"Thank you for calling. Today is Monday, March 17th. I'll be in meetings all morning and... blah, blah, blah..." Voice mail is one of those "conveniences" most people love to hate. They hate recording an outbound greeting, and they hate leaving inbound messages. But using voice mail doesn't have to be as painful as a root canal without the anesthetic. Here are four ways to make your voice mail fun, memorable, and a better marketing tool...
Educate your customers. No, that doesn't mean telling them you're either on the phone or away from your desk. And it doesn't mean letting them know what day of the week it is. Instead, try sharing a useful tip relating to your products or services. Let customers know how you can help improve their bottom line. Update the message frequently, with new and different advice.
Inspire them. Start your message with a daily quote or quick anecdote that's enlightening and inspiring. Your customers will appreciate the daily lift and might even encourage their colleagues (your potential customers) to call and hear the message, too.
Involve them. Ask one or two of your best customers if they would be willing to record a brief testimonial to use on your voice mail message. The customers who provide the testimonials will enjoy the experience and probably encourage their peers to call and hear it. Your other customers and prospects will hear the testimonials and know they're in good hands trusting you.
Entertain them. Add a spark of humor to your voice mail message. Offer a "celebrity" endorsement, if you're good with impersonations... or even if you're not so good with them. (Robert DeNiro from Taxi Driver: "You talkin' to me? You must be talkin' to me, because Phil isn't here right now.") Poke some gentle fun at yourself. (In a harried voice: "The ringing. I hear the ringing... then the voices. Always the voices." Second voice: "Hi, this is Gene's psychiatrist. He can't take your call right now...") Share a humorous anecdote or (clean) joke of the day. Have fun with your voice mail message, and make it a treat for customers who call and cannot reach you.