You remember those commercial jingles from long ago, a chorus of peppy singers behind the TV screen? Typically it was for a product that could only be sold by phone, not in stores. They were so infectious that we couldn’t help but pick up that phone and dial that number, because we wanted what was being sold so badly that we were willing to sell our souls to the devil just to get it.
Okay, not many people these days are listening to their voicemails. The hustle and bustle of life has gotten so hectic, a businessperson could save 30 minutes a day from erasing every voicemail left on that day! How’s that for efficiency? Still, if you’re a small-business entrepreneur, you need to make sure you’re in contact with your clients. And that, unfortunately, means keeping an eye (actually an ear) on your messages. It’s absolutely crucial.
Clever, huh? That’s what IVR stands for, for me — Invaluable Viable Resource. No, really, it actually means “Interactive Voice Response.” What the heck do I know, right?
Hopefully, a lot — as this particular article’s going to tell you some of the logistic philosophy surrounding the concept of Interactive Voice Response within a company
A business litigation and IP firm based in downtown San Francisco, the ARI Law Group firm was using a dedicated in-building receptionist and a punch-key PBX system to communicate with clients. In a recent call with an attorney directory service, the rep from the directory informed one of the principals that they routinely received 3 to 5 calls per week from their sponsored listing, something the law firm was unaware of. This prompted a further investigation into the “client experience” as they phoned into the firm.
It appeared that after hours – before 9:00am and post 5:30pm – the receptionist would be absent and calls would go to voicemail after an average of 8 rings (approximately 32 seconds). As the firm had international clients, it was safe to assume that a number of calls throughout the early morning and night went to voicemail, where many callers simply hung up.
While recognizing the need to move to a more sophisticated business phone system, ARI Law faced a number of challenges often seen in professional services firms that occupy office space in a large commercial building downtown.
1) They required the use of their existing punch-key PBX phone system as it was the standard system within the entire building. It had outdated features and was old, but it was fixed throughout.
2) Desiring to answer each client call with the human touch, they required a tie-in service that would allow an answering service that was intimate with their business to be able to offer live call reception 24/7/365.
3) Because the nature of their business was law and that client calls had to have the utmost security, they wanted a system based on a wired business telephone system and not on VoIP.
With the Halloo system the ARI Law firm set up a unique local number for each of the several area codes within the Bay Area and Silicon Valley that they serviced. They then routed these numbers to their traditional office line, while being able to toggle to a live agent answering service during off hours.
They were also able to offer their clients the convenience of a single local number so that parties could join a conference call (often used in professional services) by pushing a number on their phone while calling into the normal office line.
Ali Aalaei, principal of ARI Law PC said, “Halloo provides our clients in the Bay Area and in Asia an incredibly accessible way to communicate with our team here in San Francisco and Orange County.”
Everybody knows who they are, but nobody is willing to say something to them. They are the employees who don’t work well with others and you wouldn’t dream of having them talk to a customer. But every once in awhile, you have no option but to ask them to be receptionist for a short time.
Makes me shudder when I think of a socially-challenged employee answering the phone. Remember Ghostbusters? Remember when Janine, already in a foul mood, picks up the phone and says “Ghostbusters, whaddaya want?”
Study shows that if you get a customer voicemail, you better call them back – fast.
A study conducted by Insidesales.com and MIT Lead Response Management indicates that response time is critical for the success of closing a sale. While the differentiation between B2B and B2C is clear, the overall trend is still startling for both types of sales. The sales leads call-back time study shows a lot of interesting stats and graphs, but the upshot of them is that –