number you want your calls diverted to and you’ll be receiving calls instantly.

Call diversion costs just $20 per month on the MessageCenter Divert package, which includes a local number.  You may add additional local numbers or a toll-free number to your service at any time for an additional monthly fee.  Call charges also apply, based on call durations.

No, there’s no lock-in contracts or cancellation fees.  ReceptionHQ offers month-to-month subscriptions for our virtual reception services, which can be cancelled by giving us 30 days’ notice.

This means total flexibility in how you use our call answering services and you always have complete control.  We take pride in retaining your business month after month by delivering exceptional service.

A voicemail message is simply an electronic audio recording of the message that was left for you by a caller.  Using the Voicemail to Email service, voicemail messages are sent to you via email, so you can hear the original message left and save your messages for as long as you need.

When someone leaves you a new voicemail, you’ll instantly be sent an email with a .wav file attached.  Simply open this email and double click on the .wav file to play your voicemail message through your computer or phone audio.  As voicemail messages are sent electronically, they can be forwarded within your company just as you would any other email message.

Each voicemail message will be sent to you via email as a .wav file attachment.  This means you can listen to the original message through your phone or computer, store your voicemail messages for record-keeping and forward the message to anyone in the company who may need to act on it.  To open a .wav file, simply double click the attachment and it will play through your default audio player.

Yes. You will be allocated an exclusive, dedicated local number based on the location of your company. You can either advertise this number directly, or forward calls to it from your existing business number. When calls are received to your dedicated number, our professional receptionists will be prompted to answer in your business name.

If your business would benefit from multiple numbers or toll-free number, you can add these for an additional cost. Please note, if you wish to port out your number at any stage in the future, this can only be done with toll-free numbers.

Yes, you can forward any landline, cell phone number or toll-free number to us, to be answered by our receptionists. Forwarded calls are seamlessly answered by our receptionists in your company name with the greeting of your choice.

Yes. ReceptionHQ can provide you with a local number for where you are based and, if you require it, we can also provide multiple numbers in different area codes. Advertising local numbers in additional cities or regions can give customers the impression your business is more established or has a larger coverage area. For a national appearance, we can provide you with a toll-free number. Contact us to find out more.

Yes, we can instantly add a toll-free number to your account, which gives you a national presence and allows callers to contact you at no charge.  For these specialty numbers, you’ll be provided with a list of available numbers to choose from, as we understand it’s an important decision and you’ll want to keep your national number for the life of your business.

Virtual Address FAQs

With an ReceptionHQ virtual address, you can advertise your new business location without the expensive overhead.  Virtual addresses can provide privacy protection for home businesses, while at the same time creating the impression that a business is larger or in a better location.  Depending on the address, we may also offer mail notification, mail collection services and mail scanning/forwarding.

A virtual address enables you to advertise a prestigious business address, without having to sign up to an expensive lease.  Any mail sent to your virtual address is seamlessly redirected to you, or if you prefer, scanned and emailed.  Some examples of how virtual addresses can be used are:  start-up companies who wish to appear larger, home-based business owners who’d like to keep their personal address private, expanding businesses who are keen to promote a local presence (for example an address in each state) or businesses who want to demonstrate an affinity with a particular area, for example a financial precinct.

Simply submit a request and our friendly team will contact you to get started.  We’ll ask for your business name, contact details, preferred payment method and forwarding address details.  Once these details are confirmed, your service will be ready to use and any mail sent to this address will be forwarded to you.  You don’t need to do anything else – it’s that simple.

We’ll confirm with you when your new virtual address is ready to use.  Usually, it’s ready to use on the same day as setup.

While we don’t provide a free trial of our virtual address service, we do offer month-to-month subscriptions with no lock-in contract.  To complement your virtual address service, we also offer a free trial of our call answering service – which you can try free for 7 days.

Depending on your preferred virtual address location, you can choose to have your mail physically sent to you or scanned and sent electronically.  At some locations you also have the option to collect your own mail.  Please note, some locations don’t support parcels.

Yes, that’s the beauty of a virtual address service.  You can opt to have your mail automatically forwarded to you anywhere in the world.  All plans include a ‘fair use’ allocation for mail forwarding or scanning.  Beyond this allocation, a small handling fee may be charged, plus postage.

Yes.  We can allocate a phone number with an area code to match.  You can choose between a local or national toll-free number and either answer your calls personally, by diverting your new number to your mobile or business phone, or have your calls answered by our virtual receptionists.  There’s no lock-in contract, no credit card required, and you can cancel any time.  Simply contact us to discuss the best option for your needs.

Support FAQs

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