The 5 Components of a Perfect Business Voicemail|
Bad voicemails. We all despise them. There’s nothing quite as awful in that especially frustrating way as receiving a voicemail from someone who’s name you can’t understand, and whose number or purpose for calling is entirely unclear from the voicemail.
But many of us fall prey to leaving garbled unintelligible voicemails. Sometimes a message is urgent, and we assume the recipient will understand the context of the situation (the recipient often won’t). Or sometimes we forget why we called mid-recording and talk faster to make up for our error. Either way, the chances are high that you or someone very close to you has committed the error that so wracks your own nerves.
Growing up, I often helped my mom leave appointment reminder voicemails for her patients. She did something that was kind of genius– gave me a script– so I could learn the correct way to leave a message.
So gather round, my friends, and listen up– because these directions will get you more callbacks than you ever dreamed.
The 5 Components of a Perfect Business Voicemail:
1. State your first and last name
Especially if your name is common, please please get in the habit of saying your first AND your last name! Some people don’t remember who you are if you say “It’s Jess.” Yes, it feels awkward at first. Once you repeat it enough times, you’ll get the hang of it.
2. State the name of your company or organization (or where they know you from)
Add context for your listener right up front about who you are. If your full name wasn’t enough of a trigger, saying where you are calling from is a 95% surefire way of making sure someone knows why you called.
3. List the best contact number for you
Before you even say why you called, list the number at which your listener should call you back. Just in case they didn’t have a pen handy the first time they listened to your message, it will be a godsend for them to listen to the message again and have the number right at the beginning.
4. Explain in one (maybe two) sentence why you are calling and if/why they need to call back
There are two keys to the explanation: keep it short (no run-on sentences allowed!) and include a few specific words that explain why your listener should call you back. Examples include, “I’m returning your call about the sausage bill that is due tomorrow – can you give me a quick call back?” or “I have a few questions about the schedule for the dog show this weekend. If you need our help finalizing the order of events, give me a call.”
5. Repeat your first name and number
Just in case your phone has bad service, or your listener has bad hearing, or the phone got dropped… Repeat your first name, so that your listener can call back and ask for you, and repeat your number. This is super helpful if someone picks up a pen during the message to write down your number.
Here’s an example message – feel free to tweak for your needs:
“Good morning. This is Leslie Zaikis calling from your dentist, Dr. Aiken’s office. 617.426.XXXX. I’d like to remind you of your appointment this Friday at 3:00 pm. If you need directions to the office, please let us know. Again, this is Leslie and you can reach me at 617.426.XXXX with any questions. Enjoy your day!”
And voila! Perfect, professional voicemail. Done and done.