BetterVoicemail’s new features master voicemail
We first introduced you to BetterVoicemail last fall, reporting that this sophisticated voicemail system was much more than just a forwarding service, as so many competitors, rather an easy to use tool that kills phone trees and uses Siri technology to offer a better consumer experience so that any time your phone rings, it either goes to the appropriate person, or the consumer gets the appropriate information, rather than just having a missed call and a voicemail that many Realtors wouldn’t return. As AG supporters, we’ve gotten to know the BetterVoicemail team and are familiar with their culture of seeking to simply get that caller converted. Period.
Today, the company has announced a series of new features:
- Completely customizable voicemail for your cell Phone: this feature include custom menus (calling for a market analysis – press 1, list of available condos in South Beach – press 2), the ability to forward missed calls to another number instead of having them leave a message. The team says if there is an option you dream up, they can make it happen in minutes.
- “Better Than” Google Voice functionality: extend the flexibility of the new BetterVoicemail to all of your inbound calls. You can grab a local number, or even a toll free number, and fully customize how your inbound calls are handled for yourself, your team, or your brokerage. The system can ring multiple cell phones at once, do staggered-simultaneous ringing (ring our #1 qualifier first, then 10 seconds later start ringing your #2) and do ring scheduling and after-hours rotations.
- Notify the right people: The company says, “stop wasting valuable time forwarding voicemails or relaying notes to teammates or assistants. If someone on your team is responsible for a housing development, automatically send them an alert when a call comes in about that development, even if it was a call to another agent. Automatically notifying the right people helps your team get back in touch with the consumer fast in the event of a missed call.”
- Import CRM data: If clients already have a relationship with an agent, the new system can bypass menus and route straight to the agent, based on what your CRM says. This tie in is incredibly useful for saving everyone’s time on both ends of the phone, and can easily make any team more professional overnight.
- Export to Evernote and Salesforce: BetterVoicemail can help setup automatic imports of new leads and call information into Evernote or Salesforce, making client history more robust. The company tells us that Full API integrations are coming, which will be huge.
There are two major challenges with voicemail as it exists on your phone – “I don’t know what to do with all of these missed calls,” and “They’ll wait for me to call them back.” With the new features, you can send missed cell phone calls to a teammate, offer the caller a text with your mobile tour, or leave a voicemail about a property that emails you and your assistant assigned to the listing. The chances of consumers hunting you down are slim, as data shows consumers typically hang up and move on to the next agent, so this technology keeps them on the phone by giving them what they need.
The company adds that with their technology comes a major opportunity for team branding. “What if every team member had the same branded voicemail on their phones? Or what if every inbound call to your team was immediately greeted with the same branded recording instead of rings? A team of 2 or a brokerage of 10 can now sound like a fortune 500, which really raises the bar and helps instill professionalism and trust by the consumer.”
Disruption of the industry
Any company that is disrupting a boring industry captures our attention, and in this case, we see many companies that BetterVoicemail’s new features disrupt.
First, and most obviously, the new features go way beyond what Google Voice has to offer, practically eliminating it as a legitimate option for real estate professionals in the field. The Google Voice transcription is theoretically helpful, but they are usually laughable. Like Google Voice, BetterVoicemail offers public numbers to allow an individual agent to operate behind, teams can use it for team routing, or entire brokerages can use it as a cloud-based PBX. Everything within the new BetterVoicemail system customizes what happens when your phone rings, rather than being stuck with “call these few numbers, period”.
Secondly, IfByPhone (and TribusVoice, a company based on the IfByPhone API) is disrupted by these new features, because the majority of companies do not have tech support or developers, which is what is said to be a necessary part of using their offering, which is not feasible for a single agent or small team. BetterVoicemail, even with the new features, does not have a monthly minimum, which could position them to take market share from IfByPhone.
Phonebooth.com and Ringcentral.com also have targets on their backs, because they require per-user fees, seat fees, and contracts, whereas BetterVoicemail only bills for use, no matter how many people are in an organization, how many extensions are set up, as it is exclusively pay for use.
Proquest and ArchTelecom could feel the disruption as well, as honestly, standalone 800-call capture systems peaked in the late 90s. They can be integrated with more modern tools, eliminating another monthly fee, and eliminating yet another location that requires manual updating. Through the new BetterVoicemail, when a call capture system is set up, the lead information is immediately sent to the app on your phone, and when a caller wants to speak with an agent immediately, the system follows the same find-me-follow-me routing that your phone system uses, with no need to duplicate functionality, and no need to have lead data stored all across the net.
Just make my voicemail do X, Y, and Z.
Lyle Pratt, Founder at BetterVoicemail tells AGBeat that “BetterVoicemail started as a way to help missed callers receive some of the information they were looking for, and primarily to give the real estate professional the information they need to get back in touch fast. This is taking that consumer experience to the next level.”
Now, the company has the ability for individuals to say “yes, I need to get back in touch quickly, and I need my voicemail to do X, Y, and Z,” and it’s done and without having to hire a developer to program all of it for you, or being forced into monthly minimums or complicated contracts.
Pratt added, “Teams and brokerages know they want a better experience for consumers, we’ve now built the tool that lets them raise the bar in real estate and build their system to match their market and their services.”