Voicemail is a method of storing voice messages electronically for later retrieval by intended recipients. Callers leave short messages that are stored on digital media (or, in some older systems, on analog recording tape).
Voice Mail is a 24-hour universally accessible voice messaging service. It will answer your telephone calls and allow callers to leave messages when you are unable to take calls.
By Tongai Mwenje
Originally, voicemail was developed for telephony as a means to prevent missed calls, and also to facilitate call screening. In recent years, voicemail has become integrated with the Internet, allowing users to receive incoming messages on traditional computers as well as on tablets and mobile phones.
Recently, Econet Wireless got a whip from various subscribers for its voice-mail service activation. Most subscribers accused the mobile network operator of treacherous activities. Before consumers run their mouth out, they first need to understand the technology behind voice mail service, the implication of the service to both customers and network provider.
Voicemail, like other communication technologies, can be a boon to productivity or a center of inefficiency for a business. There is almost no doubt that you will wish to use voice mail in some ways — unless your business eschews telephones entirely — but the proper application of voicemail will determine its usefulness.
One particularly interesting development is the integration of voicemail with e-mail.
Google Voice, for example, can translate voice messages into text for viewing on mobile and tablet devices. Google Voice also allows free or low-cost worldwide texting. Users can set up custom greetings for various callers. Address books can be shared across multiple platforms such as e-mail, a landline phone, and a mobile phone. Google Voice and similar applications work in effect like voice-enabled e-mail in reverse.
Microsoft Exchange is a popular platform for voicemail with desktop and notebook computers. Users can play their voicemail messages either as audio (MP3) or as text. In order to play a voicemail or read it as text, the user simply clicks on an inbox item, just as would be done with an ordinary e-mail message.
Proponents of voicemail-to-text, voice-enabled e-mail, and unified messaging assert that these applications have largely dissolved the barriers between data networks and traditional voice networks.
Voicemail systems allow businesses to efficiently route phone calls — but your customers may not see efficiency in the same way your business does. When your customer must spend time navigating your voice mail system only to be told that she will receive a call back “as soon as possible,” the message is sent that your employees’ time is more valuable than your customers. On the other hand, voice mail systems are far cheaper than the labor necessary to ensure that all incoming calls are answered by a human being.
Determine the amount of incoming call volume you expect from any marketing or sales endeavor your business undertakes, and what immediate presentation should be offered to the customer when he calls. When an incoming call is likely to be a customer ready to make a purchase, a salesperson should handle those calls to avoid losing sales. A similar argument holds true for incoming support calls for past sales, as your future relationship with the customer may be at stake.
A well-implemented voicemail system can provide benefits to the customer and the business. Customers should be provided with the option to immediately leave a message at any time, rather than wait on hold or be forced to navigate the system. This demonstrates a respect for the value of her time — provided, of course, that their message gets to the right person regardless, and receives a prompt reply. This efficiency allows you to lower your staff expenses while maintaining customer satisfaction.