With the rise of live chat, email, and social media support, you might be tempted to think that phone conversations are a thing of the past. But that couldn’t be further from the truth: 88% of customers still use voice as their preferred communication channel, and your business voicemail is a big part of that experience.
A custom voicemail greeting for business calls has a direct impact on how customers perceive your brand. It sets the tone for all subsequent conversations and is often the first contact a potential customer has with your brand.
This all builds on the power of voice to establish and build on the relationship with your customers.
The right business voicemail greeting also helps small-business owners stay on top of every customer interaction, present a professional appearance, and stay organized.
What to say in your business voicemail greeting
Your voicemail greeting needs to provide customers with important information about your business. The greeting introduces customers to your brand in a professional manner, provides clear next steps for the interaction, and lets customers know when they can expect follow-up communication.
Because a greeting is such a crucial part of the customer experience, and one that is so often done wrong, nailing your business voicemail can set you apart from your competition. Include the seven components below to do just that.
It’s not a secret: People like talking to other people. Your voicemail greeting should always include your name or the name of the person who will be calling the customer back. It’s a personal touch that helps humanize your company.
If you’re at the point where the call could be handled by multiple people, make sure you clarify that in the voicemail greeting as well. It’s a good way to set customer expectations.
Your business name
This may sound obvious, but when people want to leave a message for a business, it’s important that they know they’re speaking to the right company. If you’re just getting started or your business name doesn’t adequately reveal the nature of your business, a short description of what you do is helpful, too.
This not only confirms for the customer that they’re speaking to the right people but also potentially cuts down on messages not meant for your company, which helps save your valuable time.
Your hours of operation
Small-business owners are too often “on” and working all the time. When you set clear business hours for yourself and communicate them to customers in your voicemail greeting, it helps you maintain a better work/life balance. Set business hours can also help you justify the turnaround time for your response.
A request for specific information
When customers leave specific information in their messages, it makes following up on their request much easier. Your voicemail greeting should ask for the information you need to provide the best possible experience when returning a customer’s call.
Depending on your business, examples of this information might include: customer name, contact number, the best time to call back, or an explanation of the customer’s current issue.
Expected turnaround time for follow-up
A negative experience can do serious damage to your brand. When you give customers an expected turnaround time for returning their call, it makes it easy to match their expectations of service. Your voicemail greeting is a great time to do this. Just make sure you’re able to adhere to this turnaround. Failing to reach out will drive down customer satisfaction over time.
Other available contact methods
With texting, email, live chat, and social media, your customers can connect with your business in any number of ways. Make sure your voicemail lets people know what other contact methods they can use to reach out. This is also a great opportunity to mention your preferred contact method; if it’s easier to follow up with a text, let them know. It can be easier to follow up with customers when there is an automatic transcription of your voicemail messages.
A thank you
It’s always a good idea to thank customers whenever you get the chance. Your business voicemail greeting can act as a static reminder of how important it is to you that customers chose your small business. A thank you can also help bolster the growing relationship with your customers.
Business voicemail greeting scripts
While it’s important to include a lot of standard and repeatable information in your business voicemail greeting, don’t forget to make it unique to your small business. Start with one of the following five scripts to get started with your own business voicemail:
- “Hello, you’ve reached [your name] from [business name]. I’m not able to answer your call at this time [reference to business hours]. Please leave your name, number, and a short message, and I’ll get back to you in [typical turn around time].”
- “Hi! You’ve reached [business name] a [short description of your business]. We’re not able to come to the phone right now but will be available during [business hours] to call you back. Please leave a message with your name, phone number, and any other important information. We’ll get back to you within [typical turn around time].”
- “Thank you for calling [business name]! We’re not available to come to the phone right now but can call you back during [business hours]. Leave a message with your name and number, and we’ll reach out within [typical turn around time].”
- “Thanks for calling [business name]. I’m [your name] but can’t come to the phone right now. Please leave a message with your name, number, and a brief message, and I’ll reach out in [typical turn around time]. If you’d like, we also have [other contact methods] available during [business hours] if that’s easier for you.”
- “You’ve reached the voicemail of [your name] at [business name]. Our hour of operation are [business hours], and I can return your call within [typical turn around time]. Please leave a brief message with your name and number. We’ll be in contact soon. Thank you!”
Your business voicemail greeting is an extension of your personality. It should be concise and on brand. The scripts we’ve provided are a great starting point, but the right business voicemail will be consistent with the rest of your communication.