First impressions matter. That’s true for the dating scene, and it’s true for when customers call you for the first time. This means that the kind of voicemail greeting that they hear needs to be professional. Do it right, and you gain instant credibility. Do it wrong, and you might lose a business opportunity.
6 Steps to Perfect Business Voicemail Greetings
Remember the last time you contacted a business and were automatically directed to voicemail greetings? Chances are, it was a rather dull and impersonal experience that gave you absolutely no impression of the people behind that business. Perhaps you even dropped the phone before getting to the “beep”.
Now, as a business owner, you’d want the very opposite of such a first impression. As someone who cares about your customers, the first impressions you want are friendliness, trustworthiness and care, not boredom and one-size-fits-all customer treatment. Most of all, you understand the value of time and know that you have no seconds to lose when it comes to customer engagement.
In a previous post, we addressed popular business voicemail greetings including professional and personal voicemail greetings. Today, we dig deeper to give you a thorough yet simple guide on how to record business voicemail greetings that really stand out from the crowd and leave lasting impressions.
Take it step by step, or click below to tackle specific issues:
- Step 1: connecting to your audience
- Step 2: business voicemail etiquette for conservative industries
- Step 3: personalized and creative voicemail greetings for small business
- Step 4: avoiding all-purpose voicemail greetings
- Step 5: do-it-yourself recordings vs. professional voice artists
- Step 6: keeping track of necessary updates
Step 1: Different strokes for different folks: business voicemail greetings that make a difference
Think of your business voicemail greeting as the welcome sign to your business. You wouldn’t want one that is a “turn off” to potential clients – you’d want something that reflects both your business ideals and looks inviting.
To give the appropriate sort of welcome to your callers, approach your business voicemail like you would bigger marketing content: dig deep into your audience and goals. As each industry is special, your goal is to find the “golden ratio” of flexibility for your specific audience. This will let you avoid sounding generic while keeping the professionalism in check.
Business voicemail greetings checklist
- Your industry or niche: how much of a business “dress code” does your client communication involve? Remember that even in formal business areas, a polite personal touch is always welcome.
- Target audience age: are you part of an industry catering specifically to millennials, senior citizens, or perhaps Gen Z-ers? You might want to spice up/tone down your message accordingly.
- Geographical and language preferences: if your business is serving a national audience (for example, you have an online shop) it makes sense to follow the example of caring business owners nationwide who go the extra way of adding bilingual voicemail greetings. Consider English/Spanish pairs for the U.S. and English/French for Canada.
Step 2: Stick to business voicemail etiquette if your industry demands it
Finding the perfect words for your voicemail greetings involves 3 key points:
- Be informative: provide all necessary info such as company name, office hours and location, and alternative ways of reaching you (email, phone, or social accounts)
- Be concise: callers don’t want an avalanche of unnecessary information. Make your message concise enough to listen through to the end.
- Be polite: avoid voicemail greetings that best belong on your personal answering machine.
The internet is full of suggestions and scripts for multi-purpose voicemail greetings but finding something that’s spot on can still take time. Here are a few examples of informative and respectful voicemail greetings for industries where an extra touch of professionalism is always welcome.
“You’ve reached the voicemail of [Your business]. Our office hours are from [Monday through Saturday], [8 AM to 8 PM]. Sign up for an appointment at [exampleclinic.com] or call our administrative assistant during office hours. Please leave your name and number and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.”
“Hi, you’ve reached [Your Name] at Example Realty. We specialize in helping you find commercial properties in [Your State/Local Area]. I’m unavailable to take your call but will call you back by this time tomorrow if you leave a message with your name and telephone number. You can also email [yourname@ExampleRealty.com] or tweet [@yourbusiness]”
“We are conveniently located at [Address], and our attorneys are here to assist you [Hours of Operation]. Whatever your representation needs, the legal team at [Firm Name] is here to provide you with first-rate service and the respect and compassion you deserve. Please leave a message and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs as soon as possible.”
“You have reached [your business]. All of our sales representatives are busy serving other customers, but we would like to return your call as soon as possible. For current pricing information or to check the status of your order, please visit us on the web at [your website]. Otherwise, please leave us a message with your name and number after the tone. If you would like to return to the previous menu, press the [key to main menu].”
Step 3: Have an online store, niche or freelance business? Embrace creativity!
DYB coach Jeff Sommers tells the story of how a simple, good-natured laugh sky-rocketed his customer retention stats. When Jeff saw that his painting business was getting missed calls but none of the callers were leaving voicemail messages, he decided to try something as simple as changing his business voicemail greetings.
Imagine the smile across your own face when instead of something like the boring voicemail many of us still have, “This is [so-and-so]. Please leave your name and message at the tone and I’ll get back to you”, you’d contact Jeff and hear his new business voicemail greeting:
“Hello! You’ve reached Jeff and ESP painting. Please leave your name, number, and favorite color and I will call you back soon! Thank you!” – [DYB Coach]
Simply great, right? So thought Jeff’s customers – and began connecting to him right away (and responding to his question!) Sometimes a simple smile can be enough to get a customer to connect to your creative and human side and decide that your business is just what they were looking for!
If you are selling non-mainstream merchandise such as niche products, or creativity is your business’s native element, reflecting your personal vision in customer voicemail greetings is a great idea. Just remember: no matter how creative you get, your business voicemail greetings should still reflect the key points from Step 2. Avoid any humor that can potentially offend your customers.
Creative business voicemail greetings for small business and freelancers
Follow these to the letter or feel free to improvise.
- “Hi, you’ve reached [name] at [company]. If you need a quick response, shoot me an email at [email address]. For less urgent matters, leave me a message with your name and number. Have a great day!”
- “Thanks for calling, you’ve reached [name]. Here at [business name], we’re confident that twenty years from now, we’ll be more disappointed by the things we didn’t do than by the ones we did, so leave a message and together we can explore, dream, and discover!”
- “Hi, you’ve reached [your business]. Unfortunately, it’s past our working hours now. Since brevity is the soul of wit, leave a brief message and we’ll get back to you very shortly! Thanks for your time.”
- “Hi, this is [name]. At [business name], we’re confident that doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. Do your best to leave a message and I’ll reach back to you as soon as I can.”
- “Congratulations! You’ve reached the right person! It’s [your name]. Unfortunately, you’ve called at the wrong time. Please leave a message with all your contact information, and I’ll call you back within 24 hours.”
Step 4: Consider working hours and off-hours business voicemail greetings
Being away during working hours can send your customers the wrong message and instinctively cut back on trust towards your business. A great option is letting callers know whether you’re just momentarily away and will call back very shortly, or they’ve reached you during off hours and can expect a call-back tomorrow. Either way, you’re giving callers a specific time-frame to rely on for getting a return call.
Luckily for all business owners, Virtual Phone System plans from MightyCall let you upload different voicemail greetings depending on business hours and it costs you nothing extra.
For after-hours or holiday messages, adapt your voicemail greeting appropriately with prefaces like:
- I’m currently unable to take your call/All of our representatives are currently busy…
- We are currently closed. Our normal hours of operations are from [hours] on [days]…
- Hello, you have reached the office of [your name]; I will be out of my office starting on [date] and will be returning on [date].
Step 5: DIY or shop for custom-recorded business voice greetings
Once you’re all set with the right words and the number of business voicemail greetings you’re going to make, you’re ready to tackle the big thing itself: the recording process.
If you feel up to it, adding a personal touch to your voicemail greetings can be amazing for a small business. Alternatively to the do-it-yourself approach, you may also order a professional artist to record the greeting for you. Here are some tips for each.
DIY business voicemail tips:
- Have your voice greeting(s) typed clearly or printed out prior to recording
- Practice reading your greeting several times to avoid uncomfortable pauses and breaks
- Record sample takes – your voice and articulation will sound different on record, so try a few takes to change anything you don’t like
- Exclude all noises in the room
- Remember to smile and avoid sounding robotic –even the most conservative industries welcome a warm, human touch.
- Record until you’re satisfied and test your new voicemail on your friends!
Professionally recorded voicemail tips:
- Compare several online services/freelancers that provide professional voice recordings for business before you choose the right one. Choose the optimal ratio between pricing and professionalism.
- Request audio samples from the specific voice artist you choose before ordering a custom-recorded voice greeting.
- If you have an all-in-one business phone system like MightyCall that includes welcome greetings, call menus, prompts, and voicemail, use one voice artist to record all the information. Otherwise, your business image will be inconsistent.
- If you’re serving a national audience, consider bilingual business voicemail greetings available from most pro recording services.
Step 6: Update voicemail information consistently
No one is interested in outdated information. That can both throw an existing or prospective customer off-track and fail to warn your clients of any changes to your business, resulting in misunderstandings. As voicemail is one of the most frequently used forms of client communication and a basic form of information about your business, your greetings must always be up to date. If there are any changes your clients should know about, be sure to highlight those in your voicemail greeting ahead of time.
Remember to update your voicemail information whenever:
- Your working hours, phone number(s), email, or website have changed
- Your office moves or is planning to relocate soon. Even if the move is/was around the block.
- You’ll be out of office for some time and there’s no one to replace you
- There is any important business information callers should know about
By showing respect to your callers, you’re encouraging them to do business with you again and again.
Above, we’ve discussed the most important steps to getting real leads from a customer engagement tool as simple as your business voicemail greetings. That in itself is just another example that in customer care, there are no such things as ‘big’ or ‘small’ details.
To make sure that none of your prospective customers are dropping the phone before dropping you their contact info, pay attention to every detail within your customer service chain and always seek out little improvements. Finally, as simple as that sounds, with rising dependence on e-mail and social media and alarming stats of ignored business voicemails, remember to regularly check your business phone for voicemail notifications and get back to every single person who has contacted you.
Be awesome in the details, and watch your business take off in the long run!