When you’re in a meeting, on vacation, or any time your receptionist needs to take a message, which creates a better experience for your clients: Voicemail, a written message, or a choice between the two? The answer: Whichever option ensures a faster reply from you! Clients call because — you guessed it! — they want to talk, and the sooner they hear from you, the happier they’ll be.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your preferred message option:
Accessibility. Is it easier for you to listen to messages while you’re on the go, or read them? Consider where you’re likely to be when you’re not able to take calls. If you’re often in court, for example, you may not have the chance to listen to voicemail, but you may be able to access your email and discreetly check for new messages.
Detail. Voicemail allows people to talk candidly and directly to you, so if you value that openness, voicemail might be best. On the other hand, if it’s best for callers to leave a key piece of information with most messages, such as an case number, a receptionist can gather and confirm that info each time, whereas folks may forget to leave it on voicemail, even if your outgoing message includes a reminder.
Storage. Generally, an email will stick around as long as you want it to. Sorting and searching is also a snap with email, so it’s a great way to go if you’d like to archive emails and/or drop them in a customer’s file.
Finding an old voicemail, on the other hand, isn’t always easy. If keeping old messages is important to you, check out your voicemail system specifications, as many systems delete old messages automatically after a certain period of time. (Ruby clients get the best of both worlds — our virtual receptionists can email written messages to clients, and we email .wav files of all client voicemail messages, so both are easy to save for as long as desired.)
Your habits. If you check your email every other minute, but just plain hate listening to voicemail, written messages are clearly the way to go. A good receptionist will happily steer callers in the direction that works best for you.
Still not sure? Let your callers choose! If neither route stands out as a clear winner, ask your receptionist to leave the choice in the caller’s court with a friendly phrase like “She’s away from the phone at the moment, but I’d be happy to take a message or offer you voicemail!”
Love to hate voicemail? Think written messages are dreamy? Share what method you prefer and why with us on Twitter, @callruby!