One commonly overlooked yet valuable aspect of a business is the voice mail greeting. Memorable and professional recordings make a positive impact. Make the greeting fit the company while still adding style with some personality thrown into the mix. The best outgoing recordings have the right amount of flavor without losing the professional touch.
A business voice mail should have several ingredients that inform. Include the name of the person whose extension was dialed, the company’s name and the department. Invite the caller to leave a message; often the caller does not realize she has reached voice mail. Tell clients when they can expect a call back, and offer an alternate contact, if possible. Add the company’s website or email. Leave just one additional contact for brevity, cautions Christopher Null, writing in PC World. Construct a greeting short and to-the-point.
Avoid using a cell phone to record the greeting. A land line is preferred for the greeting recording. The sound quality just isn’t as good on a cell phone compared to a land line. Professional greetings should not sound garbled or crackly. Avoid standard greetings. They sound automated, impersonal and cold. Ensure no background noises are recorded. A poorly recorded phone greeting can turn customers and leads away. Avoid “um” and “uhs.” Prepare a script before recording so it flows easily.
The general greeting is used on a daily basis for everyday missed calls while the phone is unattended. This greeting is generally played for people calling from outside of the company.
“You have reached (company), where (slogan). This is (name), your guide to (department). Unfortunately, I cannot get to the phone right now, but leave me a message with your name and telephone number, and I will return your call as soon as possible. Or feel free to send me an email at (email address).”
Out-of-office messages are used when someone will be gone from the office for a predetermined amount of time. Most voice mail services allow a greeting to play for a set amount of time so no one has to remember to turn the out-of-office greeting off.
“Hi, this is (name) in (department). I am out of the office until (date). I will be checking my voice mails throughout the day, so please leave me a message and I will return your call as soon as possible. If you need additional assistance, you can contact (alternate contact person) at (phone number), or you can visit our website at (URL).”
Rose Smith has been writing professionally since 1992. Her how-to and relationship articles have appeared in "Family Circle" and several other national publications. She has also written the books "Sizzling Monogamy" and "101 Ways to Date Your Mate." Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Illinois State University.