How to Improve the Quality of Your Phone Greetings

If you're recording a new voicemail greeting, or planning out an updated IVR/auto attendant menu, chances are that you already know that your phone greeting is an invaluable touchpoint for your business and your customers.  Recorded phone greetings provide your customers with insight into your business's personality and communicate important information, such as store hours or special offers.

Since voicemail recordings and IVR menus are often the first impression that your customers will receive, it’s essential that they are carefully planned and implemented. For those looking for a little extra help, we’ll share some simple tips on how to improve the quality of your phone greetings in theory and in practice.

Remember: clarity and brevity are important.

In many cases, phone greetings are the first thing your customers hear when they call your business.  And, let's face it: your customers don't have time to listen to a detailed recording, especially when they’re just trying to reach a particular person or department.  Because of this, it’s important that these messages are quick and to the point.

When you are planning out your IVR/auto attendant menu, be sure to place your routing options as early in the recorded message as possible. (That way, customers won't have to sit through a long greeting, store hours, and directions when they just want to check on an order or ask a question about an invoice.)

The same goes for voicemail. Don't make your customers wade through unnecessary details if they just need to leave you a message after hours.

Make your recordings clear and minimize background noise.

Because all callers will hear these messages, you should also make sure that the recordings themselves are professionally done.  Make sure you have a professional script written prior to recording, and remember to speak clearly with a moderate tone and pace.

If possible, utilize professional recording programs and equipment to eliminate background noise and ensure a crisp sound.  This will further help communicate that you’re running a professional business that cares about its reputation.

Be cognizant of the language you use.

As you plan and record your phone greetings, you should be wary of the language you decide to use, and always keep your audience in mind.  For example, if your business appeals to an international audience whose first language is not English, the wording you use should be simple, clear, and free of any local phrases or idioms.

Always test your phone greetings.

Before you implement your new voicemail or IVR greeting, schedule some time to test it.  This is especially important when it comes to an IVR menu; you'll want to make sure that all of your menu options are being routed to the correct person or department, and that your menu is clear and concise.

One of the best ways to test your IVR menu or greeting is to ask 2 - 3 employees who were not involved in the planning or recording to test the system.  If you know that most of your customers are calling in to check on the status of an order or to speak with customer service, ask your testers to try and reach the right department without giving them any hints.  This will help you understand and prevent any potential confusion for your customers.

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