While extracting the daily stack of letters, bills and flyers from my mailbox recently, my eyes fell upon a beautifully designed multi-page mailer. The graphics popped off the rich, glossy pages and the text was situated perfectly among the images. To my surprise, the sender was not the savvy marketing geniuses at Neiman’s or Saks, but rather the neighborhood dental practice a half mile from my house. Clearly, this office had taken a serious approach to crafting an image that would attract potential patients.
A week and one cracked filling later, I found myself in need of a dentist. Remembering the impressive booklet I’d received earlier, I phoned to schedule an appointment. The after-hours voicemail greeting came on, and what I heard on the other end left a distinctly different impression on me.
Could this possibly be the same dental office with the smiling, knowledgeable staff and pleased-as-punch patients featured throughout their pamphlet? I hung up the phone wondering why a business would invest so much in what their clients see then sabotage their image by dismissing the importance of what their clients hear.
It is possible that your potential customers are having the same experience when they hear your company’s voicemail greeting. The reality is callers quickly form an opinion of a business by what they hear on the other end.
Here are the five great tips for creating ear-catching voicemail greetings:
DO look at your phone greeting as a marketing tool.
Include your company’s tagline when announcing the company name. (e.g., “Thank you for calling the office of Bell Dentistry – making Orange County smile brighter since 1985”.) It peaks the caller’s interest.
DON’T use conventional voicemail language.
Give your message a personality. There are many creative ways to say “our office is closed” that will incite the customer to call back during business hours.
DO “cast” a voice that best represents your company.
Whether you choose to use a professional voice talent or your secretary, the phone message must be recorded with a clear, articulate, energetic and expressive delivery.
DON’T overload your main greeting with too much information.
Put street directions, fax numbers, employee extensions, etc. into your system’s announcement mailboxes, if available. Callers can then retrieve only the most relevant information.
DO call your own company from an outside line to listen to the greeting from the caller’s perspective.
Does your customer have to listen to an excessive amount of rings before the greeting is initiated? Does the greeting provide clear instructions for accessing other extensions within the system?
Every business, from major corporations to home-based operations should take time to carefully consider their phone image. A well crafted greeting takes very little time and money but it’s as critical a marketing tool as business cards and glossy mailers.
Pepper Hill has been the ”voicemail voice” of businesses large and small for over twenty years. Her studio, Voicemail Valet, specializes in creating and recording corporate voicemail greetings, IVR prompts, on-hold messages, website audio and voiceblast campaigns. For more tips and information please visit http://www.voicemailvalet.com
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