What separates a decent voicemail greeting from one that builds your professional image and bolsters your connection with clients and customers?
Here's a look at some tips and examples that will make your voicemail greeting stand out for its professionalism.
1. Avoid Extraneous Detail
Avoiding extraneous detail in your voicemail greeting is essential for saving your caller from unnecessary information. It shows callers that you value their time and keeps your professional priorities in check. Consider the following examples:
Hi, how are you today? Thank you for calling. You have reached the voicemail box of Steven Haven. I am unavailable to answer the phone right now. From May 20th - 31st, I will be in Disney World with my family. Please leave your name and number and I'll get back to you as soon as I can, when I return June 1st. Should you need to reach someone in the meantime, please dial client services at 1.800.801.3381 option 2. Thank you and have a great day.
Hi, this is Steven Haven. I'm currently away from the office until June 1st. Please leave your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.
The second example conveys a value for the caller's time that the first example does not. This avoidance of extraneous detail keeps the greeting focused and free of empty wording.
2. Identify Yourself From the Caller's Perspective
Try to frame your voicemail greeting from the caller's perspective. How is the caller most likely to know you, and what level of familiarity do you share with him or her?
Hi, this is Mike Avery. Leave your message with your license number. Thanks.
Hi, this is Mike Avery, the Registration Manager of the DMV. Please leave a message along with your current license number so we can update your information in our database. Thank you.
According to the examples, this voicemail greeting is primarily used to interact with individuals who do not know who Mike Avery is or what he does. The second example displays a higher level of professionalism by clearly identifying who Mike Avery is, and what his relationship to the caller is.
3. Convey Information That Affects Your Response Time
Make sure to convey any information that may affect how quickly you get back to the caller. Withholding this kind of information may well lead to the caller assuming you're rude if you don't follow up with them promptly.
This is the voicemail of David Bynes at Wainwright Contractors. Please leave a message with your proposed project after the beep. Thank you.
This is David Bynes from Wainwright Contractors. I'm currently in Dubai until March 1st on a construction project. Please leave a message with your proposed project and I'll get back to when I return. Thank you.
The second example lets the caller know that there will be a delayed response time. This keeps the caller from thinking you're negligent in returning his or her call.
4. Write A Script Beforehand
To avoid mumbling and bumbling, write out a greeting script before you record your message. Also, remember to record your message in a quiet location. Background noise and static are perhaps the clearest signs of an unprofessional business voicemail greeting.
Thank you for calling. This is Tiger Electronics, and I'm the general Manager. Please leave a message. If you're calling for parts, call Larry. Thank you.
Hi, this is Sissy O'Connor, the General Manager of Tiger Electronics. Please leave your message with your name and number, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you're calling to exchange parts, dial Larry Davenport at Extension 432. Thank you.
The first, unscripted example is vague and awkwardly worded. The second, scripted example is clear, definite, and smooth. Research some sample scripts for business voicemail greetings before you write your own. And here are some specific voicemail greetings for doctors, lawyers, and dentists.
5. Speak Slowly and Cleary While Recording
Speaking slowly, clearly, and rhythmically while recording your greeting shows a greater level of confidence an clarity. Try to avoid conversational cadences when recording your greeting.
Hi, this is Doctor Claire Rourke with the New Haven Medical Group, and I am not available to take your call. If you're a new patient, leave me a message, but if you're an old patient, please dial the hospital. Thank you.
Hi, this is Doctor Claire Rourke with the New Haven Medical Group. [Pause] I am not available to take your call right now. [Pause] If you're a new patient, leave me a message. [Pause] If you're an old patient, please dial the hospital. [Pause] Thank you.
In the second example, the speaker takes pauses at the beginning of each sentence to slow down her delivery. She also breaks smaller statements into their own sentences to increase the weight of her words. This confident speaking style comes across as highly professional to callers.