When a client calls and you’re not available, its important to know what they might prefer as far as leaving a message goes. Sometimes, there isn’t an option and its either a written message or a voicemail. Let’s take a look at the positive and the negative of both.
Leaving a Voicemail
There are many benefits to leaving a voicemail. First, your client gets to talk and formulate the message the way they prefer. Second, they can say far more than most receptionists can take down in a written message. Third, they may feel like this is a more direct connection with you. Finally, it provides openness for the client when they talk to you.
Along with benefits of a voicemail for the client, there are a few benefits for you, as well. When somebody leaves you a voicemail, you will be notified and can check it when you get a chance. You will also have the ability to jot down important notes from their message so that you know what you’re dealing with when you call them back.
Even though there are many benefits to leaving a voicemail, there are also a few disadvantages. When a client is transferred to a voicemail box, there’s the chance it will be full and they don’t get to leave a message. If a message is left but you forget to check it, the client can easily feel like you don’t care.
Along with disadvantages for the clients, you may not be able to listen to a voicemail immediately due to your circumstances. The longer it waits, the longer the client waits and the more they will feel like their call wasn’t important.
These are just a few benefits and disadvantages to receiving voicemails for both you and the client.
Leaving a Written Message
When a receptionist takes a written message, it provides many benefits including:
- The ability to help the client with at least part of the call – For example, if a client leaves a case number with the receptionist; this person can look up the information and have it ready for you when you’re available to call them back.
- The receptionist can shoot you an email about the message – If you’re often in situations where you cannot listen to a voicemail, but you can discreetly check your email, this may be a huge benefit.
- Somebody else knows the client called and can remind you, if necessary – Voicemails can quickly become forgotten and ignored, but if someone else knows an important client called, they can remind you to call them back.
Many other benefits come from written messages, especially if you’re in the habit of checking your email often but don’t enjoy checking your voicemail.
There are also a few significant disadvantages to written messages including:
- Receptionist could miss important details, which you could repeat when you replay a voicemail.
- Messages could end up lost or not given by the receptionist, if there’s a high volume of calls and messages.
- If you prefer to hear what the client has to say instead of trusting a receptionist to deliver the right message, a written message may not be a good thing for you.
Many benefits and disadvantages exist for written messages and these are just a few.
Which is Right for You?
Often, you don’t want to choose between having clients leave a written message or a voicemail. It may be better to let the client choose.
When you hire a virtual receptionist, you should get the option to allow the client to leave you a voicemail or a written message, which can then be emailed to you. Even with a voicemail, your virtual receptionist should have the ability to transcribe the information into an email or at least send a .wav file via email to you.
Whether you prefer voicemail or written messages, you should get the choice to use both or one of the two. Make sure the virtual receptionists you hire allow you to make this choice. Keep in mind, it may be best to let each individual client choose which way they would prefer to leave a message for you.