Just how important are telephone answering machines? VERY important as it keeps your customers informed of you’re opening days and times.
Last week I needed to contact my dentist for an urgent appointment. He is a one-man dentist, with a hygienist and a nurse/receptionist. When he has any time off the practice closes.
I rang at 09.00 last Monday morning, the telephone just rang and rang, no one answered and there was no telephone answering message. I thought they might be starting at 9.30 so I range again – still no answer. I did think this was strange as usually when he has been away on holiday he has answered the phone via his mobile and has advised from there. This time there was nothing.
I tried again just after lunchtime and again around 4.00 pm. I wondered if perhaps he was having a long weekend off. I even checked that I was ringing the correct number.
I tried again the following morning, at 9.00 and 11.00.
The worse part for me was the not knowing. Had there been a message to say how long the surgery was going to be closed for I could have then made a decision to either wait and see him or to seek treatment elsewhere.
As I needed an urgent appointment I telephoned another practice locally and was luckily enough to get an appointment that same afternoon.
Just as well I did as I was told that had I left it any later I would have probably lost the tooth.
I have been with my dentist for over 9 years. No reason to change to be honest, I am not fond of the dentist at the best of times, but he always seemed to be good enough.
I actually found the new dentist to be extremely pleasant, she made me feel very much as ease. The surgery surroundings were very relaxed and the Receptionist was lovely, she chatted away. I felt far more relaxed when I went in to see the Dentist and she talked me through what she was going to do. The surgery was also much closer to home and there was free parking where I used to have to pay for parking at my other dentist and to add to it all the new dentist’s overall charges were considerably a lot cheaper than my regular dentist.
Taking everything into consideration I have decided to move to the new Dentist, it suits my needs much more, but I didn’t realise that until I was forced to visit the new surgery.
Had my old dentist had a telephone message advising how long the surgery would be closed for I would probably still be going there now.
So, it is vital that you have a good telephone message set up on your phones. Ensure that the message is appropriate and you might have to change a message if you have the following:
- Morning opening times that differ
- if you close for lunch – state what time you open again at and leave any emergency numbers as appropriate.
- Evening closing times differ – again leave any emergency numbers
- Friday night – leave messages appropriate for weekend closing and again leave any emergency numbers
- If there is a bank holiday, please ensure that this is mention in the last message before the holiday.
Get someone who has a good clear voice to record the messages. It is essential that they speak slowly and clearly and repeat any emergency telephone numbers twice.
Get someone to check the messages regularly to make sure they are the correct ones.
If you do not want anyone leaving messages add this to your message and make it clear that the service does not accept telephone messages. If you don’t people will use it as a message machine.
There is nothing worse that getting a telephone answering message that is out of date or wrong!
Having the correct telephone message on your answer phone is important. You could lose customers if it’s not.