Those after-hours recordings that tell callers your business is closed may seem trivial, but they serve an important role.
Taking the time to set up an effective after-business-hours announcement is definitely worth the effort. By presenting a clear, welcoming message containing relevant information about your business, you show callers you care and value their time.
If your automated voicemail greeting is vague, confusing, or drags on, customers will lose interest and hang up instead of leaving a message. Even worse, they may dial a competitor.
Instead, win and keep customers with an effective after-hours message. To help you get started, here are some best practices and sample scripts:
6 Tips for an Automated Voicemail Greeting When Your Business Is Closed
1. State Your Business Name
The first thing your callers should hear is the name of your business or organization. This assures them that they have dialed the right phone number and keeps them on the line. You may also want to include your address if there are multiple companies with the same name.
Hi. You've reached Teflon Carpeting. Our business is located at 103 Pine Street, in Atlanta, Georgia.
2. Mention Hours of Operation
Most callers expect their call to be answered by a person. So, once they hear your office is closed, they probably want to know your standard business hours.
While this information can be tucked behind a phone menu option, it's best to state it upfront in your recording because this is something most callers want to know. With this info, they can decide whether to call back at a better time, or leave a voicemail message.
You've reached Big Apple Cleaners. We are currently closed. Our regular business hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you would like to leave a voicemail, include your name and phone number, and we'll call you back as soon as possible. Thank you and have a nice day.
3. Offer Clear Next Steps
For many small businesses, the announcement will route the caller straight to a voicemail box. But, depending on the situation, larger organizations may decide to direct callers to a phone menu or forward the call to an external destination. Calls can be routed to:
- Employee or departmental voicemail boxes
- A professional answering service
- An after-business-hours or emergency support line
- A personal cell phone
- Menu options with helpful info, like office locations, upcoming sales promotions, ways to place or track an order, and more
If you have a business VoIP phone system that offers an auto attendant feature, you should be able to create a phone menu fairly easily. Be sure to state which key the caller should press to select an option on the menu.
You've reached Wainwright Packaging. We are currently closed and will reopen at 8 a.m. tomorrow. For our office locations, press 1. To track a package via FedEx, press 2. Via UPS, press 3. Via the United States Postal Service, press 4. For after-hours support, press 5. To leave a voicemail, press 6. To repeat this message, press 7.
See our blog on Auto Attendant Greeting Scripts for more advice on auto attendant scripts.
4. Include Other Contact Methods
If there are other ways to get in touch with your business, or receive information about your products, include them in this out of office voicemail recording. Websites and emails are often the most popular forms of alternative contact.
Ahoy! You've reached the Angola Yacht Club. Club hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information about boat rentals, visit www.angolayacht.com. If you want to join the club, please send an email to email@example.com.
5. Be Brief
The best after-hours greetings are brief, direct, and punctual. Don’t waste the caller's time and give them a reason to hang up by adding unnecessary details. The information in your salutation should be concise and essential to the caller's needs.
Thank you for calling Cutlass IT Solutions. Our office is currently closed. Regular store hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Please leave a voicemail with your name and phone number after the beep.
6. Keep Your Recording Up to Date
If your business is closing for a holiday or to deal with an emergency, update your after-business-hours announcement to avoid confusion.
Mention the details early in the message to notify callers of the situation. If possible, specify which days your office will be closed or when you will be back in business.
Company Holiday Schedule
You've reached New Age Construction. We are currently closed from Monday, December 25th, to Tuesday, January 2nd, for the holidays. To speak to an on-call project manager, press 1 now or leave a message and someone will return your call within 24 hours. Here’s to a wonderful 2024!
General Business Closure
You've reached Sierra Moon Surf Shop. We are currently closed until Sunday, March 3rd. Please check our website—SierraMoon.com to place an order, or leave a message after the beep and we’ll call you back within 48 hours.
Local Weather Emergency
Thank you for calling Davidson Party Rentals. We're temporarily closed because Hurricane Zoltan is heading our way. We plan to reopen on Wednesday, October 25, at 10 a.m. Until then, we’ll be checking our voicemail, so leave a brief message after the tone. Stay safe!
After-Hours Greetings and Out of Office Voicemail: Keep Customers Hooked
There's no single best way to craft an after-hours greeting, but you won’t go wrong with these tips:
- Provide callers with the info they need.
- Give them additional ways to contact you, such as voicemail, email, and social media.
- Clearly state your business hours, and note any upcoming closures like holidays.
- Use an auto attendant if you have more than one menu option, such as an employee directory, departmental voicemail boxes, and an emergency support line.
While a short recording may seem like an unusual place to win new business, a professional, courteous, and clear greeting will leave callers with a favorable impression. Who would you rather do business with—a company with an unfocused greeting or one that anticipates your needs?
For more tips and scripts on professional phone and voicemail greetings, here are some additional blog posts: