Small Business Brief


Setting Up Professional Voicemail Greetings: 5 Tips You Need to Know

How you structure your voicemail greetings at work or home can result in the first impression that anyone has of you. Think of the business or personal relationship implications. It’s understandable why so many stress themselves out getting it right! 

In the following article, we’re going to give you five practical tips to help you put your best voice forward. But first, let’s look at the most common mistakes that people make when setting theirs up.

What Not to Do

We certainly live in a more open and transparent world. No one is more aware of this than the business community. With studies like this one – in which nine out of 10 said they would stop purchasing from brands that lacked transparency – it’s easy to see why.

But the need for transparency has caused many businesses to struggle with how they should present themselves. Should they cut the cold jargon and formalities for a more personable and conversational approach? And if so, how do they go more in that direction without offending? 

These are viable questions. To answer them, it helps to know what not to do. Avoid these steps: 

  • Being overly casual in a business voicemail greeting
  • Making your caller sit through an overly long “cutesy” message designed to showcase your personality
  • Refusing to provide enough information about what they can expect from your response
  • Mumbling through your message or talking too quickly

Once you’re good at these, it’s time to learn how to set up a professional voicemail. Take these steps.

1. Consider Your Audience

Your audience is calling you for a specific reason. Maybe they’re motivated by the following: 

  • Getting a question answered
  • Setting up an event of some type
  • Advice on where to direct their questions
  • Passion for something they need you to address

Setting up your voicemail should be done with the audience’s motivation in mind, not your own. Keep that at the front of your thoughts as you proceed.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

Another tip for how to make a professional voicemail is to practice what you’re going to say several times until you get it right. The first try is seldom the best one. And even if it does turn out to be right, record at least five “takes” and listen closely to them before choosing one.

3. Make It a Priority 

Your business voicemail message shouldn’t be an afterthought. Apathy often is what leads to people bombarding your voicemail while you’re on vacation because you forgot to direct them to the appropriate personnel for questions, comments, and concerns.

4. Be Approachable

Voicemail greetings, for business especially, shouldn’t be designed for intimidation purposes. They should be warm, friendly, and personable. Remove any apprehension the caller will have in calling you back or receiving a return call from you.

5. Provide the Vital Details

Every professional voicemail greeting should include a few key details. They are your: 

  • Name
  • Title or Position
  • Company
  • Where you are
  • When they can expect a return call
  • A friendly farewell

It’s that simple. Now try it until you’ve perfected it! 

Voicemail Greetings Establish the Tone for Future Interactions

It shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 seconds to get through your voicemail greetings. But those are an important 10 or 15 seconds. That’s because they tell the person on the other end what kind of professional you and your organization are. 

Get it right because it’s both a marketing and a productivity issue. And while you’re here, check out some more of our helpful tips on how to present your business better and get more done. Good luck!