The voicemail, previously known as an answerphone machine, was developed in the 1930s and was widely adopted by businesses in the 1980s. It’s still widely popular but has had a bit of a facelift since its creation. What are these improvements and how can accountants take advantage of professional voicemail to increase their revenue? Let’s find out…
What is a Professional Voicemail?
A professional voicemail is an automated answering service. It should include the following for businesses, like your accountancy firm, in order to be successful:
- A message that communicates meaningful and helpful information to your clients.
- The message should create a positive impression of your accountancy firm.
- The length of ringing before the message is played (and the message itself) is automatically adaptable for different times, days and purposes.
- Voicemail messages trigger an instant notification (on your handset, PC, or smartphone app) to your accounting firm and can be accessed and listened to easily and instantly from anywhere in the world.
- The voicemail system should (if wanted) provide the option for clients to “press 1 to be connected to the emergency out of hours service” if you offer one.
9 Reasons Why It’s Important for Accountants
- It helps you provide excellent service to your clients.
- It enables seamless communication which ultimately leads to more clients
- It helps clients get the information they may need.
- A well-thought-out voicemail message gives you another opportunity to make money.
- It shows clients you care about them.
- It satisfies clients and builds trust in your accountants.
- It can create a positive and professional impression in your client’s mind.
- It makes it possible to contact clients quickly and efficiently when they leave a message and ensure they are still clients.
- It’s the perfect opportunity to outshine other firms in your area that don’t have one and provide a better caller experience
Questions You Should Answer Before Deciding How to Set-Up Your Accountants Professional Voicemail
How Many Different Messages Do We Need?
Is one message for any time of the day enough? Probably not. By only having one message which plays both when you’re open and closed, your message will not be specific enough to deliver the correct communication to your clients. The message will also be tediously long. Two messages usually hit the spot. One message for when you’re open but unavailable to answer and another for when you’re closed.
This way you can tailor the message to deliver useful, relevant information to your clients. It’s worth noting that modern Yo Telecom phone systems automatically switch between open and closed voicemail messages depending on the time and day of the week. This means your clients will always hear the correct message without you having to lift a finger.
How do You Communicate a Meaningful and Useful Message to Clients?
Here are 7 things clients have said they want from an accountants’ voicemail:
- To know they’ve called who they intended to.
- The reason why their call wasn’t answered.
- When they will be able to speak to you
- What alternative methods of communication are available.
- What to do if they have an emergency.
- When their call will be returned if they leave a message.
- Guidance on what they should do to speak to you as quickly as possible.
Don’t try to fit all of those points into one message, otherwise it will be too long. Instead, decide which points are most important for different times of the day and create a message around what is important to you and more importantly your clients.
With the above information, you can start to tailor a meaningful message for your clients.
Here are two examples of the types of message we can create for you;
OPEN VOICEMAIL MESSAGE
“Thank you for calling [name of your accounting firm]. We’re sorry we can’t take your call. We are open, but currently busy on the line helping other clients. We aim to return all calls within one working hour, so please leave us a message with your name and number and we’ll be in touch shortly.”
CLOSED VOICEMAIL MESSAGE
“Thank you for calling [name of your accounting firm]. We’re sorry we can’t take your call right now, we are currently closed. Our opening hours are [insert opening hours].,If you are in need of an emergency out of hours appointment, we can help. We now offer out of hours services for a call-out fee of [insert fee] plus standard appointment cost. To be connected press 1 now. Alternatively, if you would like to leave a message, please press 2.”
Will Returning Calls Promptly Lead to Happier Clients?
Professor James Oldroyd of MIT discovered that if you call back within 5 minutes of a client’s enquiry, you are 100 times more likely to reach the client as opposed to calling back after 30 minutes. If you miss a call and take too long to call back, your potential client will start to look elsewhere to get their questions answered. They’re now just a Google search away from finding an alternative.
Should We Give Clients the Option to Speak to Us Directly Out of Hours?
If you offer an out-of-hours service, you want to make it easy for clients to contact you. However, most accounting firm owners and managers do not want clients to have their mobile numbers (even if they offer out of hours services), which we understand. As much as you want to help your clients whenever you can, you don’t want your phone ringing left right and centre on your days off.
So, what is the solution for this?
Time-specific voicemail messages. These enable clients to press 1 to be connected to you and you choose the hours that the message plays. This could be an hour two either side of your office’s opening hours. Whatever suits you, the Yo Telecom phone system is flexible.
A professional voicemail has many benefits for both clients and accountants. Interested in hearing more about how a Yo Telecom phone system for professional services can increase your business’ success. Just drop your details in the form below and one of our team will be in touch!
You can also hear how we’ve helped other business’s, directly from our clients, over on our YoTelecom YouTube Channel.