You have a business phone line and with it you probably have a voicemail box -- but are you using it to its full potential? While a voicemail box seems pretty straightforward, there are a few steps you can take to make it a valuable marketing and customer service tool.
Let's take your own experience into consideration here. When you reach a business voicemail, you expect to hear the basics: who you're calling and a prompt to leave some sort of information. But what if you were also told what information you could leave to expedite your request, or better yet, if the voicemail greeting contained all the information you were calling about and your problem is solved -- you would be a happy customer, right? Right.
Now it's your turn. Here are a few easy tips to get your business voicemail up to speed.
- Identify your business
Have you ever called a business and been unsure if you dialed the right number – even after you reached a person or a voicemail message? You probably felt confused and frustrated. Clearly stating who you are (when applicable) and your company name will reassure callers they’ve reached the right number – while also reducing the number of hang-ups, redials and irrelevant messages from accidental callers. This is also a great opportunity to insert your marketing message/tagline. Take full advantage of voicemail as a customer touchpoint - why not?
- Be personable
Your business voicemail must be professional, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Incorporating your brand's voice and tone will reinforce your brand image through the voice channel and is a great way to impress and engage your callers.
- Provide useful information
Sharing important information on your business voicemail greeting – like business hours, when you expect to respond, and where callers can find information to frequently asked questions – saves you time listening and answering to unnecessary messages, while also providing instant support.
- Ask for information
Asking for a caller to leave a name and number is standard in voicemail greetings. While this may suffice for some, other businesses require information like order numbers, best call back times or company names to effectively help a caller. Asking for this information up front saves you time, reduces the risk of phone tag (a very hazardous disease that plagues many small business owners) and helps you provide a prompt response.
- Remember: practice makes perfect
You’re not going to nail the perfect voicemail greeting on the first try, but that’s okay! Writing out your voice message and practicing your greeting will allow you to hear where there may be confusion – plus, the more you practice the wording the more natural and professional it will sound. Don’t forget to limit background noise, stay upbeat and on message!
- Make sure you have voicemail transcription
Setting up voicemail transcription is a breeze – and you’ll be glad you did. Just make sure that the business phone service you are using offers a voicemail transcription service that transcribes all voice messages into text, allowing you to read the message just like an email. Not only is this a time saver, but it’s also very convenient. Saving, reviewing, forwarding and deleting voicemail is easy, and best of all you won’t need to listen to long winded voicemails to get the details!
- Consider department-specific voicemail
If you run a business with multiple phone numbers or department extensions (even if the department is one person), creating department specific voicemails that ask for and provide useful information will allow your team to act faster than if all messages are stored in a central voicemail box. Callers will also feel confident in reaching the specific person or department they intended.
- Keep it fresh
When things change that impact your customers, like holiday hours, a new deal or a change of address, don't forget to update your voicemail. Noting if you’re out of the office and who to contact in the meantime is also useful. Keeping your customers in the know, especially when it comes to time sensitive information, is something they will appreciate.
From clearly stating information, to matching your voicemail message to your brand and of course, practicing before you hit save, applying these tips will help you create an effective voicemail message, like one you would want to receive. Now go ahead and get started! If you need some more pointers, connect with us by commenting here or on our social channels -- we're happy to help!