Easy On Hold | Blog - Voicemail Greeting

What Should My Voicemail Greeting Say?


New phone system. New phone voicemail greeting. It gets us wondering, “What should my voicemail greeting say?” It could be that your voicemail greeting is old and you want to freshen it up.

Here are some quick DOs and DON’Ts that will simplify voicemail greetings. For more ideas and information see the newer article called Guide To Best Professional Voicemail Greeting Recordings.

No need to apologize in your voicemail greeting.

Should you apologize for not being available? No. We are all busy and cannot babysit the phone. By saying “sorry” or “your call is important,” you might cause your caller to be skeptical. A better approach is to get right to the point, telling the caller what to do. As an example, you can say, “please leave a message.”

Do you think it is fair to ask about the reason for the call? Yes, it is. Your caller can volunteer an email address or phone number, to prompt interaction.

Our friend Nancy Friedman, a.k.a. The Telephone Doctor has provided lots of ideas and information about communicating over the phone. Here are some of Nancy’s best DON’Ts for your voicemail message recording:

Please do NOT say:

  • “I am not at my desk” (Duh)
  • “I can’t come to the phone” (Obviously)
  • “I ‘m not here right now” (OK, I got that)
  • “I will return your call as soon as possible” (You mean you might call be back)

6 essential things to say in your voicemail greeting.

Try to cut down your voicemail message to these six points:

1) Your Name: “Hi, this is Tim Brown”
2) Your Department (if applicable)
3) Tell the caller what to do: “Please leave a message.”
4) Reassure caller: “Your call will be promptly returned.”
5) An alternative: “My email address is “tim dot brown at easy on hold dot com.”
6) Optional cheerful expression: “Thanks and have a great day.”


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Business Voicemail Messages and Automated Attendant / IVR Messages

What other types of voicemail messages are there? Here are some opportunities to communicate clearly to your callers and customers:

After-Hours Greeting. To help callers get the answers they need, indicate whether they can leave a message when you will reopen, and what to do in the event of an emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions. Phone Greeting. Some callers can get quick answers to easy questions by using your phone voicemail. You can offer a recorded message to help with directions, email address, website wiki, and return policies.

Automated Attendant. The term Auto Attendant refers to a pre-recorded greeting used to answer incoming phone calls during business hours. Automated greetings are handy when you’re too busy, during peak hours, or in the place of a receptionist. In addition, auto-attendant messages should be carefully scripted. Consider using a professional service such as Easy On Hold. In general, the right greeting will improve your brand image while reducing frustration.

IVR Recordings. The Interactive Voice Response recordings are in use on larger phone systems, call centers, contact centers, etc. These can go several layers deep, and often require the service of a phone system architect. Republic Services, Westinghouse, NYU Langone Health Center, Shaw Flooring, Frontier Communications, and many other companies have turned to Easy On Hold.

Translations and Foreign Voice IVR Recordings. International companies must use dependable translation services and a professional foreign voice recording service, such as offered by Easy On Hold. There’s an online tool for auditioning foreign voiceover samples for international use, right at easyonhold.com.