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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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).