In the previous two articles in our series, we touched on how call answering and call tracking are two undeniably significant aspects of business communication that work together to contribute to a company’s overall success. There is one final major takeaway from the 2020 Voice Services Snapshot survey: businesses need a voice strategy.
In the final voice services review series, we’ll discuss voice strategies: what they are, how they’re used, and why they’re important. In order for businesses to be able to connect with as many callers (and, therefore, leads) as possible, they’ll need to have a quality voice strategy that not only suits their business models, but reflects the needs of their customer base as well. This in combination with call answering and tracking platforms can truly give businesses the edge over their competition — by excelling at customer service, client relations, and lead generation.
The results of our survey alongside some helpful marketing observations will demonstrate the value of adopting a voice strategy and how your team can implement one to build an unbreakable communication system within your business that'll have customers coming back for more.
Before moving ahead, we must explain what a voice strategy is. A voice strategy is a business’s unique approach to effectively communicating with current and potential clients. Voice strategies are essentially a business’s specific plan to action for connecting with customers over the phone.
They are put into place so that a business is able to achieve their growth goals, whether it be to effectively communicate with existing clients, convert new leads, or provide reliable customer service. There are a multitude of examples of voice strategies ranging from a solopreneur answering business questions through their personal cell phone to a legal marketing agency outsourcing call handling to an answering service and utilizing cloud-based voice services to respond to client inquiries.
Each business is going to have a different voice strategy that works best for them, but the truth for all businesses is that implementing a solid voice strategy is critical to successfully engaging with customers and achieving ideal growth metrics, whatever they may be.
In our survey, respondents were asked how critical a voice strategy was in helping them grow their clients’ KPI’s. Over 45% of respondents noted that it was “very” critical while nearly 32% of respondents said it was “critical” — that’s 67% in total. For most of the businesses surveyed, voice strategies play an important role in enabling them to provide high-quality services to their clients and leads.
While having a solid voice strategy can improve the quality of service a business offers its clients, being aware of the phone systems that clients have can also improve the way a business serves its clients.
Knowing what phone systems your clients have can help you identify issues, make recommendations, and improve overall services. However, over 54% of respondents in our survey did not know what voice services their clients used. Being aware of your clients’ and their clients’ preferences and usage can make the difference in your ability to adequately identify market needs and offer quality services that address them.
To better accommodate your clients, simply ask your client about their phone system and answering services and based on their answers, you can predict upcoming struggles, communicate with them through their preferred communication methods, and provide quick and effective solutions to their problems. The end goal here is to offer direct and accommodating services that are impactful for current and prospective clients.
Learning how other businesses similar to yours are handling their clients’ phone systems can be an additional tool in helping you discover how to offer ideal voice services that not only perfectly suit your business, but adequately accommodate your clients’ needs as well. Other systems that respondents in our survey reported using include basic VoIP, landlines and desk phones with VoIP, and landlines as well as desk phones on a local network provider. Take this data to create a simple multiple choice option for your business to guide you in developing a voice strategy that works best for you.
Learning about your options and knowing how your clients’ prefer to communicate is just the first step. Once you’ve got your base level of knowledge of voice services and business phone systems, it’s time to create an effective voice strategy so you can improve communications with customers and offer voice services that are catered to their specific needs. In short, build an enjoyable phone experience.
There are many voice strategy options for businesses of different sizes. To get started building one that’s ideal for you, ask experts and friends from your industry about what they’re doing. It’s important to keep in mind the value you’re trying to add, whether that be improved customer satisfaction, enhanced lead conversion rate, or other success metrics.
When asked what their current voice strategy was, 70% of our respondents listed “a cloud-based SaaS solution”. Surprisingly, only 11% noted using a free service, such as Google Voice, and 8% use a local internet/phone service.
Free voice solutions, such as Google Voice, tend to be appealing to businesses due to its obvious affordability, however, just because it is affordable doesn’t always mean it is the best option. Free services like Google Voice often fail to provide adequate services at an acceptable performance level. Poor sound quality, transcription, and call forwarding as well as limited call forwarding, text messaging, and user support are just a few of the frequently reported issues with Google Voice and other free voice services. With free services, businesses quickly discover that they get what they pay for.
Local internet and phone service providers, while more expensive, are often just as unreliable and inefficient as free services. Though many individuals use these services on a regular basis, many businesses have reported issues such as lack of accessibility, reliable coverage, and many other complications that keep them from answering client calls and converting leads quickly.
When it comes to choosing a voice strategy, it’s absolutely crucial for businesses to prioritize what they value in their communication services, whether it’s affordability, coverage, or something else. For many businesses, what works for them often works for a majority of businesses like them and the most popular voice strategy option tends to be the best quality, which might explain why a cloud-based SaaS solution is, by far, the favorite amongst our respondents.
While a poor voice strategy can do more harm than good, utilizing a reliable and effective voice strategy that’s built upon unique metrics of success can help businesses meet the specific needs of customers, communicate efficiently with clients, accelerate revenue-based growth, build a solid reputation, and, most importantly, increase total profits. With proper voice support, there is no telling the lengths at which a business can grow.
Voice strategies are arguably one of the most important tools in helping a business connect with clients, reach leads, and make sales, so it’s safe to say that, without a solid voice strategy in place, there’s no telling what a business might miss out on.
For businesses that may not realize the value of building and implementing a voice strategy, the best advice we could give is to evaluate how well you are able to communicate with your clients currently. Be honest and ask yourself: Have you been able to answer every lead, every time, with high-quality sound? Have you been able to capture and convert each lead that calls quickly and efficiently? Have you been able to accommodate your clients’ phone systems and preferred communication methods?
Lastly, ask yourself: Is there room for improvement? If there is, consider how an effective voice strategy may be able to provide your business with improved communication with clients, boosted customer satisfaction, increased lead generation and conversion, strengthened customer service, and much more.
Through integrating a platform that allows your business to effectively communicate with customers, address their needs, and evaluate how your business can improve voice services to properly solve those needs, your business will be able to cement current client relationships and inevitably build consistent lead generation. Without an inadequate voice strategy, businesses will be unable to place their customer satisfaction, potential lead conversion, and ultimately, revenue, at first.
Adopting reliable and appropriate voice strategies that fit your business is the key to unlocking growth opportunities for your business. A solid voice strategy sets the stage for your business to effectively answer and track phone calls so that you can connect with new and existing clients with ease. This in turn places your business in the position to offer high-quality communication processes that’ll lead to better relationships with current clients and more opportunities to convert new leads.
If you are not capturing every possible lead because you’re unable to pick up the phone every time a call comes in, Smith.ai virtual receptionists should be a part of your voice strategy. Our receptionists answer calls, texts, and even social media messages, qualify and intake new leads, book appointments, collect payments, and so much more so that your business is always able to capture, screen, and convert all of the leads that come your way. Get a free consultation or sign up today at smith.ai/pricing for a free 14-day/20-call trial and experience first-hand how Smith.ai's virtual receptionists can revolutionize the way you communicate with your customers.
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