Once upon a time, a thing called voicemail arrived on the scene — and it was great. Callers and recipients loved the convenience, the efficiency, and the results. Voicemail could do no wrong.
Well, things have changed since then.
These days, voicemail is generally regarded as a necessary evil; or by some people (especially millennials) as an outright evil. Instead of feeling glad that they’re being asked to leave a message, they feel frustrated, offended and insulted.
What went wrong? How did voicemail go from being loved to loathed? Basically, it’s because businesses stopped using voicemail as a way to connect with callers. Instead, they started using voicemail as a filtering system that hurled callers into the abyss, never quite believing that “their call is very important” or that the intended recipient was “sorry” to be away from their desk (or even away from their desk at all!).
Yet despite this, the message here isn’t to banish voicemail from the communication landscape. Rather, it’s that your business needs to make voicemail work FOR you instead of AGAINST you. To that end, here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
- Minimize the volume of calls going to voicemail by implementing a hosted VoIP phone system, which features call forwarding, call routing, ring groups (multiple phones ring at the same time) and hunt groups (multiple phones ring in succession).
- Go a step further by implementing a hosted VoIP call center to handle after-hours calls. Contact center staff can be located anywhere, including home offices in different time zones.
- Use the voicemail-to-email feature of a hosted VoIP phone system to pick-up voicemails on-the-go. This not only increases response times, but it makes it easy for your employees to forward voicemail messages.
- When recording a voicemail greeting, make sure that all of your employees checks these boxes:
- Updated: nothing aggravates callers more than a voicemail greeting that is out-of-date!
- Warm and welcoming: smiling when recording a greeting really makes a positive difference to tone, tenor and pace.
- Informative: make sure callers clearly understand their options (e.g. they can press ‘0’ to speak with a CSR, press “*” to skip the voicemail greeting, etc.).
- Resolution: provide an estimated timeframe for returning the call.
- Short: keep voicemail greetings as short as possible (but not too short that it’s cryptic or missing key information).
- Clear: listen to greetings and confirm clarity (pay particular attention to any possible background noise).
And last but not least…
- RESPOND PROMPTLY TO VOICEMAILS! This cannot be emphasized enough, especially for sales teams. Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
Ready to make voicemail an asset in your business instead of a liability? Contact us today at (336) 544-4000, and schedule your free guided demo of our hosted VoIP phone system solution. We can connect with you in person at your office, or via the web.