Productivity Tips

Does Your Voicemail Make Callers Hang Up? Part 2

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Many people don't like reaching a voicemail message and fail to leave messages in response. In part two of this two part article, Jay shares more tips to make your voicemail message work for your business.

Have you ever been directed through to a voicemail message that is spoken in an 'I don't want to be doing this' tone? If you have, you probably hung up, right?

3. Be polite, positive and practical:

When you are recording your personal voicemail message speak clearly and don't rush things. Write yourself a script and do a few trial runs before you begin to record. Imagine you are an actor recording for radio. Use an optimistic reasonably upbeat tone of voice and always be polite. If you give the impression that you're unenthused about recording your message you will give the impression that you'll be disinterest in the caller and his/her needs.

4. Sometimes nothing but a 'real person' will do:

Despite us living in a technological age, some people are reticent about leaving recorded messages, they don't like them, never will and feel self conscious doing so. In order not to alienate these types give them the option to be put through to a living breathing human if they would prefer. This is especially important if the demographic of your target audience is senior citizens. Some older people aren't familiar with the ways certain technologies work. Respect this if they make up part of your consumer base. It's not just older people who dislike automated systems; there are people of all ages and from all walks of life who simply prefer the human option.

5. Improve the options and avoid clogging:

Voicemail systems can fill with messages pretty quickly, especially if you are in demand. Sifting through endless voicemail messages probably isn't your favored pastime. With that in mind, steer callers to alternative ways of getting hold of you.

  • Leave your mobile phone number
  • Suggest the caller emails you and provide the address

6. Give clear menu choices in a friendly easy to understand way:

"You've reached Jack. You know exactly what to do after the tone. Ciao!" have you ever some across messages like that. Annoying isn't it. Yes we all know that we are to speak after the tone, but more detail is needed here or the caller can get tangled up trying to remember all the information they need to leave. When that happens you can end up with messages that run like lengthy discourses only to find the caller forgot to leave their contact details.

As a guideline, use three key instructions for the caller.

Ask them to provide the following:

  • Their name
  • The reason for their call
  • How and when they would like you to contact them

There are some people who will never warm to the idea of voicemail. However, if you make your message and the systems you put in place easy to navigate and pleasant and helpful to experience you stand a good chance of converting others. Like any tool, voicemail will only work effectively if you know how to use it.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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