Answering a phone call right away is something that you are not always able to do, either because you are on a job site, driving, or are busy with another task. Therefore a well optimized voicemail greeting can be the deciding factor of whether or not the potential customer will leave a message for you. Clearly, those who don’t leave messages may continue their search for another contractor, potentially costing you the job.
There are many issues that turn away potential customers from leaving a message or answering a returned call. Some of the most common of these are:
- Default service provider recording-If your voicemail message doesn’t contain your company name and your name, customers will probably wonder if they’ve dialed the right number. By using a professional greeting followed by identifying yourself and your company, you’ll put customers at ease about leaving their personal information like names and phone numbers on your voicemail.
- Voicemail is full or has not been properly set up-Having a full voicemail or, even worse, one that isn’t set up, is a sign to customers that you don’t care about your business. Make sure you check your voicemail often and delete messages after you’ve returned the call or written down the contact information.
- Poorly recorded greeting with background noise-When you record your greeting, make sure you’re in a quiet place where you can be clearly heard. Background noises like TV, radio, or tool noises will make your greeting hard to hear and even harder to listen to.
- Unfriendly greeting-Your voicemail is basically a recorded sales tactic. Make sure you sound friendly, courteous, and professional during the recorded message and close it with a “thank you”.
- Unprofessional ring back tone-There’s no reason for a business phone to have a “ring back tone”. Your customers don’t need to hear Journey while they wait for you to answer the phone, and most won’t even stay on the line long enough to listen. Use the standard ring tone for the best results possible.
If your voicemail meets any of the above criteria, it’s safe to assume that it isn’t optimized. We’ve assembled some tips below to help you give your customers the most professional voicemail possible.
Write It Out Beforehand-By writing out the script beforehand, you’ll be able to read through it much more fluidly than if you were just ad libbing. Make sure the script includes your name, the company name, company address, and any specials or promotions your company is running. If you choose to include promotions or specials, make sure you change the greeting when the promotion is over.
Get To The Point-Your voicemail is not the place for a speech. Keep the greeting short and concise in order to let your customers get on with their day as soon as possible after your voicemail greeting picks up.
Give An Alternate Phone Number-Giving your office or general number is always a good idea. If the customer has an emergency or just needs to talk to someone who can set up a time for an estimate, this gives them the option of getting to the business sooner.
Smile While You Say It-This one may sound silly, but you can actually hear the smile in someone’s voice. This will convey to your customers that you’re actually happy they called, which will make them happy to have called. Overall, it’s just a good way to get a contractor/client relationship started.
Give It A Listen-Once your voicemail is recorded, give it a listen. If it doesn’t sound friendly and provide all the necessary information while still being brief, try again.
Get A Second Opinion-Have someone who’s opinion you value give your new voicemail a listen. If they don’t think you sound friendly enough, give enough info, or go on for too long, try it again.
Following these guidelines, a good voicemail greeting might sound something like this:
"Hi, this is Dave with X Contactors. I’m sorry I missed your call, but if you’d like to leave your name, number, and the nature of your contracting needs, I’d be happy to return your call as soon as I’m available. If you need to reach the office for general business, feel free to call (123)456-7890 and someone will be happy to assist you."
While it may seem like an elementary thing, voicemail greetings can mean the difference between gaining a client or missing out on one. By making sure yours is brief, informative, and friendly, you help to insure that you won’t miss a client when you miss a call.