If you look at the statistics surrounding voicemail usage, they might break your heart a bit. Increasingly, voicemail is becoming the least preferred option for getting in touch with someone. A lot of people prefer the speed of text messaging or chat.
If you agree that voicemail and fax need to retire to Boca Raton for the rest of their days, you might be missing out on some opportunities. Have you considered the possibility that you may not be using your voicemail to its full potential?
If you’re going to utilize voicemail for your small business, it’s important to create a greeting that is interesting and grabs your callers’ attention. It coaxes them into leaving a message. They feel compelled. A lovable voicemail greeting ensures your leads and other important contacts aren’t floating around in a spam email folder, wondering why you’re ignoring them.
Your love affair with voicemail starts right now. Here are our 10 secrets for making a voicemail greeting your callers won’t be able to ignore.
Tell People Who You Are
It seems obvious, but it’s critical information. Leave it out, and you run the risk of the caller being confused and then hanging up. Yes, the caller dialed your number. Yet, if you don’t identify yourself or your business, you are going to lose the caller.
Keep It Short
This is more important now than ever before. When my sister and I had a teen phone line, our voicemail greeting was a song (nerds) that was well over 30 seconds long. Don’t do that to your callers. Try to keep your greeting under 30 seconds.
Plan Out Your Greeting
If you want to create a dynamic voicemail that will drive people to leave messages, you need to avoid sounding like you’re stumbling over every word. Writing out what you want to say helps to commit that greeting to memory, allows you to speak with authority and helps build confidence.
Whether you’re adding humor to your greeting, trying to be more unique or including a special offer, you will want to keep your language positive. Using negative words can have an adverse effect on your customers or clients. Consider word replacements for anything that could have a negative connotation.
Watch Out for Background Noise
Nothing sounds less professional on a voicemail than background noise. Sirens, crying babies, coughing, your brother-in-law burping; extraneous noise is distracting and makes you sound unprofessional. Find a quiet room in your home or lock yourself in your office and record away.
The standard greeting – I can’t answer the phone, so leave a message and I’ll call you back – is so overused that callers almost don’t hear it any longer. Instead, try something that will intrigue the caller to listen to the beep and beyond. Here are a couple of ideas:
- This is Sue with Smith Accounting. It’s makes my day that you called, but I’m super busy counting numbers. Leave your name and tell me the name of your favorite TV show, and I will get back to you ASAP.
- Hi, there! You’ve reached Daryl with Bug Busters. Scream at the beep if there are roaches climbing your walls – we’re ready to be on the case. Don’t forget your name and number, too. I will be in touch within an hour.
- Need a taco party in a rush? Just want to chat? I’m Lourdes, owner of Mi Vida Taco truck, and I’m happy to help you. Leave your name and number and I’ll call you back before we close.
These examples are engaging and don’t follow the typical voicemail format. Asking questions of your caller indicates the information you want to know in addition to their name and number. Creative voicemails are also much more likely to drive a caller to listen all the way to the beep.
Throw in Some Humor
Humor is the glue that binds us all and, if done well, can make a really great impression on a voicemail. Say something humorous about your profession or why you missed the call – it’ll be a hit. Stuck for ideas? Check out this site and this one for some options.
Smile When You Record
Voicemail can be so drab. Often when people are creating a voicemail greeting, it’s off the cuff and in a rush just so the task is done. One easy tweak: smile when you talk. It sounds so cliche, but it’s a proven one. Think about something fun that’s in the near future or that hilarious thing your friend told you about. Then hit record.
The examples for creative greetings displayed a couple of ways to engage your caller. Asking your caller to tell you something beyond the standard voicemail information begins a conversation that is sure to spill over into your initial conversation. You connect with the caller even when you can’t physically take their call.
Change Your Greeting Often
You want your business to appear fresh. The worst nightmare for any small business is appearing stale. If you use your voicemail to share promotions or if you travel frequently, you need to change your greeting to reflect current information.
Creating lovable voicemail goes beyond the phone. Voicemail can be a dynamic tool if you utilize it to its fullest potential. If you use your greeting to engage with your callers, provide promotional information or just to entertain, people will be more inspired to stay on the line beyond the beep.