We've all come to expect immediate answers and instant responses.
So, when someone calls your business, and they don't get an answer within a few seconds, they may hang up and look elsewhere. To avoid this fate, what you say on a professional voicemail greeting is vital.
Your voicemail greeting may be the first impression a potential client gets of your business – so it's essential to make sure it's a good one. Your voicemail greeting is an advertisement for you and your work, and callers will judge your professionalism when they hear it.
Professional voice-over artist Liz Drury provides her top tips for creating a professional voicemail greeting to give you that instant credibility!
1. Reduce background noise
Make sure there is no background noise when recording and don't record in an echo-ey space. The more 'dead' the room you record in, the better the sound will be. As a voice-over artist, I've spent my fair share of time inside wardrobes. Or with my head under blankets when working on a holiday! It makes all the difference to the sound quality.
You want your voicemail greeting to sound upbeat and happy – so act cheerful – even if you hate recording yourself. You can honestly hear when people are smiling. Try it. It's true!
3. Picture someone
Picture the person calling. Better yet, print out a photo and look at them when you record! An obvious example is your ideal client with whom you want to make a good impression.
4. Tell callers who you are
Quickly identify yourself and your business. That way, callers can be sure they've dialled the correct number. Something simple like, 'Hi there, you've reached Joe Bloggs at Joe Bloggs plumbing.' works perfectly.
5. Avoid negative connotations
Try not to use negative words like 'sorry' or 'unfortunately'. Better to keep the language positive – something like, 'I'm away from my desk just now, but I'll return your call as soon as I can.' Much better than 'Unfortunately I'm away from my desk right now but I'll return your call as soon as I can, sorry“.
6. Provide facts
Remember to use your voicemail message to give people helpful information, like your office hours or website address.
7. Tell people what to do next!
Forgetting to add some instructions for callers is a widespread mistake. Tell callers to leave a message, call you on your mobile (don't forget the number), visit your website etc. Don't leave callers confused about the next steps.
If you can, put something in your message that's unique and will make you more memorable – perhaps your company strapline if you have a good one.
Write a script and practice it a few times before you hit the record button. Read it aloud and if you have friends or family nearby, test the script out on them first. Their feedback could be invaluable.
10. Don't stress
Please don't get too stressed about the process. Take a few deep breaths before you start, and if it all goes wrong, you can always do it again! Doing some breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups will help.
Even if you follow the above tips, you may still not be satisfied. This quote from Michael Arango sums it up best:
'I can't listen to my own voice. I change my voicemail on my machine literally every week because I'm so obsessed with getting the right tone of voice.' – @michaelangarano
If you feel like Michael, consider hiring the talents of a professional voice-over artist—a voice that captures the essence of your brand. It will immediately elevate you and your business above the competition.
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