Amazing useless technology - voicemail

Submitted: Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 12:29
ThreadID: 54112 Views:2066 Replies:8 FollowUps:26
This Thread has been Archived
I hate voice mail, it is not like email where you transfer data and reply in your own time, the reason someone called you is because they want to speak with you NOW... not later. So anyway I call a guy up, he is with clients, fine so I call later and speak with the secretary to work out how I can speak to him. She says he is out of the meeting but on the phone checking voice mail from clients he missed while in the meeting (me), she is looking at him right now and can see him on the phone. I say can you put me through.... no he's on the phone. So she says I can put you through to his voice mail and he will call you back when he checks it, I say he is listening to my VM right now! Mate!!!
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: _gmd_pps - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:00

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:00
use email, ICQ or SMS.
if people are not available on these media they are not worth
dealing with. I expect answers to my emails within max 24 hours. If I do not get an answer I move on ...

good luck
gmd

AnswerID: 284926

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:37

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:37
Emails are one of the most unreliable forms of communications avaliable, you should always follow up with a phone call to see if the email has been recieved.

I will not answer emails about general enquiries because if the customer can not be bothered to phone me personally why should I answer there enquiry or if I do I will give them very little information as most are just tyre kickers.

People who are service providers or sell something should be called problem solvers, how can I find out enough information about what you want in a 1 paragraph email plus I cannot ask you questions or get feed back from you.....a good problem solver is someone who can extract the right information out of the customer and provide him or her with the best advice.

In a email you may leave out one thing that may not be important to you but to a good problem solver it may be the differance between something that is not going to do waht you want it to do or something that will exeed your expectations.

You still can't be in person contact followed closely by over the phone.

Regards Richard

Regards Richard
0
FollowupID: 549698

Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:49

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:49
nonsense... we have 490 retail customers
95% of all orders come in via email and fax
to leave the phone lines open for URGENT things
they can also reach us by ICQ and get an immediate answer
there is also a receipt for each received email ..

your view is very antiquated and typical backward aussie having no
idea about service.

good luck
gmd

0
FollowupID: 549700

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 15:03

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 15:03
ditto gmd
0
FollowupID: 549724

Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 15:49

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 15:49
I just received a quote via email just now as a result of my enquirey earlier today. I will now place the order in our PO system and it will be approved by a manager and automatically sent out to him. I will receive the goods, recept them in the system and he will receive his money via eft. No need to lift a phone, send a fax or wait for a phone call to be returned!

Leroy
0
FollowupID: 549732

Follow Up By: whyallacookie - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 16:22

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 16:22
Agree with above.

Olcoolone, you miss the point.

You would be loosing more business than you realise, Your also costing your customers money and their time to call you, get through, explain it and get a reply/or wait for you to go find the item etc.

You are actually contradicting yourself when you talk about customer service, it is about how the CUSTOMER wishes to contact you, not what is easiest for you.

If you don't have the equipment/facilities in place then that's different, although it is actually quite cheap to set up and run. The other bonus is it leaves you free to deal with the customer who has just walked in the door, nothing worse than standing waiting for assistance while someone behind the counter stands there talking on the phone to someone, most people's first reaction is you would rather talk to someone than help me out and take my money I have come in to spend.

Times have changed and most people do their "window" shopping online and often, if the process is easy enough and the service has been good, make their purchase online. A web site/email is a lot cheaper than employing people to "answer questions"

0
FollowupID: 549733

Follow Up By: Banjo (WA) - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 19:52

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 19:52
Email I know about, and SMS, but what is ICQ?

I think the problem with messages is that a lot of people ignore them. Respond as soon as possible and you'll impress your customers.
0
FollowupID: 549766

Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:03

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:03
ICQ is an online chat program for one on one conversations in realtime. like Windows messenger or Yahoo messenger
ICQ is widely used as a support aid and you can see immediately if your contact is avaialble or not and can open a dialogue.
Also you can answer whenever convenient and time permits.
Since we have shop owners dealing with us it is convenient for them to open a conversation but attend a customer and leave the chat open and return when time. On our end this means that we have sometimes 5-10 conversations open + the oredreing system with a couple of clients open in parallel .. that requires a bit of screen real estate and experience. We have 30" screens for that and it is very easy once you get used to it ..
My hosting solution in the US also uses ICQ and I get contact 24/7
whenever I have an urgent issue I can ICQ otherwise I submit a support ticket and get the answer by email.
Customers love it ..
have fun
gmd

0
FollowupID: 549770

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:04

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:04
gmd, it all depends what business you are in and what the customer wants, out of 4600 odd annual customers we have .3% who use email for other things like notifieing us about bank transfers, account enquires or purchase orders.

We recieve about 3 emails a month asking about something from the general public and most of them are shopping for the cheapest price, we don't want customers like that and I am not worried what people think...it's a market we are not interested in.

On our 1300 numbers we handle between 40 to 70 enquiries a day.

Some companys relie on emails for there main point of contact.

gmd I take it you are involved in a high tec industrie because most of your enquiries come from emails and you use ICQ.

Differant industries and differant markets same as you proberly don't answer you phone 24 hour 7 days a week do you; but we do because it is what our market and customers require.

Our market requires a answer straight away not in 5 minutes or the next day.

I know aussies are backwards, the number of small businesses that have only one line comming in is unreal and then you have the other ones who have a fax machine connected and when you phone there voice number you get a fax machine that will try to shake hands with you before diverting to a voice call or to an answering machine so yes aussie businesses are backwards.

Regards Richard

0
FollowupID: 549772

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 02:38

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 02:38
Unfortunately I cannot ignore the irony, that you are discussing this electronically by the means you deride as providing clients not worthy of your time!!! haha
0
FollowupID: 549850

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:32

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:32
Yeap, thats the business world Im here to make money not help the needy.

2 people go to a BMW dealer looking at a new BMW, customer 1 drives in in a 15 year old Ford Falcon and customer 2 drives in in a 6 year old Mercedes.......who is going to get the better service?
0
FollowupID: 549867

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:37

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:37
fisho 64, it is strange isn't it, emails are a good way of screening customer.

The difference is one is in my time for enjoyment and the other is in business.
0
FollowupID: 549868

Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 14:19

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 14:19
Richard,

We are not in the HiTech business..

good luck
gmd
0
FollowupID: 549918

Follow Up By: whyallacookie - Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 11:43

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 11:43
Neither us.

You are missing the point... especially if your customer base is business, they use it more than your avaerage joe blo for quoting, and sourcing. But hey it's your business and if your happy with staying where you are and not growing your busness to it's full potential then that's your choice. Of course when your competition is squeezing you out because your phones have gone quiet you'll know why.

For those who use ICQ and maintain there own websites there are alternatives to ICQ which allow the customer to click on a link and your end will beep to let you know someone has a question. No membership or sign up etc for either side.
0
FollowupID: 550104

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 18:20

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 18:20
whyallacookie, if you took the time to read my post correctly you would of seen we do use email but we filter out the general public who are tyre kicker.

Not many business use email addresses of "joe1456@hotmail.com", or ask the question of "just wondering how much is it going to cost me for...." they are the ones we don't want.

How do you come up with our business is not growing when you know nothing about it.

Do you understand what market research means?

It is funny how other people can make comments about someone elses business and the sector they are involved in when they know nothing about it!

If more of our customers used email we would do the same but our customers don't and because most things we do are time sensitive and they need an answer now so email does not suit there needs, with voice contact we can give them an answer within 20 second so they can schedual the work.

All our employees have direct contact numbers via mobile phone on there business cards and they deal direct with the customer, we offer Australia wide 1300 numbers that are answered 24 hrs a day.

So why am I missing the point?

Perhaps you could tell me how to grow our business and our customers why email is better them a telephone call.



0
FollowupID: 550247

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 19:09

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 19:09
ICQ must be one of the least used of the instant messaging systems today. Bit like AOL. Likes to take over your system a bit too much too. Be deleted off my system soon.

When I was studying, yes, a few years back. Email systems were studied and written up in Harvard Business review. I can quote the detail if anyone wished.

It says "when information is shared electronically, it is more likely to be exxagerated or altered in some way. People lie more regularly when they are interracting through email.

In addition, expectations of reciprocity are more rigid in electronic negotiations"

It is an interesting article but I better not reproduce it all here of the study is called "The electronic negotiator" Regina Fazio Maruca wrote the paper.
Cheers,
Who?
John

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 550265

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:22

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:22
Welcome to 2008, I get ###### OFF aswell.

We have a couple of businesses that we own and 1300 numbers for the main telephone numbers, if all lines are busy it diverts to my mobile and if mine is busy it goes to a operator answered message bank, the reason we choose operator answered message bank is most people are happy to talk to someone and leave a message...but not a machine.

All our mobile phones have operator answered message service.

Aswell as messagers going to the mobile phone it also comes up as a email on our computers.

I hate businesses who use voice mail with "gday youv'e phone Joe Blogs from XYZ company not here to take your call, leave a number and I'll give you a call back".

It goes to show how proffesional some businesses are or how much they want your business.

I will not leave a message, I'll go to the next person who wants to take my call.

Regards Richard
AnswerID: 284931

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 15:20

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 15:20
most callers be it service calls or enquiries for parts etc (thats all commercial) leave messages on my voice mail if for some reason i am unavailable....those that dont are always residential service calls that i dont particularly want any way.

maybe the residential persons out there need to be educated in phone etiquite...the phone answered and they were greeted with "I am unavailable right now leave a message and I will call you back" or similar even if its Gday Mate etc etc...its polite to leave a message!

if the person who rang really does want to speak to you they will leave a message...if they dont "why did they ring?

why bother me while i was having lunch and couldnt answer the phone cos i had a mouth full of food or more importantly, was busy speaking to a customer who required my attention

speaking to recorder is not scary stuff ya know..it wont bite,
tis a bit like when swmbo talks to me...i just record it
0
FollowupID: 549730

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 02:47

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 02:47
quote-"it goes to a operator answered message bank, the reason we choose operator answered message bank"

sorry to say that I find those worse than bank phone lines. To get answered by someone pretending to be part of you business when they are thousands of miles away becomes ludicrous and comical when you ask a question more complicated than "can I speak to..."

quote-"if the person who rang really does want to speak to you they will leave a message...if they dont "why did they ring?"

perhaps cos you owe them money? or they are after a warranty issue? or any of a miriad of reasons why businesses do not return phonecalls, and would rather SPEAK to you, i would have thought that would be obvious?

0
FollowupID: 549851

Reply By: Leroy - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:41

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 13:41
You probably winged that you didn't have that facility 20 yrs ago and now that you have it....
You don't have to leave a message and if he didn't have VM and was busy he wouldn't be able to talk to you any way.
Get over it I say!

Leroy
AnswerID: 284933

Follow Up By: whyallacookie - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 16:25

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 16:25
I hate the sms of the number to call back, just leave a message!

You call back to find out it is a business..... then you need to try to track down who called/what department (great if you have dealt with them before but useless if it is a staff member calling and nothing to do with the "business" they work for.
0
FollowupID: 549734

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 16:52

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 16:52
You can have the call back SMS disabled, which will also extend your ring time, I have done it.
0
FollowupID: 549736

Follow Up By: whyallacookie - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 17:00

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 17:00
That's what I ended up doing too
0
FollowupID: 549741

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:13

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 20:13
So tell me if I am wrong, it seems most people would sooner send a email or leave a message on a machine then to take to someone straight away.

I think society is looses the oldest form of communications.

If I want something I will either go and see it or phone and ask questions one on one!

AnswerID: 284982

Follow Up By: The Bigfella - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 21:42

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 21:42
I have a small business in a fairly large country town in NSW and if I did not have Vouice Mail and E-Mail I would loose heaps of business. I get a lot of phone calls and if I am already on the phone the call goes direct to Vouce Mail. Whenever I finish a phone call I will check for any messages and ring straight back. In most of my cases the call is for an order. I know if I did not ring back the customer would be pi$$ed off.
If you do not want to reply to E-Mails then DON"T have an E-Mail address. I think the non replying to E-Mails is just plain ignorance on your part.
You say "If I want something I will either go and see it or phone and ask questions one on one"
What if the business you are dealing with is 700Kms away? A tad hard to go and "see". If you phone and he is on the phone to a customer for 10 minutes are you going to keep calling? I don't think so. A damn lot easier to leave a message and let the person get back to you.
If I had your opinion on Voice Mail and E-Mail I would still not be in business after nearly 6 years. I would have lost many potential customers and probably gone broke.
The Bigfella
0
FollowupID: 549800

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:40

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:40
The Bigfella, what is your percentage of repeat customer that email you and if they are a new customer how do they make the first contact to you.

0
FollowupID: 549869

Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 23:54

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 23:54
The best thing about email, whether you are a supplier OR a receiver is that if things go pear shaped, there cannot be a "misunderstanting" or a "communication breakdown" when both parties have in BLACK and WHITE what was said/asked when the blame game begins
Shane
AnswerID: 285047

Reply By: F4Phantom - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 01:02

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 01:02
It seems to me that all our business are arranged differently, this guy I called NEVER calls back from VM so thats why I wanted to talk and in my business I only make money when I get results, usually that day so I am on the frigging phone all day pushing people I am buying from, people I am paying and sometimes people I am selling to.

I suppose I was also pointing out the obsurdness of the situation that he was listening to my message therefore he could not speak to me. I think thats called ironic.

While I am at it, voice mail works fine if your a customer but its useless in getting people to call you if they are not benefiting from he conversation.
AnswerID: 285055

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:24

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:24
F4 I agree with you, all businesses run different and if most business owners sat down and understood the key target market they would make more money.

It is funny how many business owners don't know the difference between MARKETING and ADVERTISING

To many businesses try and be everything to everyone and that does not make you money.

I can turn a direct phone call into a sale easier and quicker then a email plus it give me the opportunity to up sell and understand the customer better.

Is it a crime that i don't want a certain type of customer.

0
FollowupID: 549866

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:48

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 09:48
When i send emails from work i always flag them for notification that they have been read so i get a return email telling me they have been. If i get no response within a short timeframe i usually follow up with a phone call.
We have voice mail at work, buy funny enough most people seem to just hang up.
AnswerID: 285073

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 12:39

Saturday, Feb 02, 2008 at 12:39
Brew I sent you 4 emails about 2 weeks ago and got no reply so I telephoned you and got your message bank so I hung up.

LOL!!!!
0
FollowupID: 549901

Follow Up By: Brew69(SA) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 09:02

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 09:02
Send a Pigeon next time lol
0
FollowupID: 550069

Reply By: fisho64 - Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 01:11

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 01:11
LOL, you send them and expect a reply, but dont answer them yourself!!
Out of curiousity, what sort of business are you in?
AnswerID: 285242

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 10:35

Sunday, Feb 03, 2008 at 10:35
Our main area is providing services to the automotive, transport, earthmoving and mining sectors.

We also have some other interests.

Regards Richard
0
FollowupID: 550085

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)