Voicemail is an important feature for both inbound and outbound call centers that can help improve customer satisfaction and enhance overall call center efficiency. Along with automated queue callbacks, which is a more advanced capability, voicemail is a basic, fundamental feature of modern call center software solutions, allowing businesses to efficiently handle increased inbound call volumes.
What is Call Center Voicemail and How Does it Work?
Inbound Call Center Voicemail
In the context of inbound calls, a voicemail system, which is part of Interactive Voice Response (IVR), allows customers to leave a voice message when they call a call center, but there are no available agents to take the call.
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That may happen when a customer calls out of business hours, when all agents are busy and there is no one to pick up the call, when waiting time exceeds a certain limit, or maximum queue size is enabled.
In that case, the call can be automatically transferred to a voicemail system, which plays a pre-recorded greeting and prompts the caller to leave a message. These voicemail messages are then recorded and stored in the call center CRM along with the caller information, reviewed, and assigned to agents for follow-up.
Outbound Call Center Voicemail (Voicemail Drop)
When it comes to outbound calls, voicemail is typically a feature of call center dialer systems, also known as voicemail drop.
E.g., when an AI auto dialer initiates outbound calls from the list of prospects or customers and reaches a voicemail on the other end, the dialer will automatically drop a pre-recorded voicemail message and move on to the next number on the list.
It’s important to note that contact centers using voicemail drop practices should be aware of and comply with specific laws and regulations, such as those related to telemarketing, which may require obtaining consent from customers before leaving pre-recorded messages in their voicemail boxes.
Voicemail Benefits and Why Use it
In inbound call centers, voicemail systems help ensure that customers can get their message through even when the call center is closed, or there is no available call center agent to take the call immediately.
That can help improve overall customer satisfaction while also enabling agents to effectively follow up with customers and resolve issues quicker, as they already have all the details they need before calling the customer back and can better prepare for the interaction.
- Enhances customer experience
- Improves customer service
- Increases agent efficiency
In outbound contact centers, voicemail drop can increase the efficiency of the outbound calling process by enabling the call center dialer system to automatically leave voicemail messages and connect agents only to the calls that are answered by a live person.
That can improve agent productivity and save time as they don’t have to do it manually. In addition, you ensure that the same message is delivered every time, which helps ensure consistency in communication.
- Saves agents time and effort
- Improves the efficiency of the calling process
- Ensures consistent communication
When to Use Voicemail in Inbound Call Centers?
Voicemail can be enabled to provide support to customers outside of the call center’s business hours or when the call center is experiencing inbound call volume spikes, and agents may not be able to answer every call.
In that case, the voicemail system will capture customer messages, while customers will be rest assured knowing that their call will be returned at a later time.
Contact centers may also take advantage of the queue callback feature as an alternative to voicemail for handling high volumes of incoming calls.
E.g., with VoiceSpin’s queue callback, customers can request a callback instead of having to wait in long call queues, retaining their position in the queue. In addition to improved customer satisfaction, it can help reduce call abandonment rates.
Is voicemail still an effective tool in inbound contact centers?
Even though voicemail is considered a somewhat outdated technology in the contact center industry and there are other efficient ways to handle spikes in call volume in inbound contact centers – such as increasing the number of available agents, enabling automated callbacks, and directing callers to self-service options – it can still be an effective tool to handle after-hours support.
What is a good voicemail greeting for a business?
A good voicemail greeting is short, informative, friendly, and professional. It should include your company name, a simple explanation for being unable to take the call, a rough estimate of when you’ll get back to the caller, and a call to action. It can also suggest an alternative way to connect with your business, such as visiting your self-service options on the website.
What is an example of a voicemail greeting?
An example of a voicemail greeting for inbound calls is:
Thank you for calling [Company name]. Our office is closed, but if you need immediate assistance, please visit our website at [website URL] and click our live chat button – our chat support team is available 24/7. Otherwise, please leave a detailed message after the beep, and one of our representatives will be in touch within 24 hours.
What’s the difference between voicemails and automated callbacks?
The voicemail feature of call center solutions allows callers to leave a voice message if they cannot reach a live agent when calling a business and wait for an agent to call them back later. With an automated callback option, the system enables callers to save their place in the call queue and automatically dials back once the agent becomes available to handle the call.