Your cell phone provider's voicemail is obsolete:
A free service called YouMail will take over your cell phone email service and do some very interesting things with it. It's not just a matter of more convenience for you, but also a client services and marketing value.
Your cell messages end up in your email inbox:
You can forward the voicemail to someone else:
Or you can forward the voicemail from the client directly to the surveyor. There's no middle person to mess up the information transfer, and the surveyor can play it over and over to get the instructions right without you having to say them multiple times on a phone call.
Check and record messages online at Youmail.com:
You can also use your own microphone and recording software to record your messages that callers will hear. You then upload them to Youmail servers. If you don't have that capability, no problem, as you can record your answering messages with a phone or you can use a microphone on your computer and record directly to the service online.
A message for every occasion or special people:
This could really be a WOW factor with a special client who's requiring hand-holding in a transaction. They'll feel like the most important caller on your list when they hear their own personalized answering message.
What's it cost and for how long?:
It might definitely be worth a few bucks a month to get that message time longer, say more like ten minutes. And, if you're using groups of people to hear certain special messages when you don't answer, I guess you could hit the 400 contact limit at some point also.
Convenience Works Both Ways:
It's a good thing when we can also choose a tech service that will accomplish what we need and provide better service to our clients as well. Even if it's just a boost to their egos by having a special message when they can't reach you, it's still customer service at a higher level.
But there's one more value to this capability that hasn't yet been mentioned. How many of us would like to provide another number, perhaps even our home number, but only for certain callers? Just create a message something like "Hi, this is Jim and I'm really sorry I missed your call. This message is only for those that I wish to reach me at any time, so please feel free to call me now on my home phone number at 555-555-5555." Not bad for special customer service, while protecting your home time as well.