Voice mail is one of the best tools you can use in business. Unfortunately it can be one of the most abused. Most of us are not sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring so we rely on voice mail to capture missed calls. The key to effective and impressive e-mail starts with your greeting.
- Record it in your own voice to give it a personal feel.
- Start with your organization, department and name so callers know whom they have reached.
- Ask the caller for appropriate information such as, “Please leave your name, phone number and a message.” Next add what you will do. “I will call you back.”
(Resist the urge to instruct people to leave a “brief” message. That can sound bossy.)
- Advise callers if you will be out of the office for an extended period so they will know when to expect a return call.
- If you have the option of offering a second contact person, clearly and slowly state the person’s name and number. Repeat it so people have time to write it down without having to call back.
- Change your greeting frequently so that it is up to date. If you mentioned that you would be out of the office during a certain time period, revise your greeting upon your return.
Think of your voice mail greeting as step one to a positive impression.