Should your company ditch voicemail?
While some businesses have forced their clientele to communicate with them solely via text (email, web chat) not every business can or should risk following suit. The generalization that “no one checks voicemail” (The Case for Clipping the landlines, Canadian Business Magazine, March 2015) overlooks the fact that all current generation voice messaging systems deliver voicemail to the email inbox, even to your smart phone so you can listen to it, save it for later, forward to a co-worker to handle, and/or archive it to the appropriate folder on your company server.
A service focused culture succeeds when staffs provide timely response via the mode that is most relevant to the client’s situation and preferences. For those of us who are in sales and/or service based businesses giving our clientele optional paths of communication with us helps protect brand loyalty.
True, many of us are getting fewer voice messages and more emails, way more emails! Finding out if we are subscribing to more telephone lines than we need requires periodic traffic studies (from your telco carrier) as well as reviewing the call routing data captured by your phone/voicemail system (if supported). You may find a shift from the traditional telephone trunk line to increased data bandwidth is practical. But let’s keep in mind that the mobile phone, SKYPE and/or SIP trunking are still channels for real-time voice communication.
In a move to save or redirect operating costs, what are some negatives of ditching voice communication altogether and forcing our customers and staff into text-centric communication? The annoying “This voice mailbox is full” has simply shifted to overflowing email inboxes, messages “falling off the screen” and in many cases hasn’t improved our efficiency or effectiveness. If your business model and bottom line depends on delivering goods and services, checking your email inbox just once or twice per day may be risky.
Further adding to the risks of “text-centric” communications are the incidents of misunderstandings or resentments as a result of what I call “electronic ping-pong”. Many workers accumulate hours trying to craft tactful and concise email correspondence and sometimes fail, despite their best intentions. Emails from customers can be ambiguous or misunderstood. All of these scenarios add up to the squandering of time and good will. Would the option of leaving or receiving a simple voice mail convey clarity, emotional tone and ultimately reduce time, improve relationships and help reinforce your brand? If your answer is “yes”, it’s not yet time to ditch your voicemail but it could be time to upgrade and unify your voice and text communications applications. Optinet can help with that, get in touch today ☺.