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Ideally, your sales performance should be touchpoint-agnostic. Ultimately, it shouldn't matter where in the funnel a customer is or what type of funnel they're utilizing — all should be optimized to perform well. If you want to impress prospective customers, you must nail every touchpoint with them, including your voicemail greetings.

Related: The ultimate guide to a winning sales playbook

In the following post, we discuss how to set a professional voicemail greeting, what to include, and how long the greeting should be. By the end of this article, you should feel much more confident about setting your voicemail in a way that impresses your prospects and current customers alike.

How to set a professional voicemail greeting

Setting a professional voicemail greeting is easy, as long as you know the basics.

Tip 1 — Tailor your voicemail to your brand

Customers love brands that are consistent across all marketing channels. But when a brand comes across as unreliable, customers can feel confused and apprehensive (which leads to distrust). So, your message must reflect the rest of your company identity. You want your tone of voice and choice of words to mirror the impression delivered by your other, complementary marketing efforts.

If you run a legal firm, for instance, your digital marketing and website may convey a sense of professionalism and compassion. This tone makes sense: you want to protect your clients from adverse outcomes or help them get justice. But it doesn't make sense to have a casual, aloof voicemail greeting — it can come across as disconcerting and could put customers off.

Tip 2 — Tailor your voicemail to your audience

Different companies have dramatically different audiences. A steel roll supplier needs to have a voicemail which sounds useful, direct, and applicable to manufacturers. On the other hand, a nail salon needs a voicemail that's friendly and approachable for people who want their nails painted. But these are two very different audiences. A cookie-cutter approach won't work.

Only you know your audience — after all, you're in the business of serving them — so only you know the tone of voice you should adopt. Try, where possible, to use words that appeal to your customers and avoid saying things that might confuse them.

Tip 3 — Use professional recording quality

When a customer does get through to your voicemail, they don't want to listen to a grainy, quiet, or fuzzy-sounding voicemail message. Your voice should sound clear and crisp — as if they were talking to somebody on the phone.

Businesses with shabby voicemail recordings give off the wrong impression. Their voice service feels like an afterthought and sounds unprofessional. For example, customers who are contacting you because they believe that you run a clinical operation, like a doctor's office and such, might change their minds if your voicemail sound quality is off.

Keep in mind that a professional recording is not the same as doing it yourself. A professional recorder records your message in a sound-proof booth and then uploads it to your voicemail service. This process removes all unwanted audible traces on your end, providing the clearest sound possible.

Tip 4 — Choose the right tone of voice

The tone of voice you choose varies from business to business. The one you want depends on your brand identity.

Your tone could be any of the following:

  • Acerbic
  • Candid
  • Comic
  • Concerned
  • Conciliatory
  • Diplomatic
  • Direct
  • Encouraging
  • Excited
  • Frank
  • Impartial
  • Inspirational
  • Objective
  • Optimistic
  • Pragmatic
  • Reverent
  • Urgent
  • Whimsical
  • Witty

Your options are practically limitless. The only constraint is that you need to choose a tone that is sensitive to both your customers and brand. You want to avoid confusion, offense or irritation at all cost. Instead, be authentic to the degree that you can — but keep it simple, because it's easy to overthink it.

What information should you include in a voicemail greeting?

It's essential to include relevant information in your voicemail greetings. If you don't, you risk confusing customers and losing prospects.

Here's what you'll need to include:

Who your customer has reached

Customers want to know who they're talking to when they leave a voicemail message — even if they manually type your number into their phone beforehand. You can either address them as an individual (for instance a particular sales rep) or as a company as a whole. Take a look at the following examples:

  1. "Hi, this is Shawn. I'm away from my desk at the moment..."
  2. "Hello, you've reached Happy Consulting. We can't answer your call right now..."

An apology

Including an apology is a vital step in the process (even if you're deliberately feeding people through to voicemail). An apology lets your customer know that you care about their time and wellbeing. It doesn't have to be effusive — a simple "sorry I cannot take your call right now" will suffice.

An invitation to leave a message

Getting your customers to leave a message is important. You want to know their needs so that you can help them. Tell them what information you need for a successful, productive call back.

A promise to call back

Let your customers know when you'll call them back to reassure them that they're not leaving a message in vain. Examples include:

  1. "Hi, this is Happy Consulting. We're so sorry we can't take your call right now. Please leave a message with your name and number, and our team will call you back within two hours."
  2. "You're through to Shawn. I'm sorry I can't be with you right now, but I'll be back in the office at 9 a.m. Leave a message, and I'll get back to you tomorrow morning."

Additional information the customer requires

Any additional information you include depends on your company. For instance, you may need to provide other numbers or website information. You might also want to suggest that your customers call another person or department if they have specific issues and so on.

How long should your voicemail greeting be?

The length of your voicemail greeting depends on your business. In general, most voicemail recording professionals suggest you keep it below 25 seconds. If you make the voicemail too long, your customers may become frustrated and hang up before leaving a message.

How often should you change your voicemail recording?

How often you change your voicemail recording depends primarily on the nature of your customers, brand, and products.

You may want to change your voicemail recording if:

  • You've revamped your product line.
  • You've made changes to your brand identity or have changed the way you'd like your customers to perceive you.
  • You have a new target audience and are listening to their needs.

Setting an impressive and relevant voicemail greeting is vital for securing prospective clients and ensuring one-time customers become repeat ones. Use these tips to create something your customers will love — and don't forget to share with us your tactics.

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Author Bio

Monique Seitz-Davis is the Sr. Content Marketing Specialist for Lucidpress. Her areas of expertise include copywriting, content marketing, and brand strategy. When Monique's not writing, you can likely find her trail running or rabble-rousing with her dogs.