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Is it just me?

I recently had an ‘is it just me’ moment.  My ‘is it just me’ moment was about voicemail.  I really dislike voicemail, I don’t like leaving it and I don’t like recieving it.
I had to wonder if this was an irrational moment and whether anyone else felt the same way.  Research shows that only 1 in 5 people will leave voice mail  and the other 4 are unlikely to even call back on another ocassion.
So I started to ask people about their views on voice mail, on all aspects.

Leaving, recieving and retreiving.

I found that there was a reasonably even split in.

  • Hating to leave it
  • Love to recieve it
  • Hating all aspects of it.

(yes I know that hate is a strong emotion to relate to voicemail but I wanted to be true to the people I asked and if that is the way people genuinely feel then who am I to criticise)

Leaving voicemail rasied the following issues -:

  • Feeling nervous about what to say
  • Worrying about sounding silly
  • Apathy about actually getting a return call.

Loving receiving voicemail came up with the following -:

  • Feeling wanted or needed
  • The excitement of ‘It might be an order’

Hating all aspects of voicemail -:

  • The clarity of the message when retrieved.
  • Callers not leaving the information needed to be able to call back or deal with their requirement.
  • The pressure and stress that the blinking red light can cause.
  • The unknown element of what the caller wants or needs.
  • The possibility of an unhappy caller or a complaint, aggravated by having to leave voicemail.
  • Uncertainty of, if and when the voicmail gets listened to and actioned.
  • If the message retrieved is of such poor quality that a call back can’t be actioned, then there is a worry that the client feels ignored or neglected.
  • Hating being a slave to the technical master (in this case voicemail)

I want to speak to a real live person!

The overriding comment that most people made was:

‘I’d perfer to speak to someone (a real live person!)  to be sure the message gets dealt with’

As well as

‘Lots of calls, lots of message leaving can be both demoralising and frustrating’

We agree!

Voicemail can portray a mixed image of a business, some might think that you cannot cope with their business as you are just too busy.  Some might think your business is too small to cope, if your office can’t even answer the phone.

All customers want to speak to ‘someone’ a real live person that can listen and understand their wants and needs.

Even if the person they are calling cannot help immediately, they feel more confident they have been helped and that the right solution / relevant person will come back to them witht he inforation they need.

In terms of customer complaints, a customer situation where they are  forced to leave a voicemail can escalate the situation.  They may think you are avoiding them, or worse they may feel completely abandoned.  If they get to speak to someone (We like to think of the ‘someone’ as us, the Telephone Answering Service)  the customer can explain the situation, rant if they like, the situation can be somewhat difused and dealt with effectively as the main parts of the message are relayed and emotion in most cases is taken out of the equation. (By this I mean that if a customer complains to you the business owner it can be hard not to feel that you business (your baby) is not being attacked.)

So what are your thoughts on voicemail?  We don’t know about you but we are human beings and would rather interact with other human beings than a robotic machine who says it is taking my message. We’ve seen i Robot hmmm can we really trust the Robots?

So if you would rather that your customers had a fabulous experience everytime they call your business and you want to elimnate the need for them to speak to the robot then the team at www.answer-it.co.uk a professional telephone answering service (that offers more than just taking a message) can help you.

We’ll talk about auto attendants another day!