Rome was not built in a day. (Neither was Albuquerque, but no one’s going on and on about that.) A trusted brand is not built in a day either. People put a lot of faith into names like Amazon and Target to sell them only the good stuff. And we trust names like Apple and Nike to deliver top-notch gear. But these brands didn’t magically appear out of thin air. Amazon Prime was a major breakthrough, but free two-day delivery isn’t the totality of what Amazon brings to the table. Nike Air can feel like walking on air, but again, one cushioning system isn’t what made the empire. Each built its reputation over years of painstaking attention to detail and exceptional customer service. People don’t just buy the products or services, they buy the whole experience. We know that if there is a problem with our order, either Target or Apple is likely to make it right without requiring us to jump through a bunch of hoops. The American dream is typically depicted as the lightning bolt idea that sweeps the world — and that can be the first step — but sustaining the dream requires intimate contact with the people buying your brand.

In this article, we cover:

· The importance of customer service in building great brands.

· What makes efficient customer communications.

· The five ways successful businesses use visual voicemail to improve their customer service.

Delivering the “personal touch” to business interactions may seem unattainable for a small business or entrepreneur, especially once you’ve made it past a handful of customers. Only big brands can afford the resources it takes to be present for hundreds, even thousands of customers, right? Just like the light-bulb moment of inventing your product, handling customer communications efficiently can feel like a breakthrough.

But what do we mean by efficient customer communications? Visual voicemail is one element among a constellation of features that can transform customer service from a pipe dream to reality. Here are five ways successful businesses use visual voicemail to improve their customer service.

1. Professional greetings

You had me at “hello.” Well, we’d like to think so anyway. As your business grows, the first thing you need to let go of is the idea that you can answer every call around the clock. The intention is noble, but the resources needed to make it happen, and for it to still be a pleasing experience, get very expensive very quickly. That’s what voicemail is for. And that’s OK! It’s very much within reach to set up professionally recorded greetings with exceptional voice talent. You can even set up custom professional greetings for specific callers, which is really next-level attention to detail.

2. Auto attendant

Even if you have them at “hello,” don’t stop there. Setting up an auto-attendant to effortlessly route call incoming calls is not rocket science — provided you choose user-friendly technology. It’s simple: if you’re unable to answer a call, an auto-attendant app answers it for you. The caller receives that professional greeting we mentioned with smart routing options. Give them the option to get routed to your assistant or your personal number. Use a service that is able to provide multiple phone numbers for callers to choose to be routed to. Newsflash: people like options.

3. Unified inbox

Set up your auto-attendant right, and even a modestly sized workforce can punch way above its weight in tackling incoming calls. A unified inbox also helps. Keeping a single, unified voicemail inbox for all your numbers puts all your message in one place. When juggling multiple lines, it’s much easier to burn through all of your messages from your personal phone, home phone, and work phone if you can do so in one fell swoop. You can forward your missed calls from any phone number to a smart unified inbox that can track which number is called, play the right greeting, take the message, clearly label each as home, cell, work, circus, or whatever you choose to categorize them as.

4. Second phone number

Speaking of those other lines, why have them in the first place, you may ask. A second phone number (or third or fourth) helps you better screen incoming calls to protect your privacy. In a world in which the lines between work and personal life are blurred more and more every day, a second virtual phone number helps working professionals keep their sanity. Coupled with YouMail’s best-in-the-biz robocall blocking technology, you can reclaim hours of your life by cutting out all the spam, scams, and unwanted calls you’d otherwise have to deal with. And good riddance!

Second Phone Number

5. Manage messages visually

You know how some people are Outlook inbox wizards? They meticulously organize their inboxes with folders and filters in such a way that nothing gets by them. Maybe you’re one of those people. Well, visual voicemail unlocks that kind of visual management from a medium that used to be completely auditory. And smart visual voicemail technology that is built for entrepreneurs and small businesses — such as that offered by YouMail — opens up a whole new world of voicemail management. Now you can organize, prioritize, and wrap your arms around all of your communications without needing to cycle through a maze of audio prompts. You can even have your voicemail messages automatically forwarded to your email inbox. No longer do you need to have the discipline to circle back to that voicemail alert you couldn’t respond to half an hour ago. It’s right there in your email inbox along with every other action item for your day.

Rome may not have been built in a day, but the tools you need to build your brand’s own empire over time are certainly there for the taking. Check out visual voicemail and all the other features YouMail’s professional plans built specifically for entrepreneurs and small businesses offer today.

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