There is plenty of evidence to confirm the effectiveness of a well-crafted outgoing voicemail message. A strong greeting recorded in your own voice is more personable, helps callers recognize that they are leaving messages in the right place and indicates that you give attention to detail. But is it really necessary to change your greeting every day?
Re-recording your greeting daily adds some special nuances that are missed with a static message. The first and foremost is that the caller knows that you are more present. Whether that incoming call is from your boss, a potential customer, or even your family, you have managed the caller’s expectations. Typically, that allows them to be more patient in awaiting a return phone call.
Furthermore, if you hold up to your end of the bargain (i.e. you return those messages in a timely manner), you have added credibility and trust to your reputation in the mind of the caller. As many businesses spend thousands on brand awareness and imaging designed to enhance their trust, why not take advantage of a proven effective and FREE tool to do the same?
Don’t overlook, however, that the inability to follow through on the promises extended through your outgoing message can negatively affect you just as much as fulfilling those claims can be positive.
Here are seven ways to create a positive return through the use of your voicemail greeting
1. Put it on your calendar
The worst mistake one can make is to record a customized message only to forget about it for weeks or months at a time. How many of us have reached somebody’s voicemail in June only to discover that their Christmas out-of-office message is still outgoing? By putting the event on your calendar with a reminder to your device of choice, you eliminate the possibility of forgetting to re-record the message.
2. Write your message
This simple but easy method is a tried and true way to sound coherent and professional. Your recorded message should avoid the standard pauses and parenthetical sounds that accompany regular speech. Once you begin setting your message regularly, you will have no problem doing it off the top of your head. But until then, write it down.
3. Use professional language
Phrases like “good morning” or “thank you for your call” carry a lot more weight than a simple “hi” or “hello”. Rather than saying you are “busy”, indicate that you are “serving another customer”.
4. Smile before you begin recording
It is a proven fact that the human voice changes when smiling. Your callers will hear the smile in your voice, even if it is on a recording. This is a particularly useful tactic if you are in sales as a smile in your voice can help overcome objections.
5. Include the dates your message covers
While those in most forms of business look to change their greeting daily, it’s not always necessary to do so with such frequency. A well-crafted message can cover a weekend, the duration of your vacation, or the holiday period. But in every case, you will want to explicitly identify the dates or times for which your message covers and when they expect their call to be returned. You can still meet the caller’s expectations by informing them that you plan to return their message next Thursday.
6. Keep it brief
Remember, this is an outgoing voicemail message. Your caller will appreciate the information you convey, but make the message too long, and they could either become annoyed or simply hang up without leaving a message. Avoid redundant information like “I am currently away from my phone right now”. The ideal greeting lasts no longer than 30 seconds.
7. Make it memorable
Your outgoing message provides a wonderful opportunity to show a little personality. You can include details of your whereabouts, your activities, or simply other fun facts. Try giving a “shout out” to a family member, friend, or other expected caller.
“Greetings! You have reached the voicemail of John Smith on Taco Tuesday, March 24. I am in the office today but currently meeting with another client. Please leave a message, and I will return it by the end of the day.”
“Thank you for calling the office of Sally Jones. I am on maternity leave from November 19 through January 3. If you need immediate assistance, press zero and ask the operator to connect you with Bill Baker. Otherwise, I will call you personally upon my return.”
“Hello, friend. This is the cell phone for Jane Thompson. Today is Monday, May 5th. Happy Cinco de Mayo. Please leave a message and I will return your call within 24 hours. Make it a memorable day!”