The good thing about telephony is you can talk with anyone anywhere in the world. The bad is that the person must be available when you call. If not, then what do you do? The answer is voicemail. First, you had the answering machine that responded to your call by playing a recorded message and invited you to leave a message. Voicemail systems evolved over the years. Today, you can exploit its possibilities to further your business at a low cost and with minimum effort. The internet and VoIP technologies make virtual voicemail systems for business phones a versatile outreach tool.
What is voicemail?
The simplest explanation is that voicemail is an audio recording of your message. A typical example is when you dial someone and you get an answering machine. You leave a voice message that can be termed as a voicemail. Today, you can extend this further. You can record your voice message and use your IVR in the IP PBX to send out the message to the target’s phone. You can store the voicemail on a server and you can use it as an attachment to an email. You can record one voice message and broadcast it to thousands of people in just seconds. In today’s smartphone culture you can have voicemail displayed in the same way as text messages, listen to them, store them in folders, or delete them. This is known as visual voicemail. Now that we have VoIP and internet-based communications you can make use of virtual voicemail systems for business phones. You can access your voicemail from anywhere through the internet or configure the system to route the voicemail to your mailbox. The software may include the facility to transcribe the voice to text so you can read it without having to listen to it. Likewise, you can use text to speech to convert text to voice and send it out.
How does it work?
Business users may look at professional VoIP service providers to set up a voicemail number. Once this is set up you can use smartphones to access voicemail and listen to them using the normal phone app. You set it up by navigating to settings, selecting voicemail, selecting your voicemail number, and tapping on OK.
For business phones within premises, you usually have voice mailbox linked to each extension. The caller can leave a message if the called party is not available and the message goes to the extension inbox. In such systems, you can set up the system to transfer calls to another extension.
If you have the proper system then you can convert voicemail to email. Messages that arrive in the phone extension’s voicemail box may be transferred to the user’s email address linked to the number. The system notifies the recipient of the arrival of a voicemail.
Voicemail in business campaigns
The preceding paragraphs show how voicemail system usually works on office phones and on smartphones. If you have hosted an IP PBX solution then you can set up a virtual voicemail system for business phones to let you access your voicemail regardless of where you are located.
For your business campaigns, you can use voicemail broadcast software as a low-cost, fast solution. Voice broadcast is somewhat different from voicemail but uses the basic principle.
Suppose you wish to conduct a sales campaign. You will delegate the task to one or more employees and let them start cold calling, working through a list of numbers. With a voicemail system, it is easy to automate the process.
- Link voicemail broadcast software to your phone list from the CRM and then to the IVR.
- Use text to speech to write messages and convert to voice.
- Schedule a time when you want messages to go out and then go about your work.
- The software automatically activates the IVR to dial and, on being connected, the voicemail is delivered to the target number, giving called party to respond. In this case, an agent on standby takes the call. Called party may press another key to indicate a desire to be called back. In that case, your CRM records the data and employees can dial the party for human interaction.
- One message goes out to hundreds of people within seconds.
You can use the voicemail system to good benefit since you may not be available on the phone but the voicemail tells you what the caller wanted to talk to you about and who it was. You can follow up and assure satisfaction. You can take it a step further with voice broadcast to run campaigns all the time. Either way, voice can be a powerful tool for your business with these voicemail tools.