Not being face to face when communicating with customers or prospects can inadvertently cause misjudgments, especially when someone is interacting with your company for the first time. Send the wrong greeting, and it’s farewell. Have a not-so-impressive voicemail recording for your company, and you will never hear a message after the beep.
Since 55% of communications rely on body language, and since telephonic communications eliminate all forms of visual cues, emphasis should be laid on the tone and content of the message. The following are some elements that make a good voicemail message:
- Introduction: Let them know who or which department they have reached
- Apologize for not being able to attend them
- Request a message with their details so you can follow up – and don’t forget to do so!
- Provide any information they can use if they need immediate assistance, such as a relevant webpage or alternate number
- The ideal recording time is about 25 seconds. Keep it short and appealing – something that would not get hanged up on.
Having voicemail incorporated in your office is not limited to keeping track of the calls you missed. Returning the call and following up is critical to let your contacts and client base know you care for them and pay attention to their concerns. Lose this ‘caring’ element, and you will notice a drop in calls, therefore a drop in progress.
Unlike in personal voicemail, business voicemail is returned via office premises, so follow-up calls become a part of your company’s budget. This can be a drawback for international firms, where long-distance calls are not so easy on the pocket.
However, there’s good news for business VoIP users, where calls are placed on the internet and therefore call costs are minimal. This applies perfectly to long-distance calls as well.
Another added feature that VoIP changes the way you voicemail is the incorporation of IP phones and the voicemail-to-email service they give. Now you can read your messages in the form of voice-to-text transcriptions, so your ear can have some rest.
Here are a few general examples of a good voicemail recording:
Hello, you have reached (Company). We are closed at the moment, but you can come by or call anytime between 9 am- 5 pm, Monday through Friday. You can also visit our website www.xyz.com for more information, or call our 24/7 toll-free number 1-800-12345 for immediate assistance.
Hello. You have reached the desk of (Name). I am currently not able to take your call, but it would be great if you could leave a detailed message so I can call you back as soon as possible. For immediate assistance, (Name of alternate attendant) will be happy to help at extension (Number of extension). Have a great day!
Hi, you have reached (Company). Our representatives are currently occupied at the moment, but will get back to you as soon as they can. Please leave your details so we can assist you better. Also, why not visit our website (www.website.com) for further info? Thanks!
Examples of not-so-good voicemail messages:
Greetings. I am out to get my cat vaccinated, and it is possible that I may get clawed during the process. I will not be able to come to work until I have licked my wounds, and until I am emotionally stable to take calls. Thank you.
Hello. You have reached (Name’s) voicemail. What’s the matter? *beeep*
Hi. I am very busy right now, please leave a message and I will be back after I have time to call.
Creative ways to add a hint of humor in your messages:
Hello, you have reached Steve’s voicemail. Steve has been abducted by aliens, and is expected to be back at his desk after they have questioned him. Please leave your message stating your concern.
Hi! I am currently hiding under my desk to avoid a meeting, so I am unable to reach the phone from here. I’ll get back to you as soon as the coast is clear. Please leave a message, and if possible, send in some coffee to cubicle 234.
Greetings, the employee you have reached is busy on a very crucial debate about the culprit behind stolen lunches. Please understand the severity of the situation, and leave a message so he can get back when the matter is solved.
What other examples of recordings do you have in mind? We would love to hear them!