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5 Tips for Creating A Good Voicemail Greeting

Updated on November 14, 2015

Your Voicemail Greeting is Your Calling Card

Is Your Voicemail Greeting a Professional and Effective Business Tool?

It Can Be!

A good voicemail greeting is an important business tool for communicating with colleagues and customers. Voicemail is a basic communications application on your cell phone and in the workplace. When used properly, voicemail messaging is a very efficient productivity tool for exchanging information when calls cannot be handled "live".

When used poorly, voicemail is a frustrating annoyance that wastes precious time.

Good voicemail utilization begins with a good voicemail greeting. If you are not available to answer a call, ensure that you are offering a professional voicemail greeting that informs your caller of your availability and then invites them to leave their message for a callback.

To make the voicemail experience more pleasant and productive for callers who reach your voicemail box, try these 5 tips for creating a good voicemail greeting.image: Carteles Magazine -- Mad Over the Phone Poster

5 Steps To For A Professional Voicemail Greeting

1. Keep Your Voicemail Greeting Short

Give your full name, so callers know that they reached the correct voicemail mailbox. Welcome the caller, and invite them to leave a message for you. If a caller needs special instructions to mark a message urgent or to reach you via your cell phone for time sensitive matters, briefly include the information in your greetings.

For example:

Poor: using the default greeting or no greeting at all (a common mistake)

Better: "You have reached Anthony's voicemail box. Please leave a message"

Even Better: "You have reached the voicemail box of Anthony Altorenna because I am another line or away from my desk. Please leave a detailed message at the tone."

Best: "You have reached the voicemail box of Anthony Altorenna because I am another line or away from my desk. Please leave a detailed message at the tone. If this is an urgent matter, please call my mobile phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx".

For your business cell phone: You have reached Anthony's cellular voicemail. I am unable to take your call right now but please leave a detailed message.

Remember to keep your voice tone friendly and upbeat when recording your greetings. A bored or flat sounding message conveys that the caller is bothering you. In reality, you want to invite the caller to leave you a message. So your greeting must sound friendly and inviting.

2. Change Your Voicemail Greeting Daily

Updating your recorded voicemail greeting each day with your hours of availability demonstrates to callers that you actively manage your mailbox. By including your hours of availability in your daily greeting, you also set an expectation level for when you are available to return their call, especially if your callers are located in other time zones.

For example:

"Hi. Today is Monday, July 10th and you have reached the voicemail box of Anthony Altorenna. I am in the office today until 5:00 PM Eastern time, however I am either on my other line or away from my desk. Please leave a detailed message at the tone, and I will return your call as soon as possible."

If you do not want to change your voicemail greeting daily, make sure that your greeting provides enough detail to inform your caller of your availability.

For example:

"Hi. You have reached the voicemail box of Anthony Altorenna. I am in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM Eastern time, however I am either on my other line or away from my desk. Please leave a detailed message at the tone, and I will return your call as soon as possible."

3. Set Up an Out of Office Greeting

If you are away from the office on business travel or vacation, include this information in your greetings. When away from work for extended periods, provide the caller with the name and contact information for the person who is covering for you.

For example:

"Hello, and please listen to this greeting. You have reached the voicemail box of Anthony Altorenna, however I am on vacation, returning on Monday, July 10th. For immediate assistance, please press the zero key and ask our company administrator to connect you with John Smith."

4. Avoid Voicemail Jail

Rather then be forced to leave a message, the caller should always have the option to exit from your mailbox and try to reach someone else for assistance. Most voicemail systems allow a caller to transfer to the office attendant by pressing the "0" key. If your company uses a different protocol to route callers who do not want to leave a message in a voicemail box, include the instructions in your greeting.

For example:

"Hi. Today is Monday, July 10th and you have reached the voicemail box of Anthony Altorenna. I am in the office today until 5:00 PM Eastern time, however I am either on my other line or away from my desk. Please leave a detailed message at the tone, and I will return your call as soon as possible. Or, for immediate assistance, please press the zero key and our company administrator will assist you."

As noted previously, you can also add your mobile number to your greeting, and encourage callers to contact you on your cell phone. Forwarding calls to mobile devices is a common feature in most voicemail applications.

Many businesses today use 'One Number Service' features that allow a caller to contact you via just one business number. Based upon your calling preferences, the system automatically routes the call to your preferred device: your desk phone, your mobile phone or any other number you choose.

5. Listen to Your Voicemail Greeting

Your voicemail greeting is a reflection on you, and gives callers an impression of your professionalism and capabilities.

  • Did you speak clearly?
  • Is the volume good and is your greeting easy to understand?
  • Is your greeting informative?

If not, re-record your greeting before giving your customers and colleagues a negative impression of you.

My Voicemail Greeting....

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No! No! Not that! Anything but that! Not the beep! No! Please! Not the beep!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Great information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Stopping back to review your voice mail greeting advice, now that is at the top of excellent customer service to update the message daily, will have to remember that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Excellent examples for professional voicemail greetings!

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