Believe it or not, you can make a huge shift in your business by simply changing your voicemail greeting. Think about it – your outgoing voicemail greeting is often the first impression you make on prospective clients. What does yours say about you?
Here is a typical voicemail greeting:
“Hi, thanks for calling the Bat Cave. We’re either fighting crime or away from our desks right now, but your call is very important to us, so please leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
Although there is nothing inherently wrong with this greeting, it is just vague, and makes a neutral impression on callers. Now let’s break it down from the perspective of a caller:
“Hi, thanks for calling the Bat Cave.” (oh good, I’ve got the right number)
“We’re either fighting crime or away from our desks right now,” (all I know is you’re not answering your phone, and I don’t really care what you’re doing.)
“but your call is very important to us,” (hmm…is it really?)
“so please leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” (what time “as soon as possible” is exactly? I need to know when I can expect a response.)
Callers really aren’t interested in what you’re doing if you’re not answering your phone. They want a pleasant voice, a brief greeting and, most of all, they want to know when you will get back to them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a professional voicemail greeting:
- Give your name and company name
- Ask for information you need to move the communication along. For example, “I’m available for appointments on Tuesday and Thursday between 1 and 4pm. Leave two dates and times that will work for you and I’ll call back to confirm.”
- Avoid making your voicemail an extensive commercial for your business. Example: “Whether you need help with your evil arch enemy, bank robbers, nasty villains, or pesky bad guys in general, Batman and Robin can help. Due to our rapid transportation options, we gladly accept clients from all over North America. With a strong grasp on technology and a commitment to being your partner in all aspects of crime fighting, Batman and Robin can be a key component in keeping your city streets safe….” (you get the picture)
- Let people know when they can expect a response
- Let people know how they will get a response from you (email, text, phone)
And by the way, it doesn’t matter if you commit to respond by phone within 24 hours, or with an email within 72 hours. Just let callers know what to expect, and then follow through.
Here is an example of a good voicemail greeting:
“Hi, you’ve reached Batman. My office hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. Please leave a message and I’ll return your call within one business day. For more immediate assistance, or for answers to brief questions, send a text to the same number you just dialed. Thanks for calling.”
When callers hear this greeting, they get the impression of an organized and professional business, and that their time is valued and respected.
I recently worked with a seamstress in Sedona to streamline her business practices. At my suggestion, she changed her voicemail greeting. The feedback from her clients was that they felt more confident in her business after hearing her voicemail greeting. She increased her credibility with her clients by simply refining her voicemail greeting!
If you’d like some specific suggestions for your own voicemail, feel free to give me a call. I’ll get back to you within one business day.