This article was inspired by a recent visit to a glass repair business that has 24-hour emergency answering services. They have 6 Polycom VVX500 VoIP telephones from B1 Communications.
Does your small business have an emergency after-hours cell phone that gets passed around like a hot potato? If the answer yes; this blog post is for you. Perhaps you run a dental practice, travel agency, plumbing business or glass repair shop. Whatever the case; your customers need to get ahold of you in the event of an emergency. This could take place Sunday afternoon, or 3:00am on Thursday morning.
Let me guess, you’re after-hours voicemail goes something like this:
“Thank you for calling, we are currently closed.
If this is an emergency, call 604-555-5555.”
If this truly is an emergency you are forcing customers to find a piece of paper & write down the number. They will most likely have to call your office back multiple times to get the full number written down. Here are 3 reasons this setup sucks.
- Your customers will save the emergency contact number and use it regularly. Since this is a cell phone you are also opening up to text messages.
- Since there is no qualifying statement “how we define an emergency,” customers may call for something basic that can be handled tomorrow. This is probably the most frustrating scenario you run into.
- What happens if the person responsible for answering this cell phone sleeps through the call? Or forgets to charge the phone before bed?
The VoIP solution for after-hours emergency answering
We have numerous small business customers that switched to VoIP specifically to take advantage of the 24-hour answering feature. These customers are dental offices, plumbing services and immigration law offices.
The 24/7 VoIP Feature:
Alright, here’s the deal. You can either have a button dedicated to “open/closed” which triggers the after-hours setup, or we can automatically schedule it for you. The decision is yours. Let’s talk brass tacks of the after-hours greeting.
“Thank you for calling. Our office is open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. If you would like to leave a voicemail, press #1. If this is an after-hours emergency press #2.”
CUSTOMER PRESSES #2
“You have reached the after-hours emergency line. Please note that our emergency services start at $200.00 per hour and is defined as a task which requires attention now and cannot wait until the next business day. If you would like to be proceed, press #1. If you would like to leave a voicemail press #2.”
CUSTOMER UNDERSTANDS BILLING AND WANTS TO PROCEED.
Without revealing the cell phone number, our hosted PBX system will automatically dial the 24/7 emergency contact. If the call is not answered our system can dial again or alternative numbers until someone answers the call.
VoIP offers an incredible range of features that can have a real impact on your customers, staff, and overall operations. Small businesses need solutions built around their unique needs without limitations or restrictions.
B1 Communications proudly offers total control and flexibility to all of our customers. We have never had a request that our team of VoIP Engineering nerds haven’t been able to deliver. If you can think it, we can deliver it… If you would like to challenge us with a unique request, speak with our team today or, if you’re in Vancouver we will gladly visit your office.