Your company’s outgoing voicemail message—the one callers hear when nobody is available to answer the phone—may be an afterthought. But it should actually be looked at as an important tool for marketing and engaging customers and other callers with your business.


“Many small businesses forget to treat their voicemail message like marketing, even though it may be the first point of contact with many people,” says Adriana Davis, voiceover artist and founder of audio and video production company D-Squared Media in New York City.


Ideally, an outgoing voicemail message welcomes and informs callers while also conveying what makes your business unique. With that in mind, here are some best practices for how to create a business voicemail greeting:


Keep it short.

Brevity is the soul of effective voicemail phone greetings for business . “Be brief and to the point, but not terse,” Davis advises.


Nancy Friedman, president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis, agrees. “You don’t want to leave too much information in the main message,” but you should make more information available to callers who want it, she says. For instance, beyond letting customers leave a voicemail, you can set up your phone system’s auto attendant to give callers additional menu choices, such as your hours of operation, locations or other commonly sought-after details.


Make it informative.

Beyond providing callers with basics like your hours of operation, consider giving alternative ways to contact you, such as an email address or mobile number. Mentioning your website with more information is another good choice. “Make sure to spell out your web address very clearly,” Davis adds.


Also, let your callers know when they can expect a call back—whether within a few hours or on a specific day.


Avoid clichés.

Many commonly used phrases in voicemail messages have been repeated so many times they sound “canned,” or even insincere. Some phrases Friedman suggests avoiding: “Your call is very important to us,” “I’m not at my desk right now” and “I’m sorry I missed your call.”


Davis advises replacing worn-out standards like these with unique messages that make callers feel welcome and appreciated. “Add something fun,” she adds. “Maybe a quick bit of trivia or something.”


Align it with your image.

Make sure your message conveys the right tone for your company, and consider including any marketing taglines that you use to brand your company. A financial firm might have a conservative-sounding message, while an ad agency is more creative. “Look to your slogan and your style of doing business,” Davis says. “Then match that.”


Refresh your message.

Periodically review your voicemail greeting to make sure it doesn’t have outdated information. Davis suggests regularly recording new messages with topical references to holidays, current events or your own marketing promotions to “keep it fresh,” she says. If your business isn’t open over the weekend, you could record a message on Friday evening letting callers know you will return their call on Monday.


The objective of an outgoing voicemail message is more than getting someone to leave a message. It can also create or reinforce a relationship. So it’s worth spending a little time composing and recording—and even re-recording, if necessary.


“What you should aim to do is create an emotional response, and engage that client right from the beginning,” Davis adds.


Spectrum Business Voice offers many phone and voicemail features to help businesses provide an exceptional experience to callers. To learn more, contact us at 855-299-9353.


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