Communication, Beyond Voicemail

by NEIL DENNIS - Date: 2009-02-13 - Word Count: 572 Share This!

Love it or hate is voicemail is here to stay, but how can voicemail help improve business processes and enhance customer experience? Voicemail is more than just a simple messaging service attached to your office phone system as it was 10 years ago. Now we can automate processes, provide intelligent queuing and integrated voice response (IVR).

The Basics

Voicemail systems vary greatly depending on the telephone system you have. Most systems have a couple of options when it comes to Voicemail systems. A simple system that will intercept a call after a predefined period of time that will give the caller a greeting and the option to leave a message. The second type is a more complex system that offers features to improve productivity, increase sales and enhance customer experience. So how can voicemail improve your business processes?

Automated Attendant

How much time is spent directing calls to the correct person or department in your business? Using a phone system this process can be streamlined to give the customer a better service by using an automated attendant to direct calls to the correct department. When a customer calls a pre-recorded message will welcome the customer and ask them the nature of their call, that call can then be directed to the correct department. Some voicemail systems will allow each individual user to have their own personal automated attendant which enables callers to be redirected to another number if the person they want to speak to is busy or away from their desk.

Intelligent Queuing

For businesses with a lot of incoming calls or businesses that are periodically busy e.g. seasonal business, catalogue releases, special offers etc, there may be occasions when there are more calls coming in that people to take them. Each lost call can cost your business money in the short term and customer loyalty in the long term.

If you went to buy a paper and there was a long queue you may decide not to wait, however if there is a short queue you will probably wait your turn to pay. When a customer can’t see the length of the queue they will assume the queue is long. However if a customer can be reassured that you are working hard to service their call and you can tell that customer where they are in a queue and the average time they have to wait they are more likely to stay on the line.

Text to Speech

When you’re working out of the office with no access to your email it can be difficult to service the needs of your customers. Blackberry’s can get expensive and when you are in the car you still have to pull over to read your messages. By using Avaya’s Voicemail Pro application with Text to speech enable you can ask your voicemail to read your emails to you by saying “read my email”. You can then speak commands to the application such as delete, next, forward and reply. When you reply to an email the application will record your voice and attach it as a WAV file to an email. IVR

Are you paying your skilled workers to complete simple everyday processes such as a request for a brochure or ordering tickets? If you have a database that is ODBC compliant and most are, then simple processes could be automated to save you time and money and offer customers a 24/7 service.

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