Creating a Professional Voicemail for Your Business
How important is it to have a professional sounding voicemail greeting?
Your company voicemail greeting will set the tone on how your customers will perceive your company’s customer service efforts. When done right, it will create a positive impression on your callers; making them feel confident that they are dealing with a professional and trustworthy company. An unclear or confusing greeting or instructions can lead to up 15 percent or more abandoned calls. This is 15% of customers dropping calls before they leave a message. This is 15% of possible business lost.
First thing you need to do is put yourself in your customer’s mindset. How do you want to be treated when you couldn’t talk to the person you called for? What assurance do I need to hear to feel confident that I will get that callback? Scripting is very important. Customers will call because of urgency – so it is important to make them feel that their call will be dealt with immediately. Saying, “We will call you back as soon as possible” does not inspire confidence.
Another question to ask is who will do the recording? Is this something that you or your team can confidently do? Or you would require professional help? There are now business phone system applications where you can easily record or upload your own voice greeting. There are also online sites like The Voice Realm, where you can hire professional voice-over talents and they can provide a recording for you to upload. Consider the scale of your business and your logistics; also the kind of impression you wish to leave your clients and internal customers before deciding.
Basic elements of a business voicemail greeting you need to know.
Your initial greeting should be friendly and informative. Greet your customers with a smile and thank them for the call. State your company or department name, and your name. Provide enough information to let the caller know that they have reached the correct number.
Reason why you can’t take the call
You can have a generic message that would simply state that you are unavailable. However, providing more information like if they have called outside office hours, or you are in a meeting, or out of office can give the customer a more realistic expectation on when you will get back to them. It is also good to include an apology for missing their call as it will sound professional and that each caller is important.
Ask them to leave a message
Ask the client to leave their name, contacts or other information that you would need to get back to them. Also inviting the customer to give the reason for their call will help you prepare when you call them back.
Let them know when you can get back to them. Make sure that it is a realistic timeframe, one that you can keep. There is nothing more frustrating for a client than being promised a callback and not getting it.
Give an alternative
Provide an alternative number, email, website or resource person whom they can reach in case their concern requires immediate attention.
Keep it short
While you want to include all pertinent information, you do not want the customer to be impatient. Ideally, your message should be about 20 to 25 seconds long. Do not include promotions or special offers in your greeting; you can leave that for your on-hold messages.
Keep it updated
As there are different types of voicemail greeting (out of office hours, in meeting, on the phone, etc), make sure then that you keep your message frequently updated.
In conclusion, remember that your voicemail greeting is one of the frontline voices of your business. How you present it from the script to the delivery should match the image your company represents. It may be just a few lines, but the impression that you leave your customers can affect the success of your business.
What’s one thing that annoys you when you call a company and get placed on hold?