Realtime Reception News

5 FAQs You Always Wanted to Ask about Virtual Reception Services

piggy bank

Virtual receptionist services – what are you paying for?

It is a bit brutal but there are questions that I am often asked about virtual reception services and they boil down to – what am I paying for?

Keep in mind that virtual receptionists are not robots or computers. They are people.

1. Why do I have to pay if I decide to take some time off work and answer calls myself?

Read more…

Trinity Therapies

Hope you all enjoyed your Bank Holiday yesterday – I missed you and wondered how I had once answered my phone all the time and treated feet!!!! Delighted to hear my phone diverting to RTR this morning every time it rang!!!! 😊


Trinity Therapies


Rip-off Bank Charges!!

The end of Rip-off bank charges: all charges for paying by card to be banned!

card payment charges

Card payment charges to be banned

The media is all-over how this impacts the customer, without being aware that the business is just passing on a cost from the bank. Most businesses charge a percentage on credit cards because the merchant companies who transfer the funds will make a percentage charge to them. So on a £500 item, flight, or booking the merchant will charge about £7.50. Plus the business will be paying a monthly fee, a set fee on all debit card transactions and for the terminal (card machine).

There is a lower risk of card fraud than there was with cheques, and there is less labour involved on the merchant side so it beats me why they started to charge more to do debit and credit card transactions in the first place. Nowadays the charges for cheques and cash to be banked are higher so you would expect the debit and credit charges to be reduced.

Big businesses can negotiate a reduced fee with the banks but sme’s don’t earn as much for the banks, so they are charged the full rates. You can shop around to find a better rate for an SME, but at the end of the day if you are a small business you will pay proportionately more for any service.

Sme’s are really being kicked around here.

So who should pay for the transaction the customer or the business?

How to dial an extension Hands-Free

You know how it is. You’re driving. You need to call someone at their office. They have an IVR (choose 1 for sales, 2 for accounts….). How to do it? I’m assuming you use Bluetooth, hands-free, and the person you need to call is in your contacts.

puppy on the phone

To put in an extension – just add a PAWS to the number.

For iPhone

  • In contacts go to the contact and choose edit.
  • Pick the number you are going to edit, then tap the +*# key, bottom left.
  • Then tap pause (under number1) This enters a pause in the dialling, which shows as a comma in the number display.
  • Enter the extension number
  • Tap done
  • You should then see the call number as something like 1234567891,345.

For a Samsung android phone

  • Enter the number, or choose from contacts
  • Tap on !@#
  • Choose pause (,)
  • Tap on the 123 button
  • Enter the extension number, and save.

Pre-Payment as you Book

Missed appointments can mean lost income

Missed Appointments a problem?

One way round it is Pre-Payment of a deposit or full fee in advance. It seems to jog the client’s memory and even if it doesn’t you have still got your fee.

As virtual receptionists working with many clinics we know that all clinics will have some patients who fail to attend. This is a potential loss of income for the therapist and it can be difficult to get a fee for a missed appointment.


How it works

For Pre-Payment you must have a merchant account and the account issuer will give you information about setting up a virtual terminal, which is the portal that takes payment for your bank account over the internet. If your clients can book online from your website you can make  prepayment a requirement of the booking.

If your customers like to phone in we can take the payment for you

  • we take their details, book the appointment and tell them we need to take a deposit.
  • We then link securely to your merchant terminal, and take the card details and payment.
credit card security

Card security is vital if you are taking prepayments

Data Security

PCI compliance is the standard of security that the Payment Card Industry require of you and us. Not surprising this is quite strict.

Among other things it requires us to ensure that nobody working here can store data on anyone’s credit or debit card. When taking a payment we pause call recording to ensure that we have no record of their card numbers etc. Staff do not keep paper and pen on their desks or mobile phones in the office.

We keep no record of the transaction at all except the fact that there has been one and the date/time. So you can be confident that your clients data is safe.

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