The prospect of missing out on a potentially lucrative call might fill you with dread, but it’s an all-too-common possibility in the business world. After all, running a business right around the clock isn’t practically possible – or, at least, pain-free – in many cases.
However, when you have to leave the phone alone, whether to pay attention at a business conference or just wind down in the evening, here are ways to ensure that it still gets answered.
The voicemail of reason
Naturally, when someone is trying to call at a time inconvenient to you, your voicemail could soon kick in. However, your company’s current voicemail system might still have its default greeting or one that you recorded in a sloppy, less-than-professional fashion.
Fortunately, making a better impression could just depend on you re-recording the greeting, as HubSpot writer Aja Frost makes clear. You could even take this a step further by switching your voicemail system to a new provider – one that lets you fully unleash the functionality of voicemail.
Consider the example of Planet Numbers, one provider which has added a range of impressive features to its voicemail package. Those features include the firm’s“Professional Time of Day Voicemail” service, whereby the greeting can depend on what time of day it is sent out.
The personal touch of an answering service
One lingering risk of relying too much on voicemail is that it can seem too impersonal. After all, if someone has been driven to reach out to your business, this will be for a specific reason. They might want to learn more about your services or obtain technical support for a product you have previously supplied to them. Either way, receiving a voicemail message could frustrate them.
As it isn’t entirely out of the question that a caller might decide against leaving a voicemail message, even when prompted to do so, setting up an answering service could be a wise move for you. In this way, you can arrange for professional operators outside your firm to answer calls on its behalf.
When one of these operators answers the phone, they can effectively act as a member of your team by uttering exactly what you have specified beforehand. They can then transfer the call to another line – particularly useful if you are out of the office – or email or text a message they are provided with.
Another key merit of business telephone answering services is the flexibility with which it can be implemented. Planet Numbers, for example, would let you take out a rolling contract for its answering service or instead dip into it for just a month at a time, such as when calls outstrip your capacity to take them.
Drawing upon an answering service relieves you of having to compromise a healthy balance between work and life. This is an advantage highlighted by Entrepreneur writer James Parsons, who notes that the service only needs “to scoop up the potential leads you would otherwise miss” – you don’t need it to replace your sales team.