Monday, May 4, 2015

Three Ways an Automated Voice Mail Service Can Save You Money

Efficiency is one of the most important building blocks of any business

Efficiency is one of the most important building blocks for the success of any business. Without it, time gets allocated towards non-productive efforts and important work goes undone or gets done at a higher cost. It's especially important for small businesses and the self employed, as their success lies upon the shoulders of very few people, or often just one individual.
Tools and technologies engineered to increase efficiency are invaluable and necessary for company growth. One tool that every small business should have is an automated voice mail service. Here are three ways an automated voice mail service can save a business a huge amount of time and money:
  • Having your calls answered by a “personal assistant” -- Self employed and small business owners often don't have the resources to hire a traditional personal assistant, or can’t justify having one full time. But that doesn't mean that small business owners can't benefit from the services of someone who professionally answers and routes calls. Rather than doing without these services, small business owners can get time saving benefits by acquiring a virtual phone number instead of having to hire an assistant. Professional voice mail does exactly this and more by answering all calls with a professional tone, providing callers with different extensions that help organize calls, and forwarding those callers to whichever numbers you like.
  • Screening your calls to make sure the right ones get to you, and the wrong ones don’t -- Knowing the difference between an important call from a client and a time-wasting call from a telemarketer can have a big impact on productivity. Caller ID often helps with this, but we all get calls from numbers we don’t recognize. With a virtual phone number service like Global Call Forwarding, callers announce themselves at the beginning of each call. Based upon who’s calling, you can decide to take the call or send it to voicemail.
  • Voicemail to text transcriptions -- It is inevitable that calls from important potential and existing clients will come when you least expect them. As a result, they will have to leave a voicemail. Since there are many times when you simply can't afford to log into your voicemail system and listen to those messages, it can be beneficial to read each message as soon as you get it. eVoice helps you save valuable time by transcribing every voicemail and sending it as a text message and/or email. This way, you always get the chance to see what those important voicemails contain as soon as they arrive.
A voice mail system offers that efficiency needed to save time and money, and in turn, promote growth.

How does an After Hours Greeting work?

Another new feature recently announced for Voicemail is an After Hours Greeting. Just like having the ability to add a Call Scheduler, the After Hours Greeting is another highly requested customer feature.

How does the After Hours Greeting work? Well a customer now has the option to set their "Business Hours". When a customer calls your number during business hours they will hear the normal Auto Attendant greeting. When someone calls after the set business hours they will hear a separate greeting that we refer to as the After Hours Greeting.

For example, let's say your business is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. Once you set those hours in your account, you will then be prompted to write your greeting script. So you can say something like...

"Thank you for calling My Company. Unfortunately, the office is closed. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Please press 0 to leave a message and someone will return your call during normal business hours."Once you complete the message setup, the changes will be processed immediately and callers to your call forwarding number will be handled by your virtual assistant. Don't worry, the current Auto Attendant greeting will still play and your After Hours Greeting will only play outside of your business hours.

Not only will this feature make your business look more professional, it will also help keep your callers more informed. Now you can let your callers know why you're not answering their calls and hopefully avoid the angry calls of customers not being able to reach you or leaving multiple messages when your business is closed.

With the After Hours Greeting, we offer three different types of greetings for you to chose from. When submitting your greeting you have to the option for your greeting to be read using our automated voice or have the greeting recorded by our professional voice talent (additional fees apply). Or if you have a message that you have already recorded, you can upload the message through the customer interface as long as it is in WAV or MP3 format.

In order to activate this feature, all you need to do is log into your account and click the "Add After Hours Schedule & Greeting" on the Manage Attendant page. From there you will be walked through on setting up your business hours and greetings!

What are some other features that you would like for your toll free number service or your online voicemail? We'd love to hear your feedback!

How is an Automated Voice Mail Service Different from free services like Google Voice?

Recently someone asked this question on Quora. "How is eVoice different from Google Voice? It looks like eVoice just wants to charge people for a service Google is providing for free. What have I missed?"

Below are some of what we consider to be the key differences between eVoice (an Automated Voice Mail Service) and Google Voice. All of which, we believe, make it a better choice for businesses. Here are the main differences in our core features.
  1. Automated Voice Mail Service provides live customer support 24/7, Google Voice does not.
  2. Automated Voice Mail Service provides access to toll free numbers and local numbers, and the ability to have multiple numbers on a single account. Google Voice does not.
  3. Automated Voice Mail Service provides multiple extensions, and multiple users on a single account. Google Voice does not.
  4. Automated Voice Mail Service provides customized, professionally recorded greetings. Google Voice only allows computerized greetings.
  5. Automated Voice Mail Service provides an auto-attendant with a dial by name directory. (press 1 for sales, press 2 for billing, press 302 for the John Doe) Google Voice does not.
In the end, Google Voice is really designed more for individual users - an Automated Call Forwarding Service with Voice Mail is designed for both individuals and small businesses. When dealing with something as critical as your business communications, you need the reliability and security that comes with a business product.