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Voicemail Hacks for a Better Start to Your Workday

By Dennis Peng|Tuesday November 27, 2018

Every morning when you arrive at work, you’re faced with the seemingly archaic process of listening to voicemails, and you may often find yourself replaying messages several times in order to get all the details. Who has time for that?

The Harvard Business Review commented on voicemail, saying, “There’s not a Fortune 2000 enterprise worldwide that wouldn’t enjoy a healthy productivity jolt by ridding itself of this tool that’s degenerated into [a] handicap.”

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Luckily, it’s no longer necessary to start your workday by testing your patience or wasting time. Learn about the advanced voicemail features offered through Ooma Office business phone systems.

Is There a Better Alternative to Voicemail?

Voicemail is still a necessary part of business communications. Whatever your target market, there’s no avoiding this critical communication tool. After all, voicemails are an easy way for customers, business partners, and colleagues to state their questions, issues, or requests.

However, the productivity problem with voicemails occurs during the retrieval process.

As Motherboard explains, “In an age when anything slower than instantaneous is unacceptable, being forced to dial into a voicemail service, poke in a passcode, select the option to listen to your new voicemail, and then actually listen to the – likely unnecessary, redundant, and lengthy – message is acute attention torture. It’s a four-step, multi-minute long process emotionally equivalent only to having to endure a full 30-second ad before a YouTube video or watching your Dad clip his toenails over the toilet.”

If this sounds familiar, your business may benefit from one of these advanced voicemail tools.

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Easier Access to Voicemail

With Ooma Office phone service, you have several ways to access your voicemail. Traditional methods include dialing into voicemail from your Ooma Office phone, an outside line, or through your business’ virtual receptionist.

However, dialing into voicemail can be more cumbersome than you’d prefer.

That’s why all users can listen to voicemail via email. When voicemails are emailed as an mp3 file, you have complete control over the audio, which can help you improve your business productivity.

Productivity Hacks When Using MP3 Voicemail

  • Fast-forward through the audio track to hear only the callback number
  • Get clarity by repeating only a section of the message instead of the whole thing
  • Forward voicemail emails to coworkers
  • Save time by eliminating voicemail logins and PINs
  • File the audio tracks with client records to document interactions

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Better Voicemail Inbox Management

However, listening to voicemail by dialing in or via email aren’t your only options.

When using the Ooma Office mobile app, you also have one-touch access to your voicemail, making it easy to listen to messages and return calls no matter where you are.

Additionally, the mobile app gives you powerful tools to manage your voicemail inbox. Prioritize your communications by tapping on the message you want to listen to instead of cycling chronologically through all your messages. Using the app, managing voicemails becomes similar to how you manage emails.

Find out how your business can be more productive by using the advanced voicemail functions of Ooma Office phone service.

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Loyal customers are critical to business success because they tend to be a source of repeat business. According to The Loyalty Report 2018, “Loyalty programs that establish positive emotional connections with Members see 27% more of their Membership increasing their spend with the Brand.” This research tells us that building customer loyalty can lead to more spending.

Loyalty programs vs. improving customer experience: Designing your approach

There are different approaches to building customer loyalty. Some companies use loyalty program cards, bonus offers and other incentives. You might offer access to special deals like CVS or take 5% off the purchase price like Target. You might even give some or part of your product away for free, like airlines that provide free flights through their loyalty programs. What if your small business isn’t interested or able to offer these kinds of loyalty programs?

There is another way to encourage loyal customers to keep giving you repeat business. Gather customer feedback through a phone survey and then use that data to improve the customer experience. When customers see that the business owner has acted on their feedback, they may feel inspired to return to that business. That means more revenue for the bottom line. You just need a fast and straightforward way to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. That’s where a focused business phone survey comes in.

Why increasing customer loyalty with a phone survey is a good choice.

Organizing a customer satisfaction survey by phone offers notable advantages compared to other methods. While a net promoter survey can give you interesting data, there is no conversational element involved. Further, using the net promoter survey approach effectively requires a certain degree of specialized training in the net promoter methodology.

You might also consider online customer surveys. Surveying your email list or website is worth attempting. Depending on the size of your email list or website traffic, you might be able to get a large number of survey responses. The challenge with online customer surveys is that you will have to spend a lot of time reviewing the data to find insights. There is no way to ask a customer to clarify their survey responses or provide an example.

Conducting a customer satisfaction survey by phone gives you the best of both worlds. You can ask questions and get survey responses. However, you also have the opportunity to provide the human touch. For instance, you may hear a customer complain about a lost or delayed order. When you hear about a problem during a phone survey, you can gather all the necessary details to make the situation right with the customer.

How to increase customer loyalty with a phone survey step by step.

The following steps give you a starting point to create a simple customer satisfaction survey. Over the course of a month, you could gather a significant amount of insights to improve your customer service by calling five to 10 customers per day.

  1. Define your customer satisfaction survey goals.

Before calling a single customer, reflect on your business goals. Are you seeking to improve your profit margins? In that case, you may want to focus your survey on the customers that spend the most on your business. Finding ways to make high-spending customers content may give you an excellent return. Alternatively, you may decide to focus your survey project on whether your local SEO has attracted customers. 

  1. Write your customer satisfaction survey questions.

Now that you have clarity on your goals, it is time to write your questions. According to Survey Monkey, a survey software company, it is best to focus your survey on closed-ended questions. An example of a closed-ended question would be: “How many times have you bought from our business in the past 12 months?” However, this kind of question may not give you the ideas you need to improve the customer experience.

At the end of the survey, consider asking one or two open-ended questions to understand better what your customers like. Encourage customers to think creatively with a question like this: “If you could change anything in our business, what would you improve?”

Tip: Reduce your need for note-taking by using call recording, but make sure that you ask for permission first.

  1. Test the survey with a small group of customers.

With your list of customer satisfaction questions, make a few test phone calls to customers. The purpose of the test is to discover if any of the questions are unclear. If you receive confusing answers, revise the question to make them clearer.

  1. Train employees on how to gather survey responses.

Consider running a few training phone calls for your employees. Ask them to call you or other employees in a role-playing scenario. Making a few practice calls will help your employees become more familiar with the questions. Besides, practice phone surveys will help employees learn how to record survey responses accurately. Once the training is complete, give your staff a list of customers to call and let them get started.

  1. Review the survey responses for insights and follow up with customers.

After all of the survey responses are in, schedule time to review the results. In particular, look for patterns in the results. If a large number of people gave low scores to your website, you may need to make improvements. Also, review the survey responses received in the open-ended questions. You might be pleasantly surprised at what customers tell you.

  1. Follow up with customers after the survey when needed.

A phone survey lets you gather rich insights because you can quickly ask follow-up questions. However, merely gathering survey responses may not impress your customers very much. Instead, offer to refer problems to the business owner for improvement or offer to enter the respondent in a drawing for a gift card. That is a much more compelling improvement! By addressing problems and issues when they arise, you stand a much better chance of winning additional loyal customers.