Should Your Business Eliminate Voicemail

 

According to Gigaom, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) emerged when Israeli businessmen Lior Haramaty and Alon Cohen helped invent a type of audio transceiver to make the technology possible. By 1996, their company, VocalTec, became one of the first successful companies to offer VoIP and ushered in a new mainstream in communication.

In its humble beginnings, VoIP was considered a little clunky and unreliable, and had a questionable future. Today, VoIP offers a range of sophisticated services from the ability to conference, provide unified messaging between voicemail and transcription to email and can even play a pre-recorded message to callers on hold. Some businesses are even eliminating traditional voicemail altogether in favor of VoIP or similar products and services. But is it worth it? Here’s a closer look at what VoIP offers and whether your business should ditch voicemail.

VoIP Can Cut Costs

According to Cisco, switching to VoIP and IP phone systems saved one medical practice over $1,000 a month in phone bills. But there were also other cost reductions associated with the move. Switching to VoIP trimmed some of the overhead needs like employing extra staff to handle rolling calls. VoIP allows users to set parameters for when a phone is picked up. For example, after three rings, an auto-attendant with a prerecorded message can pick up and address customers to next steps. The medical practice also saw a spike in productivity once they switched to IP phones.

Trending Omnichannel Support

Omnichannel support is often hailed as a way to revolutionize the customer service experience. But it’s also a way for businesses to compete while downsizing their voicemail and traditional communication methods. Omnichannel support encompasses everything from online chat, FAQ self-service, email and voice support that can encompass VoIP technology. While voicemail can only capture one-time information, omnichannel support can carry on a consistent conversation from channel to channel. Businesses can stay on top of their communications while offering customers what they really want in the first place — service.

Rise of Call Centers

According to a recent Forbes article, up to 80 percent of people hang up before leaving a voicemail because they don’t believe it will be heard. This is bad news for businesses who rely on inbound calls to finalize sales. But it’s also understandable when checking voicemail requires several steps. Meanwhile, email and text is nearly instantaneous.

But that doesn’t mean phone is dead. It just means a live person should be on the other end of the phone to get the information needed. Usher in the rise of cloud-based and VoIP call centers. A person answering the phone can make an impression on customers, get the information they need and resolve issues or let them know next steps in getting a resolution. Hire a call center to do everything, from making appointments to taking messages, and have all messages come through a few times a day to streamline your communications.

VoIP Voicemail Transcription

In its infancy, VoIP offered alternatives to standard landlines and simplified the process to make calls right from your computer. Today, VoIP has become more sophisticated and offers voice-to-text translations. Now you can receive your voicemail as texts and emails so you don’t have to interrupt meetings. Different services offer varying degrees of success with voicemail transcriptions. Users report that Google Voice is average at best, while other premium services fair better.

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