Just for kicks, go to Google and type in “how to reach a live person.” One of the top listings shows “Phone numbers, shortcuts and customer service tips” — on a site called GetHuman.com. It made me smile.

A live receptionist is as “human” as you can get. If you can’t afford an onsite receptionist then try a virtual receptionist service. Many offer their services in Spanish as well as English.

We know what so many companies are finding out — people want to talk to people, not machines. And it helps if they speak the same language. When your customers call, they want a live person to answer the phone and talk with them. There is definately value in human interaction and a personal touch. It doesn’t matter whether their handling emergency calls or covering your office while you’re out to lunch, live receptionists care about your customers as much as you do, and are?dedicated to providing a professional, courteous service when you’re not there.

A machine never goes out of its way to calm someone down, get the right information or can’t determine just how urgent a call is. A live person, given the right training, can. A machine may very well make an upset customer irate or overwhelmed. A live person, given the right training, won’t.

If you want to get your company’s name off the GetHuman.com list — or ensure your business never makes the list — try a virtual receptionist service. You can “get human” in no time.

Frances Starr, Director of Sales & Marketing for Alert Communications. Alert Communications is a 24/7 bilingual inbound call center, specializing in professional attorney answering, virtual receptionist, Spanish answering and business answering solutions.