77% of people believe that a phone call is the most efficient way to get business done. But have you got the right call handling protocols in place? We’ll take you through the five most professional voicemail greetings. This will include how to structure different parts of your voicemail, as well as things to avoid.
1. Avoid the Tropes
Instead of leading with tired old lines like ‘Your call is important to us‘, brush up on your telephone etiquette and start your voicemail with a thank you. Open your voicemail greeting with a ‘Thank you for your call. We’re not available right now by please leave your message and we’ll get back to you within [specify time]’. Make sure you keep your promises too. If you want to specify a time (which you should) ensure you get back to the customer within the timeframe.
2. Let Them Know Who They’ve Reached
Expanding on the simple approach above, let the caller know who they’ve reached. This will not only eliminate people leaving voicemails by mistake, but it will reassure the caller that they have called the number they intended. Expand your opening to with ‘Thank you for calling [insert company/individual name]’ or ‘You’ve reached the voicemail of [insert company/individual name]’. This personal touch goes a long way towards building a rapport even when you’re not available to answer the call directly.
3. Apologize in Your Voicemail Greeting
Even in today’s fast-paced world, customers don’t like being greeted with an automated message. According to the New York Times, callers of a certain age are put off entirely if they are answered by a voicemail instead of a real person. You should acknowledge that right off the bat by apologizing that they couldn’t reach you directly. Expand your message with ‘We’re sorry we couldn’t take your call this time.‘ The inclusion of ‘this time‘ or ‘on this occasion‘ suggests that the voicemail is the exception rather than the rule.
4. Invite Them to Email
Rather than waiting for a callback, open up additional channels of communication with your callers by inviting them to email. The most professional voicemail greetings often include an alternative method of communication. Consider adding ‘You can also email your query to us at [insert email address here]. These queries will be answered within [insert time frame].’ Again, if you intend to make a promise to your customer in a voicemail, ensure you keep it.
5. Keep it Simple
It’s easy to get carried away in a voicemail and include more detail than is necessary. We’ve all been in that situation where the automated or pre-recorded voice on the end of the line goes on and on with more information than you can take in. A professional voicemail greeting should be no longer than 60 seconds. List the important information we’ve discussed above, provide alternative methods of communication and close with a thank you. Example: ‘Thank you for calling [insert name here]. We’re sorry we couldn’t take your call this time. However, if you’d like to leave us a voicemail we will get back to you within [for example] 30 minutes of receiving this message. Alternatively, if you’d like to reach out by email you can do so at [insert email address]. Again, thank you for calling [insert company name]. We look forward to your message.‘ This is succinct, positive and gets all the important information across.
Please Leave Your Message After the Tone
A professional voicemail greeting can be the difference between a caller proceeding on to deliver their message or simply hanging up. Ensure you take the time to craft the right voicemail greeting for your business. Are you on the hunt for more great business tips? Why not take a look at some of our other blog posts, like how to waste less time and boost efficiency? And remember, you can always get in touch with all your queries.