Many businesses today are worried about how their customers or patients are going to reach them after normal business hours in case of an emergency. Many times the solution ends up being the sleepy, detached voice of a nighttime answering service or receptionist. The problem is that they are not a part of the day to day activities in your office – that nighttime answering service has no idea that customer A has been experiencing problems all day and needs to be handled delicately to avoid further frustration. In letting someone so detached from what goes on in the office all day be the voice of your business at night, you are potentially opening yourself up to a host of issues.
The solution to all of this is using a feature already built into several voicemail systems. Emergency mailboxes put your customer/patient in rapid contact with someone who knows what is going on with them and is aware of what they are looking for. They also allow the employee to hear the tone of the customer’s voice so they know if this is a serious issue that they had better have some solutions for, or if it is a simple question. The advantages of this direct contact are immeasurable because employees get direct contact with customers even after hours and customers feel comforted to know that they are reaching someone who knows them and their situation.
The sequence of the emergency mailbox function is as follows… A customer calls your main office number at night and selects the emergency mailbox prompt from the auto attendant. The customer is either given a directory of mailboxes or leaves a message in the general emergency mailbox. From the point that the customer hangs up after leaving the voicemail the mailbox will call the person assigned to that mailbox at a designated number and let them know that they have a message waiting. Now the employee can either listen to the message via a keystroke on their cellular phone or they can call the office to listen to the message. Now the employee knows how urgent the situation is and can deal with it accordingly. If the employee would not listen to the message, the mailbox could be set to hunt to another designated number until someone listens to the message or repeat call the same employee until that person listens to the message.
As you can see, this is a very effective tool to help your customers reach the correct person to deal with the issue when they need help, even if it is a night. The system ensures that someone is going to hear the message as quickly as possible and that the customer gets to be the one delivering the message. This will eliminate the need for a night receptionist or a costly answering service to try to handle your very important customer’s needs.