The advancement of computer technology in the 1970s resulted in the development of what we now know as Voicemail. At the peak of its popularity, almost every phone line was sold with voicemail service included.
Voicemail provides 24/7 service to employees and customers and is an integral part of running a business. It allows your business to never miss a call, as well as handle call overflow when there are more calls than the receptionist can handle. One other value of voicemail is the ability to utilize in conjunction with a call center where customers in a queue are given the option to leave a message and have someone call them back. Agents retrieve the messages from the 'queue mailbox' and then contact the customers.
There are times when a business or its employees might overuse or misuse voicemail and subsequently result in backlash from customers that find it frustrating leaving messages or never getting a call back. The problem may not be with the voicemail service itself, but rather how we use it effectively for our business.
In present society, almost everyone has a smart phone and can be reached instantly either by voice calls, text messages or using apps like; WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype or Messenger. As an individual, these technologies are effective to allow someone to contact you quickly and efficiently. However as a business, these technologies do not always work well.
Cell phones run on a public network and are not always practical in a business environment, especially when sensitive information is being shared. There are other business grade Unified Communication applications like Microsoft’s Skype for Business or E-MetroTel’s Infinity One Chat, but many aspects of the business world still need voicemail as a way of personalizing the messages they have for their staff and customers.
Finally, voicemail is sort of your last line of defense in terms of customer service. If voicemail is eliminated from business completely, firms run the risk of losing valuable customers when calls are left to ring endlessly.
Another less common feature is voicemail escalation. A business can deploy a monitored voicemail box that allows customers to leave voice messages. When a message is left in the mailbox, the system initiates a call to the contact person and will continuously repeat the call after a specified period until the contact person retrieves the message. This is especially useful for an after-hours service or support line for a business. I have personally experienced this service with my dentist on a weekend and I was very impressed when the dentist called back within 10 minutes.
In summary, voicemail is still a valuable feature to phone system users and a business can gain tremendous benefits when the feature is used properly. Instead of eliminating voicemail completely, use it in conjunction with other features to maximize efficiency of your workforce and to ensure your business never misses a call.