The phone is the lifeblood of most businesses. Prospective clients are calling to get pricing, availability or information about what you offer as a business. We simply have to take those calls to stay in business.

Budgeting for a receptionist or assistant to answer your phone can be tricky. Few studios nowadays have the resources to allocate to a single person to answer the phone. Usually, a studio employee who is busy with other tasks must stop to pick up the phone or you, the studio owner, must do it, which makes it the least financially effective way to communicate with your client base.

Years ago, I stumbled across a company called Evoice. The advertisement stated they offered phone answering services and client communication options. I read up on the company online, and it sounded almost too good to be true.

Evoice is a personal answering service that accepts your business calls. Callers can be screened, robocalls can be ignored and important calls can be answered immediately. If your caller reaches a pre-recorded greeting, the transcript of the message can be sent to a cell phone via text or email. Audio of the message is also attached the email.

The digital receptionist isn’t just an answering machine, it’s an interactive service that allows the caller to use their touch keypad to direct them to the party they are trying to reach in your studio.

Here’s How It Works
Caller calls the studio. They are greeted by a professional voice welcoming them to your studio. (This message is pre-recorded by a professional voice-over actress using words you’ve set up with the service beforehand).

The Evoice digital receptionist then asks for your caller’s name, before asking them to wait while the appropriate party is reached.

While the caller is on hold, the service calls your cell number, (or any other number you’ve put into the system). Once you pick up, Evoice will tell you who’s on the line then give you the opportunity to either accept the call, or send the caller to voicemail via key commands. If no one answers, or If you choose to send the caller to voicemail, the caller will be directed to leave a message. That message is then transcribed and sent directly to your cell phone in the form of a text or email. It’s like having a written record of the call. NICE.

No Land Line Necessary!
Since up to 6 phone lines are included, you wouldn’t even need a land line unless you wanted one. Up to 6 phone numbers come with the base level service, which can be either local or 1-800 numbers. You get 2 extensions as well. You can route incoming calls to multiple other phones, free forwarding of messages to email (extra fee for text) all for $12.99 a month. That’s about the price you’d pay a receptionist for one hour of her time!

mccall1
Graphic shows what an email message looks like. I can read it very quickly or click on the attached audio file to hear the actual voice message left by the caller.

Evoice takes all my studio calls, fits my brand and gives a polished feel to my business. In a competitive world as ours, every small business owner needs every advantage he can find. So, if you are constantly interrupted throughout your busy day by legitimate callers or even those pesky telephone solicitors, eVoice is a way to maximize your time and resources. To find out more, go to www.evoice.com.

mccall2Mark McCall is a Past President of TPPA and operates a studio in Lubbock, Texas. In 2002, he opened his first studio in that area and, in 2009, opened one of the first “co-op” studios in the state. He is a firm believer in photographic education and teaches a Print Competition Boot Camp at TPPA Summerfest. His high energy combined with his technical and artistic skills make him a valuable commodity for TPPA

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