As the years roll forward, certain technologies move faster and faster while others are left behind.
This has always been the way of it forever, from stone tablets to computers.
While voicemail is certainly declining in use, that does not mean your VoIP system needs to also decline – in fact, there is a unique opportunity present with the hole of voicemail… and that is SMS.
Specifically, Business SMS.
Smartphones have surged in popularity that they are now a core aspect of both our personal lives and business lives, often blending the two.
SMS is the perfect median to not just replace voicemail but to do more than voicemail could on its own.
When you have a fully integrated communications system, one that uses the power of SMS right along with your phone and even email, you won’t miss voicemail… and neither will your customers.
Here are the problems with voicemail that SMS can overcome:
Texts Are Skimmable
It is downright frustrating to listen to a one-minute voicemail for that one little piece of information that you need to take action.
It’s maddening if the person leaving the voicemail is someone that rambles on or talks about many topics in rapid succession, which can require the recipient to take notes to get the information correct.
And then, of course, there are the times when the person misspeaks, leaving the recipient out in the wind, still in need of specific information.
In fact, this was so common when voicemail and SMS were both equally used that people would usually leave a voice message and then send a text anyway.
Texts are easy to skim, especially when you just need one little piece of information, like the time or location of an appointment.
Plus, most text messages are written with brevity in mind – there won’t be a lot of rambling or unnecessary information.
Responding is a Simple Next Step
Responding to a voicemail requires an extra step.
You get the voicemail, you now have to respond. Which means ending the message, pulling up the caller, and punching in a number.
With texts, you’re ready to reply immediately after reading.
Also, responding to a text is much less time consuming than calling the person back – what if they don’t answer and you have to leave your own message?
This left a lot of voicemails that were listened to, but not immediately responded to.
When Bots Aren’t Bad
When done poorly, a phone call can be one of the worse experiences a customer can have.
Even when it’s information that is needed, if it’s an impersonal and distracting bot call, it can turn receiving this important information into a negative experience.
Bot calls are so bad that there have been a bevy of laws trying to keep them in order, some starting back in the 90s.
But with texts, bots can be a good thing!
Bots can be programmed to respond with specific information immediately – giving the recipient a sense of professionalism and direction, with no downtime.
Setting up frequent keywords with answers and ensure that most questions your customers have are answered immediately without a single real person spending a second of their time – so they can keep doing what they do best AND your customers can be happy with their interaction.
Texting as a way to connect customers and brands has a ton of potential – potential that is clearly missing from voicemail.
In the years to come, we will see companies that push the envelope with business SMS; some will do it poorly and fail, others will do it well and leave other brands scrambling to copy.
Having an SMS platform now is imperative to be ready for the good innovations of the future while giving what your customers desire right now.
Voicemail might be dying – but that can be the new life that VoIP needs when connecting to a new generation that is not just accepting of texts, but specifically looking for them.
By making SMS a huge part of your VoIP, you’ll be better equipped for business today, but perhaps more important, handing business in the future.