Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems such as Salesforce.com have become the defacto sales and support tool for large enterprise and government organizations worldwide. The idea is pretty simple: manage your business interactions in a central database so that your sales and support organization can leverage that knowledge for increased sales and more effective customer service.
As the demand for toll-free numbers has grown, the combinations available with the 800 prefix have dwindled. To keep pace, several new prefixes were added to the mix. Now, numbers with 888, 877, 866, 855 are also toll-free. Even with these, many of the desirable 7-digit combinations for vanity numbers using these prefixes are taken.
The year was 1967. The Doors released their self-titled debut album, Louis Leaky announced the discovery of pre-human fossils in Kenya, the Vietnam War raged, and NASA launched the first Saturn V rocket into orbit.
It was also the year that AT&T launched the “inward WATS,” or Wide Area Telecommunications Service, better known as “toll-free” telephone service. INWATS was introduced to reduce the time spent by operators processing toll-collect calls for businesses. Back then, long distance calls were expensive and businesses quickly seized the opportunity to use the service to provide superior customer experiences. The oldest and most well-known of the toll-free area codes in the United States, “800,” was the “.com” calling card for successful businesses.
Are your customers getting frustrated and hanging up before leaving a message or listening to the options? Your company’s auto answer features might be driving them away.
Often, small business owners set up their auto attendant with options like: Press  for Suzy, the President, Press  for Mike in Marketing, Press  for Mary in Accounting…Press  for Jake.
Sally wants to return a shirt that doesn’t fit. She calls your company during her lunch break (which also happens to be yours) and is greeted by your generic voice mail. Sally lacks the patience to wait for the option directing her to the returns department, so she hangs up.
Customers that have to repeatedly call to find answers get frustrated, particularly if they have a simple need, such as a mailing address or hours of operation. Solving a customer’s issue on the first call can build higher levels of customer loyalty, reduce aggravation, and lead to time and money savings.
What does your company do when a customer doesn’t want to leave a message? Losing potential touch points with customers can come with a high cost. By using features included in a cloud phone system, you can overcome some of the barriers keeping you from communicating with your customers.
According to recent studies, nearly 4 out of 5 people calling into a small business who get voice mail do not leave a message. And it’s likely that this trend will only increase in the era of text and instant messaging features built into smart-phones.