Voicemail systems provide an answer phone facility for some or all of your team’s internal office phones. They ensure you can communicate effectively without relying on other people to take a message; an invaluable system for many businesses today.
Voicemail notification has evolved in recent years and you can now receive an email notification with a WAV file whenever a voicemail message is left. If you use mobile email devices such as a Blackberry or iPhone then it is possible to have your office telephone messages delivered automatically to your mobile via the e-mail client.
Beware of placing callers in “voicemail jail” as this can result in lost business when customers cannot get through to speak to a real person. It is possible to put a system in place to ensure callers have the option to speak to another member of the team as opposed to being forced to leave a message.
Remember to consider the total number of voicemail users on your system so that you have adequate system resources in place. We would also recommend using voicemail if you have a direct dial number.
Call queuing announcements ensure all calls are answered automatically with an initial announcement greeting. This is useful as people start to wonder if a call will be answered after six ring cycles, which is approximately 28 seconds. It is a very effective way of answering a caller who may have been thinking of “hanging up”. You can route the call to a team member after the announcement by increasing the caller priority and notifying more staff of the call. You do need to ensure you have enough staff to handle all calls at peak times as you do not want to leave customers listening to rolling announcements over and over.
An automated attendant system answers all calls on your chosen number of rings and plays a pre-recorded announcement giving the caller the option to dial for a specific department or hold for reception. These systems are an ideal way of reducing call volumes to your main reception and improving your service level – callers are able to contact the department they need or speak to reception much quicker.
There are many flexible options for call routing using automated attendants for example the ability to route callers to staff members’ mobile telephones for an “out of hours” service. Make sure you don’t set up an overcomplicated system. Most callers are happy to make one of two key presses but then they expect to be answered quickly by the relevant team member.