Why, How and When Vets Should Use Professional Voicemail

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Dan Mills

Field Sales Consultant

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 restaurants 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 list of requirements for businesses, like your veterinary practice, in order to be successful:

01. The message communicates meaningful and helpful information to your clients.

02. The message sounds perfect and creates a positive impression of your vet surgery.

03. The length of ringing before the message is played (and the message itself) is automatically adaptable for different times, days and purposes.

04. Voicemail messages trigger an instant notification (on the handset, PC, or smartphone app) to the vet surgery and can be accessed and listened to easily and instantly from anywhere in the world.

05. The voicemail system should (if wanted) give vets the option for clients to “press 1 to be connected to the emergency out of hours service” if one is offered by your surgery.

6 Reasons Why Professional Voicemail is Important for Vets:

Still not convinced that your restaurant needs a professional voicemail? Here are 6 reasons you should consider having one:

  1. It provides an excellent service to your customers, making information about your establishment accessible during busy periods.  
  2. It enables seamless access for your customers to create opportunities for bookings.
  3. The messages you create can answer your most commonly asked questions. This frees up staff’s valuable time, not having to answer the same questions.
  4. A well-thought-out voicemail message gives you the opportunity to promote future events and keep interest high.
  5. It can create a positive and professional impression in your customer’s minds.
  6. It’s the perfect opportunity to outshine other restaurants in your area that don’t have professional voicemails and provide a better caller experience.

 

Questions You Should Answer Before Deciding how to set-up Your Vet Surgery’s Professional Voicemail:

In this section we’ll look at the different features professional voicemail offers vets, and discuss the best ways to use them.

How Many Different Messages do we Need?

Is one message for any time of the day enough? Probably not.

Let’s look at why:

– 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 as it has to cover both when you are open and when you are shut.

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 – so your clients always hear the correct message.

How do You Communicate a Meaningful and Useful Message to Clients?

The first thing you should find out is what your clients want from a voicemail.

Here are some things clients said they want from a vet surgery’s voicemail:

– To know they’ve called who they intended to.

– The reason why the call wasn’t answered.

– When they can speak to you (your opening hours).

– 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.

Here are two examples of the types of messages we can create for you:

OPEN VOICEMAIL MESSAGE

“Thank you for calling [name of vet surgery] – taking care of your pets since 1985. We’re sorry we can’t take your call. We are open, but currently busy 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 vet surgery] – taking care of your pets since 1985. 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 appointments 24-7, 365 days a year. The call-out fee is [insert fee] plus the price of the treatment. To be connected to the out-of-hours vet please press 1 now. Alternatively please leave us a message after the tone and we’ll aim to call you back when we open.”

Will Returning Calls Promptly Lead to Happier Clients and More Revenue?

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, all it takes is for that potential customer to Google ‘vets near me’ and they have a whole list of your competitors that they can call instead. They will take their custom elsewhere, resulting in a missed opportunity for you and a loss in revenue.

Let’s think of a scenario:

A client leaves you a voicemail message on Sunday and is expecting you to call them back on Monday.

But you have a Yo Telecom phone system in your vet surgery and get the voicemail instantly emailed through to you. You listen to it and find out the caller has an unwell pet and needs to bring her dog into the surgery as soon as possible.

Should we Give Clients the Option to Speak to us Directly out of Hours?

If you offer an ‘out of hours’ emergency service, you want to make it easy for clients to contact you.

If you don’t offer an out-of-hours emergency service you may want to consider it for the following reasons:

01. It’s extremely valuable for both clients and your vet surgery.

02. It differentiates your surgery from the competition.

03. It can be a good (and sometimes untapped) source of new clients.

04. You can charge higher prices for emergency work.

However, most vet surgery owners and managers do not want clients to have their mobile numbers (even if they offer out-of-hours services). Probably because their partners would not appreciate a wake-up call when Mrs Jones’ dog, Molly, gets a thorn stuck in her paw and needs it removed immediately on Saturday morning.

So what is the solution for this?

Time-specific voicemail messages enable clients to press 1 to be connected to you and allow you to choose the hours that the messages play (the hours you’re happy to provide out-of-hours emergency appointments).

Whatever suits you, the Yo Telecom phone system is flexible and will suit your needs!

A professional voicemail has many benefits for both clients and vets. We suggest booking a free demonstration to find out more about how our phone systems for vets with professional voicemail, in conjunction with call logging, can help you achieve your business goals…

Find out how we’ve helped other practices, directly from one of our existing Veterinary clients here.

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