Are you throwing away hot leads with your mediocre voicemail greeting?
Between 22% and 36% of customers state their preferred sales communication channel is the phone, with older people showing the greatest fondness for the telephone.
If these important customers call you when you’re on another call, are they met with a friendly, cheerful greeting that promises to get back to them shortly or a passionless, perfunctory voicemail greeting that might make them think twice about proceeding?
Let’s look at what makes the best business voicemail greetings so powerful before exploring some professional voicemail greeting scripts you can adapt for your own use.
Elements of a Professional Business Voicemail Greeting
A business voicemail greeting is professional, effective, and engaging. It’ll often be the first impression a customer gets of you, so it pays to get it right. Thankfully, making a professional voicemail is quite simple and you can re-record your greeting as many times as you wish until you get it perfect.
The perfect business voicemail:
- Identifies who you are,
- Acknowledges the time the caller is taking to contact you,
- Has clear guidance on the customer’s next step, and
- Offers a timeline for when the caller can expect a reply.
When someone calls you and you’re not available, it’s an inconvenience for them. You aren’t there to help answer their question or solve their problem right when they need you. Acknowledge this and offer a brief apology for not being available immediately.
Including specific steps to follow such as leaving their name and number or offering an alternative contact works as a call-to-action, stopping the customer from hanging up, and instead keeping the sales cadence moving forward.
When possible, offer a specific timeline for when you’ll get back in contact with the customer. Just don’t make the timescale unrealistic if you receive a high volume of calls daily, or you’ll only disappoint the customer more when you’re unable to meet the expectations you’ve set. If your daily workload or call volume is unpredictable, a simple “as soon as possible” works just fine.
Listen back to the voicemail greeting. Does your voicemail sound clear? Is your voice cheerful and sound happy that the customer called? Does it sound natural instead of reading from a script? If not, record it again.
8 Voicemail Greeting Examples
1: A Classic Voicemail Greeting
“Hi, you’ve reached [your name] at [your company]. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now, but leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you right away. Thank you!”
Short and simple, this greeting works because you don’t waste any of the caller’s time.
2: A Voicemail Greeting That Sets a Professional Tone
“Hello, you’ve reached [your name], [your position] at [your company]. I’m sorry I can’t take your call at this time, I’m either on another call or away from my desk. Please leave your name, number, and reason for calling, and I’ll return your call as soon as I can.”
This greeting is useful if callers might not know exactly what you do at the company. It also shows you’re a busy person that people want to talk to.
3: A Voicemail Greeting With a Specific Time
“Hi, this is [your name], [your position] at [your company]. Thanks for calling. Please leave your contact details after the beep, and I’ll get back to you within the next few hours. Thanks!”
Adding a more specific timeframe for a return call shows the customer that your call is important to them and they can expect a resolution quickly.
4: A Voicemail Meeting With an Alternative Contact
“Hi, you’ve reached [your name] at [your company]. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now, but if you’d like to speak to someone immediately, my colleague [name] is available at [number]. Otherwise, leave your name, number, and message, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”
5: A Voicemail Greeting for a Group
“Hello, you’ve reached [your company]. We can’t take your call right now, so please leave your name, number, and reason for calling, and one of our team members will get back to you today.”
6: A Voicemail Greeting That Offers an Alternative Mode of Communication
“Hi, thanks for calling [your name] at [your company]. For a quick reply, email me at [email address] and I’ll get back to you within the next 12 hours. Otherwise, leave me a message with your name and number and I’ll phone you back as soon as I can.”
This greeting subtly suggests the customer will receive a faster reply if they move to an alternative mode of communication. This is useful if you want to entice them to move to a different channel in the sales cadence, or if your job makes it difficult to take phone calls for extended periods.
7: A Voicemail Greeting for When You Are on Leave
“Hello, you’ve reached [your name] at [your company]. I’m out of the office from [date] to [date]. For urgent queries, please contact [colleague’s name] at [contact details]. Otherwise, leave a brief message and your contact details after the beep, and I’ll call you as soon as I’m back. Thanks!”
8: A Voicemail Greeting That Begins Selling Your Services
“Hi, you’ve reached [your name] at [your company]. I’m probably helping a [company type] get [specific results]. Leave your name and number, and I’ll call you next to discuss how I can help you achieve similar results. Have a great day.”
Weigh up whether customers will be turned off by a (subtle) sales pitch before using this voicemail greeting. The specific results you outline must be of interest to the majority of people who call you, too, or your elevator pitch will whiff more often than not.
Go Record Your Professional Business Voicemail
Build upon one or more of these scripts to make the best business voicemail for your needs. Remember to keep the voicemail short and to the point. If it’s appropriate in your industry, adding a little humor to your voicemail can make it stick in the caller’s mind and they might even look forward to your return call.
Finally, remember to update your voicemail if you’re out on vacation or extended leave, advising when you’ll return and offering an alternative contact who can deal with the inquiry in your stead.