The professional business world is continually evolving and changing. The way businesses communicate to vendors and customers is just one example of how technology has transformed the business to consumer interface over the last five years. For example, sending physical documents via snail mail isn’t considered best practice and could delay urgent services. More and more companies use electronic forms and faxes. Business owners are emersed in a digital world with virtual files, videos, and voice memos. Things that were efficient and well-accepted ten years ago are slowly becoming less adopted today.
With technology at a constant influx, it’s important to know what forms of communication work best for you, while also maintaining your professional voice. How can you create a professional voicemail greeting, and have it mesh well with your company culture? It’s easy, be consistent, and true to your brand. Here are five things to remember when evaluating your current voice-messaging system. It’ never hurts to review current practices and possibly adopt new ones along the way.
1. Maintain Company Voice
It doesn’t matter if your company is more professional in tone or weird and offbeat; your voicemail greeting should be reflective of that culture. Most businesses have a style guide that defines what brand guidelines to follow, so make sure to keep your welcome in line with what is documented. Don’t be tempted to follow the boy next door if it doesn’t match your business philosophy.
For example, if you’re a startup company selling quirky water bottles for outdoor enthusiasts, your voicemail greeting should be exciting and maybe include a joke.
2. Give Callers a Selection Menu
The “one-size fits all” approach doesn’t always work with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR). If you want to direct your customers to the proper department or person efficiently, then give them options. Voice-activated or touch-dial menus can be helpful to ensure your customers are routed to the correct team and receive the best possible service.
3. Don’t Try Too Hard
Voicemail greetings are vital to the success of your business, but they aren’t a living breathing person. This is why it’s essential the greeting express correct information without humanizing the recording.
Maybe you’ve heard this pre-recorded phrase before, “We’re sorry, but all of our agents are currently unavailable. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line.” It can be frustrating to hear a recorded apology when your call has been waiting in line for 15 minutes. Don’t try too hard. Instead, be original and direct with your callers without providing unbelievable sympathy. Need more ideas, the balance small business is an online source that elaborates on messaging etiquette.
4. Limit Long Greetings
Some voice messages are so long customers forget menu options. This results in unnecessary repetition and may cause your client to hang up instead of leaving a call-back. How do you avoid disgruntled callers? Well, be clear and upfront. That is the key to a professional greeting no matter what the business.
5. Perform Proper Maintenance
Just like your car needs an oil change every 3,000 miles, your voicemail greeting needs maintenance now and then too. Evaluate what’s working and what’s not. A compelling voice message can define your customers’ overall experience, so take time and care in optimizing it.
Create a professional voicemail greeting that is consistent with your brand. If you’re weird and offbeat or structured and precise, stay true to your roots, and your greeting will be believable. Also, remember to offer callers a menu, be sincere, limit longer greetings, and perform a periodic review. When you follow these five tips, you’ll help set your company up for success.