An Answering Service for Today’s Digital Nomad

Jenn Marie

Recently, I decided to take a two-week break from my time at Smith.ai to work remotely and get some much-needed R&R. Unfortunately for my friends and family, this quiet time also meant having to spend my time in a virtual cell phone dead zone. Leave it to the engineers at Smith.ai to come up with a solution to my call answering needs. Introducing: Smith.ai voicemail to MP3.

You May Never Get That Call

If you’ve ever traveled outside of your state, you probably realize that not all cell phone carriers are created equally. For example, your T-Mobile service may work great in your city, but not so well while camping. When your business or family depends on being able to reach you immediately, not being able to find a signal is simply not acceptable.

Unfortunately, dead zones are a frequent thing in the United States, which explains why sites such as this one (which let you search for coverage areas) are so popular. Still many people choose to opt for Internet phones over traditional cell phone carriers to save the hassle.

The problem with spotty reception is that even if you can find a decent area to make an outbound phone call, your phone would also need to be in that same spot when a call comes through. If it is not, the caller goes to voicemail, but you may not receive the notification of their call until you are back in a service area. If the call was important, hours or even days later could be a significant problem.

Combining Your Cell Phone to Your Email

Whereas cell phone calls aren’t always deliverable, the Internet is a lot more accessible. In fact, 78% of people in the developed world have access to the Internet. This means that while your cell phone may not ring in many parts of America, there’s a good (if not better) chance that you will have access to email. So why not combine the two?

This is the idea behind our latest feature: voicemail to MP3. Here is how it works:

  • A call comes into your cell phone and is forwarded to your personal Smith number
  • The caller leaves a voicemail
  • That voicemail is sent immediately to your email, where you can play it back and return the call (or email them)

Of course, there are many ways to customize this service for your needs. You could add your voicemail number to your email signature so that people have a way to leave you a voice message. You could port your number to Smith.ai and completely disconnect your cell phone. You could even add a live receptionist that screens your calls, so you aren’t inundated with voicemail-emails. It is entirely up to you, and we’re ready to help create your perfect ‘I can’t answer my phone right now’ solution.

Real World Scenario – Global Traveler Nancy

The idea behind our dedicated voicemail to MP3 service was born out of my need to receive messages while in a cell phone dead zone, but while I was away, I met a digital nomad named Nancy that motivated me to write this blog post. Nancy, who currently resides on the West Coast, but is soon headed to Italy, was looking for a way to dump her cell phone service without losing her connection to those who had her phone number.

Sure, she could email everyone and ask them to email her only, but even the most prepared digital nomad is sure to forget someone – and no one likes to receive that dreaded “this number has been disconnected…” answering service message.

So Nancy planned to use Google Voice so that she would be notified when someone called and could follow up with them. I informed her that while that was a good idea, Google Voice is not always reliable, especially when they transcribe voicemails like this one. Plus, she’d have to give her friends and family a new number (or forward from her current one). She could also port her number, but doing so with Google Voice was a complicated process that Nancy did not have the time to do. Instead, I suggested she port her current cell phone number to Smith.ai, disconnect her cell phone service, receive fully playable voicemails of her calls, and read voicemail transcriptions that actually make sense.

Planning a global expedition takes a lot of work, but we believe your answering service solution shouldn't have to be complicated.

Call Answering for Every Scenario

Even if you aren’t planning to travel the world like Nancy, chances are, there will be a time where your cell phone carrier will not be able to deliver the important calls you need to know about. For those situations, Smith.ai is ready to help.

Our Voicemail to MP3 service is included on all of our plans and is also available as a standalone service for just $10/month with unlimited voicemails (number porting included).

Jenn Marie

I began my writing and marketing career in 1993 for Taw Caw Little League, a community organization managed by my father at the time. At a young age, I learned the importance of well-written brochures, newsletters, and programs as well as the many challenges of running a fundraising concession stand.

But the unlimited supply of candy made it all worthwhile.

My childhood exposure to community development grew into an adult love of community service. As a young adult, I spent multiple years involved in full time community service through both Xavier University’s United Way Service Fellows program and National AIDS Fund AmeriCorps. During these times, I worked with young children and teens as an educator on literacy, sexual health, and HIV prevention.Helping others through communication was quickly becoming my passion.

Although active on the Internet since 1997, I first began working online in 2002 for Dell Computers. I was responsible for teaching people how to shop online, and it was a job I took very seriously.Upon graduation, I was hired by Microsoft, at the dawn of the Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing boom. I completed three Microsoft certifications within a few months, vastly increasing my technical aptitude and sales skills.In 2010, I began leveraging the internet for projects that combined my journalism, customer service, and sales background. During that time, I completed writing projects for  a variety of internet marketing firms as well as established websites such as Avvo.com and Groupon.  I also worked part-time for Amazon.com as a virtual customer service agent.I’d built a career off of the internet, and was now ready to build my own business.I left Amazon in 2014 to build my business full time. A few months later, I founded Jenn Marie Writing & Marketing, LLC  with a team of four freelancers. Since then, we have scaled up and down to meet client demand for  content writing, blog posting, and social media management services.

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