Small Business Answering Service App Announced by Main Virtual Office to Replace Small Business Voice Mail

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Small businesses that continue to rely on voice mail are committing suicide. Main Virtual Office announces that their small business answering service and mobile app is coming out of Beta this month.

An increasing number of mobile phone users are turning away from voice mail in frustration. So much so that JWT, the best-known marketing brand in the world, has declared 2013 “the year voice mail dies.” Teenagers, young adults, and other tech-savvy individuals have turned almost exclusively to texting. For personal communications, texting is more efficient and enjoyable then waiting through a series of automated greetings, prompts and PIN entries before finally recording or retrieving messages. For small businesses, however, texting with potential clients is not a viable alternative to voice mail. The solution can be found in small business answering service mobile apps.

The truth about voice mail systems is that they were designed to be inconvenient. More accurately, they were designed to use up mobile customers’ billable minutes and increase the mobile carriers’ revenues. Now that unlimited talk minutes are becoming standard, promotion of and innovation in voice mail are no longer of concern to carriers. Voice mail will soon be as irrelevant to our daily lives as home answering machines are. This provides an opportunity for hybrid small business answering services to emerge.

According to Jim Plunkett of Main Virtual Office, there is a growing awareness among solopreneurs and other small business owners of the liability posed when potential clients hang up rather than leave a voice mail. Unable to afford the loss of prospects, they are abandoning voice mail for small business answering services. The new small business answering services, like Main Virtual Office, are developing mobile apps that integrate the convenience of text messaging with the human touch of live answering.

Thanks to improvements in mobile and newer technologies like cloud-based VOIP, Plunkett says the potential is ripe for small business answering service apps to fill independent business owners’ needs. While small business answering services in general are nothing new, these technologies allow for previously-unheard-of functionality. “Old school” small business answering services provide a live receptionist on the line to screen calls and/or take messages. Mobile and cloud-based technologies put the world at your finger tips in an instant. Combining live reception with the latest mobile and cloud-based technologies allows the modern small business answering service to instantly relay messages taken live to small business owners as texts. Everything is done from a fully-integrated VOIP system.

Main Virtual Office’s new small business answering service mobile app, to be released this month, has been tailored to the needs of very small businesses and solopreneurs. The app’s greatest advantage, according to Plunkett, is that by logging in to the interface, customers can alert their virtual receptionists to their availability in real time. This real time knowledge of a customer’s availability not only saves the time of attempting to patch calls through at inconvenient moments, it also allows the virtual receptionists to answer calls as though they were right in the customer’s office. Plunkett is optimistic that 2013 will be the year small business answering service apps become the norm and voice mail goes the way of the dodo.

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Jim Plunkett
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