Voice mail is a big deal. It’s the only way to reach your customers in one of the most personal ways possible, making it important for businesses to understand what they’re doing right and wrong when it comes to this service
When you’re cold calling someone, it’s important to be able to quickly and easily leave a voicemail that will grab the person’s attention. Here is a script for doing just that.
Your staff must pay attention to your clients’ voice mail messages as part of their Customer Service. On our home phones, business phones, and cellular phones, almost all of us have answering machines or voice mail capabilities. And we all leave some sort of outgoing message on such systems, sometimes funny, sometimes boring and stiff, but mostly straightforward and providing the basics: you have reached *name*, please leave a message after the tone, and we’ll call you back.
Now it’s your turn to ask a question. How frequently do you tune out the message while waiting for the tone when you make a call and are connected to voice mail? That’s the whole idea. For many of us, the voice mail greeting message is so mundane that we simply disregard it. And it is there that we demonstrate our contempt for our consumers. As a result, we end up hurting our own companies.
For instance, we just got a message on our home voice mail. It came from a lawyer, Mr. A. Turney, as we’ll name him. Mr. A. Turney had left a message for Mr. Cheung about a current legal matter, and Mr. Cheung needed to answer his call immediately soon. This was an apparent miskeying of the phone number in my opinion. Mr. A. Turney, I assumed, would contact Mr. Cheung the following day if he hadn’t heard from him the day before.
Mr. A. Turney left another message the following day, asking Mr. Cheung to answer his call immediately away in a somewhat angry tone. This was amusing, since I was in the practice of making jokes on our outgoing message at the time, and my voice has a little Pacific Northwest accent with traces of my Upper Midwest Scandinavian heritage. And, to be honest, I don’t think Mr. Cheung would be making jokes on his business phone voice message.
On the third day, Mr. A. Turney surprised me by leaving us another note. He was becoming more irritated. I can almost see him sitting at his desk, dialing redial on his phone, and multi-tasking while drafting his torts and retorts, all the while ignoring my joke for the third time. I was becoming annoyed at this point. So I phoned Mr. A. Turney’s office later that evening and informed HIS voice mail that he’d been leaving messages for Mr. Cheung at the incorrect phone number all week. Then I altered our outgoing message to a lawyer joke that was a little insulting. I didn’t have Mr. Cheung’s phone number, otherwise I would have contacted him to inform him that his lawyer had a serious lack of attention to detail.
Mr. A. Turney had left another note for Mr. Cheung when we got home on Thursday night. Obviously, he didn’t hear our ribald legal joke, or at least didn’t bother to mention it, and he hadn’t heard his OWN voice mail messages informing him he was barking up the wrong telephone pole. But, after almost a week of unanswered calls concerning a pending legal matter, wouldn’t you think he’d figure out something was wrong?
Here are a few things to think about while using VoiceMail for Customer Service:
- Use a business-like outgoing greeting on your voice mail, including your company name, if you’re a company.
- Listen to the message if you, a Customer Care Team member, contact someone and are sent to voice mail. Don’t reject the substance of the message out of hand. There’s a lot of useful information there. It’s possible that the person you’re looking for will be out of the office for a week. Alternatively, they may have relocated or left the business. You may be able to dial a different number. Or you could realize you’ve dialed the incorrect number.
- Keep your promises. If you said you’d call a client back, keep your word. Your client is waiting for you to pick up the phone. Leave the necessary information on their voice mail, then contact them back later to ensure that they received your message.
- If the voice mail greeting you get is a non sequitur, it should be a clear indication that you mistyped the number or that your client gave you the wrong number. In such situation, make an additional effort to reach them through email or by looking them up in the phone directory.
- You are disserving your existing client and virtually likely to alienate a prospective new customer if you continue to leave messages on an inaccurate voice mail. I’m quite sure I’m not going to Mr. A. Turney for legal help. Why should I think he’d listen to me if I was really his client? He didn’t listen to me previously when he believed I was his client…why should I believe he’d listen to me now?
Demonstrate to your consumers that you respect them and that you appreciate your interactions with them. Pay attention to what they’re saying.
p.s. Mr. A. Turney hasn’t left me a voice message in a long time. Mr. Cheung most likely sought a new lawyer since Mr. A. Turney was clearly neglecting his legal requirements because he never contacted him again.
Voicemail is an important part of the business world. You need to be able to respond to voicemails in a professional manner. This article will teach you how to do that. Reference: how to respond to a voicemail message.
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