One of the most important factors of marketing a business successfully is your voicemail greeting, yet all too often, this is overlooked. It’s crucial that you present yourself professionally on the phone. Here are some tips to help you maximize the value of your voicemail service.
Eliminate Background Noise
Make sure you record your voicemail greeting in the right place, where there is no background noise such as noisy children, animals, or honking traffic. If your callers can hear background noise, it will not only impair your professional image, but it will also make your callers feel slighted. It will only take 5-10 minute to record your message, so do it at home or in your office when you have some quiet time.
Show Your Brand’s Individuality
Your brand is unique, and your voicemail message should reflect that. Avoid using generic greetings like, “I can’t get to my phone right now, please leave a message.” Your voicemail gives you an opportunity to make your business stand out and stick in your callers’ minds. You can incorporate a fact or two about your business or something related to your mission statement. For example, “hi there, you’ve reached Brewster Farms. We provide the finest quality organic mushrooms for restaurants and domestic kitchens. Leave a message so we can help you stock up your larder.”
Keep Your Callers Engaged
Despite the brevity, a business voicemail has a lot in common with a business conversation. Imagine you are creating a dialogue between yourself and a potential customer. That will give you a much more upbeat tone, and your message will be engaging. They will leave the call with a good impression. A good way to encourage engagement is to ask callers to do something. For example, “we’ll get back to you ASAP if you include the name of your favorite movie in your message.” You may not realize it but when you smile, the tone of your voice completely changes. It will make your greeting sound much friendlier.
Write it Down and Practice
Not many people can pull off an unscripted voicemail message. So, unless you’re an experienced public speaker, you’re better off writing it down and rehearsing to avoid those awkward “ums” and “erms.” You’ll also sound clearer and more confident.
Update Your Greeting on a Regular Basis
By updating your greeting frequently, you can keep it fresh. You can easily do this by adding new information such as your latest special offer, or the newest inventory item. You can also mention who to contact while you are unavailable. Just make sure that all your greetings are time sensitive.
Keep it Concise
Don’t ramble on during your voicemail greeting. Provide just the amount of information that’s needed. If you make your greeting too long, your callers will just hang up without bothering to listen to it, and that means you may be losing another customer. Your greeting certainly shouldn’t be so long that a caller has to call back to listen to it again because they didn’t catch all the information the first time. The optimal time length for you greeting is 20-25 seconds.
Always remember to let your callers know when they should expect you to return their call. And try to keep the wait time to a minimum. For example, let them know you will be available to return their call in two hours, or between 2 and 4 PM. Whatever the window you state in your greeting, remember to stick to your word. Customers will not be impressed if you don’t call them back when you promised to. If you forget to call them back or you are late calling them, it’s unlikely they will deal with your company again.
Check your greeting: Once you’ve completed your outgoing voicemail message, listen to it once or twice to make sure you said what you meant to say and be sure that it matched the professional expectations of your company. If you really want to see how effective it is, dial in from outside as a customer would and make sure the transition to voicemail is seamless.
A Simple Example
Here’s an example of a professional sounding greeting. Hello, this is Rebecca at Ambiguous Media. I will be in a meeting this morning, but I will be able to return calls between 1-3 PM Eastern Standard Time. If you need immediate assistance, please press 1, and your call will be transferred to our customer service manager. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be responding throughout the afternoon. Thanks for calling!
Using these tips will keep you on track when you need to create or update your voicemail greeting. You will always sound professional, and your customers will never feel let down when they call, even when you are unable to answer.