When it was invented in the 1980s, the answerphone became a hugely celebrated addition to the telephone. The idea of leaving a recipient a message even when they weren’t available to answer the phone seemed incredible, and it wasn’t long before people all over the world were using answerphones in their daily lives. Next came the option to use voicemail on your mobile phone, allowing people to leave and listen to messages wherever they were.
Our constant search for convenience may have been what led to the rise of the answerphone, however it has also become its downfall. Today people don’t want to stand around listening to voicemails, and also don’t need to! It is often quicker and easier to send a text message than to give someone a call, especially since so many of us communicate on the go. For instance, if you’re on a busy train during your morning commute, speaking on the telephone might not be socially appropriate or even manageable.
Despite this, telephone calls are still hugely popular in the workplace. Whether you’re a company CEO discussing a business deal or a customer calling to make a complaint, it would be practically impossible to get through daily work life without the use of the telephone. Within a professional environment speaking to someone over the phone is often preferred to communicating via long email chains, and is likely to be more convenient, less time-consuming, and much more personable.
Good telephone etiquette is therefore fundamental to any successful business. If you were to phone a company with a rude receptionist, you are probably likely to form a negative perception of them from the start. Equally, if a business doesn’t answer your calls, you’re unlikely to phone them again. Although you may have the option to leave a voicemail, you’re probably more inclined to just cancel the call.
For big businesses, the answerphone function is relatively futile; it would be a waste of time and effort for the company to listen and reply to a list of individual messages, and the customer’s query may not be relevant by the time they do. Voicemail messages may still be useful for small and medium enterprises, but only if your staff are on the ball and can reply to them as quickly as possible. Leaving messages unanswered will not only make your company seem highly unprofessional, but could be the difference between losing and gaining a customer.
If you often find your callers being directed to voicemail, it may be time to invest in professional receptionist services. For instance, implementing a message taking or overflow call handling service could help your company maintain a positive reputation and ensure that you never miss a call.
If you think you could benefit from such services, contact us on 01202 653001 to see how we could help you.