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In need of a temporary answering service?

Our team of virtual receptionists can provide the short-term help your business needs, answering your calls 24/7 if needed. Whether you are facing a staffing issue, need holiday cover or expect higher call volumes than usual, you’ll find our services are reliable, flexible and cost-effective.


Affordable short-term receptionist support that ensures your inbound business calls continue to be answered

Australian receptionists

Calls are answered by professionals in Australia, with overflow support to ensure a fast speed of answer.

24/7 live call answering

We operate all day, every day, so we can seamlessly answer your calls around the clock if you want us to.

Custom call greetings

We answer your calls with your custom greeting to ensure your callers enjoy a seamless experience.

Instant emails or texts

Receive email or SMS messages after each call, containing caller details and their reason for calling.

Appointment Icon

Your tools are our tools

We can input leads, book appointments, raise support tickets and more using your preferred software.

No lock-in contract

No long-term contracts or cancellation fees gives you flexibility to use our services for the time period you need.

Help is at hand, whatever your situation

Illness & ad hoc coverage

Are staff absences making it hard to maintain productivity while ensuring the phone is answered? We can provide same-day service coverage!

  • Staff off sick
  • Staff on breaks
  • Staff in meetings
  • Staff in training
  • Staff at conferences
  • Staff working remotely

Periods of peak demand

Swamped with calls and don’t have the capacity to handle them effectively in-house? We can assist during unusually busy periods, whatever the cause.

  • Promotions or campaigns
  • Class actions for law firms
  • Tax time for accountants
  • Seasonality factors
  • Event registrations
  • Product recalls
  • Fundraisers

Holiday & leave coverage

Need someone to answer the phone while you’re out of town or your in-house receptionist is away? Enjoy peace of mind that we have it covered.

  • Public holidays
  • Annual leave
  • Maternity leave or paternity leave
  • Long service leave

Events and office closures

Is your office shutting during your business hours? Whether a planned or sudden unforeseen event, we can answer your calls remotely.

  • Staff functions
  • Renovations
  • Moving offices
  • Christmas shutdowns
  • Conferences or other events
  • Pandemic lockdowns
  • Flooding or other natural disasters

How our call answering services work

We answer in less than 4 rings

We take great pride in answering calls in less than 10 seconds on average, which means you avoid losing frustrated callers to your competitors.

We answer in less than 4 rings

We take great pride in answering calls in less than 10 seconds on average, which means you avoid losing frustrated callers to your competitors.

We answer in less than 4 rings

We take great pride in answering calls in less than 10 seconds on average, which means you avoid losing frustrated callers to your competitors.

Our virtual receptionist services

A temporary answering service is like having a casual receptionist who is available 24/7, whenever the need arises! Best of all, it’s risk-free as you only pay for what you use.

Whatever your industry, complexity of calls or call volumes, if you need a short-term phone answering service, we can provide the solution.

  MessageExpress MyReceptionist MyAssistant MyDiary
Compare our
live call
answering
services

Call answering and message taking for one individual or team.

Hear a sample call
See pricing

Messages, support and call transfers for multiple staff or departments.

Hear a sample call
See pricing

Tailored scripting and virtual assistance for unlimited staff or departments.

Hear a sample call
See pricing

Appointment booking and diary management using your preferred software.

Hear a sample call
See pricing

Caller greeting Personalised Fully customised Fully customised Fully customised
List staff or departments One person or team Unlimited contacts Unlimited contacts Unlimited contacts
Collect information from callers 3 details 5 details Up to 11 details Up to 11 details
Warm call transfers  
Advise business hours/location  
Answer common questions  
Scripted questions & responses    
Quote fees & take payments    
CRM input or submit online forms    
Appointment scheduling      
Diary management      
  About MessageExpress Enquire now About MyReceptionistTry our 7-day free trial About MyAssistantEnquire now About MyDiaryEnquire now

MessageExpress

Call answering and message taking for one individual or team.

  • Australian-based receptionists
  • No lock-in contract
  • Personalised greeting
  • Instant email or SMS messages
  • One person or team listed as message recipient
  • Mobile app & portal
  • 24/7 service upgrade option
  • 1300/1800 number upgrade option

MyReceptionist

Messages, support and call transfers for multiple staff or departments.

  • Australian-based receptionists
  • No lock-in contract
  • Instant email or SMS messages
  • Mobile app & portal
  • 24/7 service upgrade option
  • 1300/1800 number upgrade option
  • Fully customised greeting
  • Warm call transfers
  • Multiple staff or departments listed as message or transfer contacts
  • Collect 5 pieces of info
  • Advise business hours/location

MyAssistant

Tailored scripting and virtual assistance for unlimited staff or departments.

  • Australian-based receptionists
  • No lock-in contract
  • Instant email or SMS messages
  • Mobile app & portal
  • 24/7 service upgrade option
  • 1300/1800 number upgrade option
  • Fully customised greeting
  • Warm call transfers
  • Multiple staff or departments listed as message or transfer contacts
  • Advise business hours/location
  • Collect 11 pieces of info
  • Custom scripting or FAQs
  • CRM input or online form submissions
  • Quote fees & take payments

MyDiary

Appointment booking and diary management using your preferred software.

  • Australian-based receptionists
  • No lock-in contract
  • Instant email or SMS messages
  • Mobile app & portal
  • 24/7 service upgrade option
  • 1300/1800 number upgrade option
  • Fully customised greeting
  • Warm call transfers
  • Multiple staff or departments listed as message or transfer contacts
  • Advise business hours/location
  • Collect 11 pieces of info
  • Custom scripting or FAQs
  • CRM input or online forms
  • Quote fees & take payments
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Diary management

A reliable solution to short-term problems

You can use OfficeHQ’s service for an hour, a day, a week … whenever you need our assistance.

Many clients use our live call answering for short-term needs, such as when their own in-house receptionist is away, when staff are at events or to cope with seasonal demands. We offer temporary relief without the HR headache.

It’s even possible to switch our service on and off as needs dictate. Be sure to ask about our pause package!

Your free guide to call answering

New to the concept? Get our explainer guide to discover what it entails, how it works and why it’s good for business

FAQs

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 prioritise 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.

Yes! OfficeHQ is a privately-owned Australian company. Our head office is on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, with about 90% of our entire Australian team – including our virtual receptionists – based in that region.

Our telecommunications network extends to 66 telephone exchanges, giving us the largest range of local numbers of any Australian virtual reception services provider.

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! 

Transferring calls to OfficeHQ is easy. To have our team of virtual receptionists answer your calls, simply:

  1. Decide whether you wish to forward calls immediately to OfficeHQ (the best solution for most businesses) or have calls forwarded after a delay.
  2. Identify the call forwarding codes for your telecommunications provider. Most providers publish these codes on their websites.
  3. Use the codes to enable your calls to be forwarded to the unique phone number that we’ve allocated to you.

For more information, check out our article Forwarding Your Business Phone to OfficeHQ’s Reception Team, which outlines:

Yes – if you’re on a MyAssistant or MyDiary plan.  For MessageExpress and MyReceptionist plans, calls are always answered by our team in Australia whenever possible – and that’s the case for the majority of calls – with overflow support available from our teams in the UK and the US during unforeseen peaks in call volumes.  This enables us to ensure your calls are always answered as fast as possible, reducing the risk of call abandonment. We know Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is very important to our clients and one of our key differentiators is that we’re able to answer calls in under 10 seconds, on average.

Read more.
Our clients range from small businesses including sole traders through to large enterprises including multinational corporations. We provide call answering and appointment scheduling services for a variety of industries, including real estate agents, lawyers, accountants and healthcare (such as psychologists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and dentists). We support many businesses with mobile workforces, such as those in trades, building and construction or travel and tourism operators. We also assist a variety of start-up businesses, contractors, franchises, retailers and service providers including IT companies and website design or marketing agencies.

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 MyReceptionist 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 MyReceptionist service, you’ll receive a fully customised greeting, the ability to take different messages or make transfer calls to different people or departments in your organisation, 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.

If you’re not sure, please speak to our friendly consultants or sign up for a free trial of our MyReceptionist 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.


Let us manage your calls so you can manage your business

You can easily manage the receptionist’s greeting, call transfer availability and message preferences in real-time, plus add additional staff of departments as contacts for transfers or messages, using our online client portal or mobile app (iPhone and Android).

Answering service add-ons

+ Phone numbers

Add multiple additional local numbers, 1800 numbers or 1300 numbers to the free local number you receive with your live call answering package.

+ Voicemail to email

Have voicemails instantly emailed to you both for convenience and to ensure no important communications are ever missed.

What our customers love

OfficeHQ have been very professional to work with … and recently they have been able to step in and save the day when other staff were sick with Covid.
Dr David Samra, Sport Medicine Specialist
We use this service as a small business owner for when we are away or overseas. They do an exceptional job and I know my clients are in the best hands.
Visashop
I can’t tell you how great it’s been to work with OfficeHQ. I can now actually go on vacation without worrying about answering the phone. Two big thumbs up!
Christian Sculthorp
No call or message is missed and our clients are connected to our team between the office or working from home, especially during a lockdown.
Chris Parker, Awaken
I used OfficeHQ’s virtual message service whilst I was away overseas in July 2023. OfficeHQ provided a fantastic, efficient, excellent service. Set up was fast and easy.
Rick Brell
They happily and professionally dealt with many of my calls when we were a little short-staffed. Great service.
Daniel Hillier
Great company … has been very handy for our small business especially with staff taking leave or when they are off sick. We switch it on and off as we require.
Paul Bowles
It’s such a bonus to be free of staffing headaches, such as when they call in sick. With OfficeHQ as part of our team, there is always someone available to answer calls.
Tom Anusic, HR National

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Want to try our call answering services for free?

Put Australia’s leading virtual receptionist solution to the test! We’re ready to answer your phone FREE for 7 days.

Want to try our call answering services for free?

Put Australia’s leading virtual receptionist solution to the test! We’re ready to answer your phone FREE for 7 days.

What does the free trial include?

Our free trial is based on our MyReceptionist service, with virtual receptionists able to take messages and transfer calls based on your availability settings.

short-term

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