Monday, March 31, 2008

Using Voicemail to Jazz Up Your Sales

Whew! I called someone today whose voicemail greeting went on for 75 seconds. It gave a lot of "If you are calling about X, then do this" type instructions. By the time I was supposed to leave the message I was so worn out that I forgot why I called. I literally hung up, collected my thoughts, remembered why I was calling and then called back.

In general, voicemail does not jazz up the sales of your business. Having a live person talk to your clients is always preferred. But for many of us voicemail is a necessity. So keep the following in mind when creating your voicemail message:

  • Keep your voicemail greeting to 15 seconds or less.

  • Make sure it sounds professional and upbeat. Be genuine, not fake.

  • I suggest this script: Hello. This is (NAME) of the (DEPARTMENT) of (COMPANY NAME). This is the week of (DATES) and I am in the office this week. Please leave your name and phone number and I promise to call you back today. If you need to reach someone immediately please dial “0”. Thank you.

Click here to read some great Voicemail Etiquette tips. I also enjoyed this article on voicemail etiquette.

But don't use voicemail as your phone screener if you are running a business. Customers get frustrated when they need you and get your voicemail. Don't give your customers an excuse to call someone who will answer their phone!

1 comment:

Man from the Planet Mouse said...

I've read a few blogs lately that addressed this same issue of voicemail vs. a live person for customer service. I think having live help for at least 8 hours a day (on and off if necessary) is pretty essential. But a lot of times you need an automated system so your customers find the right extension, for example, depending on the size of the company. So in that sense "voicemail" can kind of be like an inexpensive and really professional receptionist.

Many providers of advanced 800 numbers, like gotvmail, make this part of the package. For me, I find it helps "jazz" up my business because I can address issues more quickly. I get voicemail pinged to my treo so I connect clients with a live person as fast as possible. It's definitely a step up from the answering machine.

Nice to see you blogging again! Keep it up.