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Voicemail Service? Customer calls


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Anyone use or recommend a good voicemail service?  Somehow employees who shouldn't have, got my phone number, and now I'm being bothered randomly at all hours of the day.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the important calls like not cooling or not working.  But I mean 6am calling that the pop tarts are stuck, or supper time with the family and phone rings, Ok, I'm out of gummy bears, I'll be on location early tomorrow to fill them (as per my normal routine, which you already know), but thanks for the call.....  Ugh.  I'm on each location at least 2 times a week so if there is a problem its not long before I resolve it on my own, and all the equipment is reliable.  There's just a few employees that feel like its front page headlines when "there's only one bag of doritos left and John buys like three a day so its gonna be gone soon just wanted to give you a heads up".  My wife is even getting irritated with the constant calls.  Most of which are related to out of stock product.  Sometimes a dollar gets stuck, which I appreciate those calls (I guess).  So I think if I transfer my current number to just a voicemail account and check it on my time.  I can weed out the b/s.  Or am I being too self centered?  What do you guy's think?  I'd hate to irritate people who spend money in my machines.  Thoughts?

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Duh, just ignore the calls so they go to your voicemail.  What's so hard about that?  You do have a recording that says it's the vending company answering, right?  Do you have this number on your machines?  If not then you need a number so users of the machine can report a problem.  You're being foolish if you don't think the users, your customers, have a right to call and report a problem.  Regardless of how trivial some calls might be you need to have the ability for them to call for the important things.  I always told my customers (my company number was on every machine and it would ring to my cell phone) that I preferred to get 10 calls to ensure I got at least one to tell me there was a problem.  This is called customer service.  

PS:  Tell your wife to get over it.  This is a service business and it belongs to YOU and HER, whether she likes it or not.  This goes with the territory and you can always put your phone on vibrate - or just get rid of the business and these problems.  How do you think other service companies, or vending companies, handle this?  They take the calls.

Edited by AZVendor
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I agree with AZVendor.  I WANT people to let me know of problems whenever there is one.  Does it get annoying when someone calls me because they are out of doritos and virtually nothing else? Absolutely, but there are a few ways to get around that sometimes.  If a customer calls me because there's a bill stuck in the machine, and it's a good location, I want to get out there ASAP.  Now, that doesn't mean I will stop eating dinner with my family to fix it, but it does mean that i'll try to incorporate it into my route the next day.  I mean, if you lost $100 in revenue because a bill was stuck, and out of that $100 you could claim $30 for yourself, would you have a problem driving out of your way to fix it?  If an account profited $5,000/year and you lost it because the machine wasn't working for days, would you regret that?  Don't get me wrong, I have a life and so do you and it's important to have priorities, but simply doing what AZVendor said and put your phone on vibrate or silent when you aren't on normal working hours is the solution.  You can always just check your voicemail at your convenience. 

 

In my experience, the majority of vending companies run business hours which may be anywhere from 7am to 7pm but usually not oddball hours.  Those calls usually go to a voicemail/answering machine and the companies figure those out first thing in the morning during working hours.  Getting those random calls is just part of the business.  I get frustrated sometimes when I get a call at 5:30 in the morning but I just send it to voicemail, listen to the voicemail real quick to see if it's urgent, and then ignore it until I am ready to actually work.

What has me curious, though, is that you said most of your calls are relating to product being sold-out.  Honestly, this can be one of the better problems to have because you have full control to remedy the problem most of the time by doing one of three things; increasing your service cycle, increasing the capacity of the machine (ie. bigger machine), or double up on items that sell faster.  If you keep running out of doritos but bbq chips hardly sell, then put 2 rows of doritos and boom.. you've reduced service calls from "John" about doritos AND you have increased your profit by increasing sales.  Seriously.  I am not trying to be a jerk here but getting calls for being low on product is entirely the fault of whoever stocks the machine (which seems to be you).  Now, I HAVE gotten calls in the past where someone warns me that I only have 2-3 items in every selection but these were slow accounts and the people calling had nothing better to do than count everything in the vending machine and apparently go on a power trip to try to make me fill the machine up.  The vast majority of those calls went away after I canceled those slow locations.  If you have good locations that need to be serviced regularly, then you should make sure you have enough of your best selling items and get rid of the poor selling items.  Do that and you'll eliminate most of those calls.

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I have a separate line for buisiness and personal. Voice and text only, no data. Runs less than 20/mo. Turned on during the day, promptly gets put on a charger and silenced when I get home. Before that I used Google Voice (free) It’s not as easy to use but it worked when I was still small. The only business calls that I get on my personal is from suppliers and vendors. But those typically don’t spam me, and don’t call at odd hours.

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I use magic jack, I forward all calls to my cell, unlike the 7 to 7 guys, my line is always open, considering the area I service, they want stuff done, and they want it done fast, and now. But..... no matter how good my service is, they still consider me a small rat running around, so when it comes to filling, they will call, but when it comes to "were closing store and your machine is in the dumpster" call is almost never to happen, who cares for the vending machine, small time guy, well scrap it! or take it home, "the kids will love it after I pop it open". So, I never shut off the phone, I have a standard rule I follow, I don't care where the location is, or when the last time I was there, even if it was yesterday, and its 40 miles out, if I get that call... guess what im doing... slogan is simple "for service today (or within 24hrs) call before 4pm" if calling Friday after 4pm, don't expect me till Monday. Yes, I make runs for those calls, I treat all locations the same, it could be as simple as a quarter getting stuck, or product not coming out on the bulk machine, or a dollar getting stuck, or the water not dropping, I am always there! now the mom and pop shops know what I do, and how I do, but the corporate locations couldn't give 2 shits about how fast or slow I get stuff done, so I try to reinforce it on them. Like...

some one called?

yes, we did,

how long ago?

um like a few hours ago

oh wow, and here I am, what is the issue you're having?

then at the end ill be a jerk and say...

when was the last time you called any company or service and they actually showed up the same day?

ummmmmm, never

welcome to my world! :) 

 

magic jack is super cheap, its got VM, and you can forward to any number, you can even call back from the MJ number, the customer doesn't have to see your number.

I even made a new line recently (xxx) VENDING, go ahead give me a call :P sorry cant tell you the area code :P don't need any unwanted calls.

you're in the business to make money, but you cant make money without customer service, i have super busy locations, i service at least 2 to 3 times a week, im out on my own, single man operation, and if i can do it, then you should be able to as well. those calls that you're so annoyed of getting are your money calls, you want those, if you know a product sells more than others, heck, make 3 or 4 lines with it, what are you losing? you know it will sell, you now have 2 or 3 products less you have to worry about going bad or not selling, and just bring more of what sells, not always about variety. i know Doritos, famous Amos, pretzels, Takis, snickers, mm peanuts sell the most, so ill make 2 or 3 of each selection, and it sells! eventually ill weed out the products that sell the least like cracker jacks and fig newtons, during summer, at least 2 to 3 lines of water in every machine, filled to the top. that's where the cash is made, those calls are not from the irritating customers, but really the machines calling for a change!

But joe shmo loves these chips, you cant take them out...

yeah joe shmo is a part timer of 4 hours a week, you know what to do.

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Sounds good guys, the general consensus is, I need to stop complaining.  So be it.  I'll just turn my phone off during family time and let it take all my calls to voicemail.  Thanks for the info on voicemail companies to try though.

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