Voicemail isn’t the communication catch-all it once was. People are abandoning their voicemail inboxes in their personal lives, with some admitting they haven’t checked their voicemail in a year or more and simply delete the notifications as they come in. When those voicemails are mostly non-urgent calls from friends, telemarketers, and maybe parents, ignoring voicemail entirely becomes easy.
In business, voicemail can serve a much different purpose and leave a lot more on the line. Potential customers and prospects may call to speak to a representative and instead be forced to choose between hanging up with no solution or leaving a message; if the representative doesn’t check the message or get back to the caller in a timely manner, the potential is lost.
Many business owners are deciding to dump voicemail for good to side-step this issue and make sure no leads are untended.
But in order to dump voicemail for good, you have to create a safety net of sorts for your callers to fall into should you be unable to answer the phone. Without voicemail there to “catch” your errant calls, you’ll need someone or something to take the messages your callers want to leave.
There are a few ways you can do this. We’ll talk about each in this post as we outline a simple way to dump voicemail for good.
How do I dump voicemail for good?
Getting rid of voicemail requires you to provide a way for callers to leave messages with their purpose for calling and contact details. If you try to abandon voicemail without providing this, you’ll end up losing more leads than ever. Don’t make that mistake! Here are a few keys to keep in mind before you dump voicemail for good.
Don’t direct your callers to email
It might seem like a natural way to catch the messages you aren’t available to receive, but directing your callers to email is on par with sending them to voicemail. Emails have a 6 hour average response time and only 22% actually get opened. Even fewer are replied to. This makes email a poor choice to direct your callers to when they have a message or question to address to you.
Work with virtual receptionists
Virtual receptionists negate the need for sending callers to voicemail because they are always there to answer the phone when it rings. The right virtual receptionist will be able to answer your phone from a remote location, offer a polite and custom greeting to your callers, provide basic customer service with your business information, schedule or change appointments, and deliver your messages to you via email or text message.
Follow J.P. Morgan and Coca-Cola’s lead
Both J.P. Morgan and Coca-Cola recently gave voicemail the axe. Callers are directed to call the employees’ mobile phone if the person doesn’t pick up the phone in an effort to improve communication and call-backs. “Coke says the savings will be less than $100,000 a year, but that the change will simplify and speed up work,” according to the Wall Street Journal. However, if you think you’ll miss some calls that come through to your mobile as well (or if you’re using your cell for business already), consider hiring a virtual receptionist to make sure those leads don’t unintentionally get lost.