As hard as you try to answer every business call, you won’t always be able to. Some calls will have to transfer to your voicemail. Will your voicemail message be a reason your prospects may decide not to work with you? If you don’t have a professional voicemail greeting, you may be turning away prospects without even realizing what’s happening.
“A professional voicemail recording boosts your credibility, makes you seem more competent, and encourages whoever's listening to it to continue the relationship,” writes Aja Frost in a recent HubSpot article. Frost also points out that having only one message is shortsighted. You need different messages in specific situations, including:
Crafting Professional Voicemail Greetings for All Occasions
Let’s start with the basics of professional voicemail greetings for your work phone. Obviously, you need to start with a greeting and your name. Then, after you’ve established that it’s unfortunate that you can’t talk at that moment, you can proceed a few ways.
- You can ask the prospect to leave their name and contact information. When you do this, you should also give them a relative timeframe during which they’ll be able to expect a call back from you (for example, within 24 hours). By doing this, you’re subtly giving them a guarantee that they’ll hear back from you. Also, keep it short and sweet.
- Offering different ways to reach you is also a reassuring tactic for voicemail messages. Give your prospect the option of leaving a voicemail. State your email address or alternate phone number as another contact point. If the matter they’re trying to reach you about is urgent, they probably won’t bother leaving a voicemail. They’d rather keep trying to get a hold of you.
- Short lists of places to get answers to commonly asked questions can also come in handy during voicemail messages. Do you get a lot of calls about one specific subject that is explained in detail on your company’s website? Use your voicemail to direct the caller there. Frost recommends professional voicemails along the lines of, “If you're looking for information on [X], please check out our [Facebook page, company website, etc.] If you want to know more about [Y], take a look at [Z page on our site, our YouTube channel, etc.] Still have more questions? Leave your name and number, and we'll return your call straight away."
If you’re leaving the office on vacation, prospects and clients need to know that they can’t expect to hear from you for a while. So, after your traditional greeting and statement of your name, explain that you are away from the office. How in-depth with information on your vacation you want to be is up to you, but be sure you leave the dates you will be away in the message. Many professional voicemails also include the name and contact number of someone else in the company the caller can reach out to if they need to talk to someone before you return to the office.
Chances are, when you’re out of the office for holiday time off, the rest of the office will be as well. When this happens, you can begin your professional voicemail with either a standard greeting of some version of, “Hi!” or you can wish the caller a happy whichever it is holiday. Then explain that your team or office is closed for the holiday until the date you come back. If you’re one of those masochists who still checks their email during holiday breaks, you can also direct the caller there to reach you. Then give a pleasant send-off.