The Do’s and Don’ts of Professional Voicemail Greetings
You want to make a positive first impression on the people you interact with in a business setting, but sometimes you’re not available to do so. When someone calls, if you’re on the other line or not at your desk, you don’t want this to leave them with a bad taste in their mouth. For that reason, having a professional voicemail greeting is a lot more important than you might initially think. Think about how you’d like to be treated if someone can’t be with you immediately – what would you want to hear? With that in mind, let’s discuss the “do’s” and “don’ts” of recording your greeting.
Small Business Voicemail Greeting Examples
DO: Have a proper voicemail for the occasion.
On a normal day, it’s fine to have a standard, general voicemail greeting. However, if you’re on an extended vacation, disability, sabbatical, or out of the country on business, it doesn’t hurt to change your voicemail to reflect that – the same way you might set up an automated e-mail response. It’s a bit more personal and explains to your callers why they might not hear back from you right away.
DON’T: Be too informal.
It might be okay to say “Bob here – leave a message!” on your personal cell phone, but this isn’t the best idea when it comes to your office phone system. You want to show your clients and partners that, although you’re busy at the moment, you value their call and don’t treat your messages with any nonchalance. This might make them wonder if you’re going to listen to the message at all.
DO: Offer an alternative if possible.
If you’re busy/out of the office, but someone else may be able to help, forward your caller by saying “Leave a message after the tone. If you need immediate assistance, don’t hesitate to call my colleague Jennifer at [phone number].” This may alleviate any potential frustration with a caller who wishes to speak to someone as soon as possible. You could even leave your mobile number if you’re willing to answer calls outside the office.
DON’T: Neglect to mention your name.
Don’t simply say, “You’ve reached [company name], please leave a message after the tone.” Say, “You’ve reached the office of Tiffany…” instead. This lets your callers know that they’ve reached the right person, and adds a personal touch if they aren’t sure who they’ll be speaking to. It’s an easy way to leave a good impression.
DO: Mention when you’ll be returning.
On a general voicemail, it’s good to say “I’ll return your call as soon as possible,” or “I normally call back within two business days.” If you’re out on business or on vacation, you may even want to give a specific date of your return just so that your callers know what to expect.