Voice Mail…a Love/Hate Relationship

Even though we all claim to hate voice mail, let’s face it, there are times we actually like it.

How about when you really don’t want to have to explain why you are cancelling that appointment for the estimate? You call at 8pm and hope for a voice mail to collect your message.

Answering Service

What about the time you had to take measurements of 3 windows and call your contractor? Weren’t you hoping you could just leave your message in voice mail instead of dealing with his wife that answers the phone for him?

Or maybe it was the time you left a message with the receptionist for a local business and had to condense it to make it manageable for her to convey? You wished you could have just left the entire 4 minute message in voice mail because you would have been able to say everything you wanted to say.

And – from the flip side – if you are the recipient of the messages, you can like it also.

How about the time the irate client called because you missed an appointment with them? You got to listen to their message and formulate a response before actually speaking to them.

It’s a beautiful thing when the woman down the street calls and you can let the voice mail pick up. She can leave her rambling message in it and you can listen to it later as you do other work.

Having voice mail answer all of the ‘junk calls’ that are made every day is an incredible time and frustration saver. It’s so easy to just press the delete key.

Our company specializes in live operator services but, even though our staff is our most valuable resource, there are times when it just makes more sense to use voice mail. As a business person, there is never an easy answer to this dilemma because, as we all know, there will always be times when voice mail is just not enough.

Your caller’s perception of your business is a critical element of decisions they will make about your business and whether they want to begin or continue their relationship with you. It is important to realize that a consumer’s perception begins even before the phone is answered. We tend to be impatient people and have become very used to instant gratification. If the phone rings too many times before it is picked up, a caller may simply hang up. ‘Back in the day’ we were told to leave the phone ring 10 times…today, we think 5 rings with no answer is too long!

Many people tend to think of customer service as how we treat the person during and after they are in our business or we have provided the service. Not so! The customer (or customer-wanna-be) experience begins while the phone is ringing or the person is walking into our business. Since I am ‘all about phones’, I will help you think through that issue for your business.

Deb Crown

Deb Crown

About Deb Crown

Towne Answering Service was established in 1968 to provide answering services for medical and commercial clients in the southeastern Pennsylvania area. Utilizing the best technology available at the time (the time was 1968 and the technology was a switchboard), Towne was able to establish a very faithful clientele, the majority of whom are still with us today. As time passed and technology advanced, so did the equipment. The answering service equipment evolved from switchboards to a basic computerized system with handwritten messages. From that, we were able to move to a fully computerized, paperless, state-of-the-art messaging system with digital lines and switching and were able to partner with our clients and provide a higher level of service.