Voicemail Gets a Makeover
Most offices have voicemail, but not all of them have given their voicemail a makeover. That may sound strange, but think about it from the customer’s point of view.
If a potential client contacts you for the first time and the call goes straight to voicemail, you have a very small window to make an impression upon that person. You could have a generic voice mail that is bland and mechanical – but it won’t have any kind of branding and will likely be complicated to use. Is this what you want to use to entice prospects to buy your product?
Voicemail is one more place to reinforce your brand, and it is highly underutilized throughout the business world. Some of the things you can use in your voicemail greetings are:
1. Company Name
2. Company Motto
3. Company Jingle
4. Notices of Recent Awards
6. Personalized Greetings including Holidays
Worried that setting up a voicemail system means you’ll have to hire expensive voice actors? There are ways to save money while making your voicemail sound polished and professional. For example, you can approach the drama department at a nearby college. Tell them that you would like to hire a couple of students to do voice acting and would be happy to give them a letter of recommendation. These students need the work to build their portfolio and a recommendation is as good as money early in their career.
You might not even have to leave the building to find someone suitable. When I was working in Georgetown, Tex., people always came to me for their voicemail recordings. I have worked in theatre and understand how to speak in a manner that is clear and professional without sounding boring. See if anybody in your company has done theatre work. They will probably enjoy the chance to do something different for a little while.
When you are ready to start recording, make sure you have a clearly written script and give it to the voice actor beforehand so they can practice (especially if some employee names are unusual).
Awards and Metrics
There is no reason why you can’t add special announcements after your initial intro. Compare the two messages below:
“Welcome to RingCentral.”
“Welcome to RingCentral, Winner of the 2008 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award.”
Which one would you prefer? You could also have:
“Welcome to RingCentral, servicing over 567,000 companies worldwide.”
This gives you a chance to add your most impressive statistic to your greeting. It may seem small, but clients will remember it.
Another trick that lends personalization to your greeting is to get certain members of your staff to record friendly messages and rotate them out.
“Welcome to RingCentral.”
You could have…
“Hello, this is Steven Gabelhauser, Director of Sales at RingCentral. We are so glad you have called. If you aren’t sure who to talk to, please dial my extension 12345 at any time and I will be happy to assist you.”
Not only does this add a personal touch, but it helps your callers who are lost.
Holidays and Closures
Many businesses do not use their voicemail system to give a holiday greeting. Most services allow you to record several greetings and save them to be used when you need them. When the holiday season rolls around, you could turn on the one that says:
“Welcome to RingCentral! Our offices may be closed for the holidays until January 2, but our online help system is always open.”
“Welcome to RingCentral! We service over 567,000 companies worldwide and we want to wish every one of them a wonderful holiday season.”
Sometimes, you may have closures due to weather conditions. This is another greeting that you could set up.
“Welcome to RingCentral, servicing over 567,000 companies. Currently our offices are closed due to inclement weather, but please send us an email so we can get back to you as soon as possible.”
Please remember to use words in your greetings that are warm and personal. Notice that I didn’t write “please send your sales representative an email”. I suggested “please send us an email.” This makes your company sound like a family and you welcome emails to readily assist them.
Consider the phrase “our online help system is always open”. I could have used “our online office is open 24/7″, but this sounds like marketing speak and isn’t welcoming. “Online help system” is more inviting and “always open” kind of reminds you of the small town diners that you go to on a long drive during a family vacation. It creates a family atmosphere again.
Voicemail is a great way to further cement your brand among both potential and current clients, and it is greatly underutilized by many firms. Setting up a great voicemail system with personalized rather than mechanical greetings gives you a chance to be more warm and welcoming and get a leg up on your competitors who stick with generic voicemail options.
Spend a little time today listening to your voicemail service. Does it need a makeover?