According to MarketingVox, in a recent survey, "Eight of 10 Americans have little patience for merchants who don't answer the phone." The implications are clear: Answer the phone. If people wanted voicemail hell and being on hold, they would choose to go with the cheapest and biggest. (Isn't that the biggest complaint against the telcos?) Well, many of my clients have installed "sophisticated" phone systems that do not make it easy to get a human either.
"Voice mail, answering machines, unreturned calls, and unanswered ringing will send your customer straight to a competitor."
This is a good opportunity to sell unified messaging and Hosted PBX, especially with ring to all, find-me/follow-me, voicemail to email, call forwarding.