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What Should My Voicemail Greeting Say?


This is a great topic, and there are certainly many variations, depending on your occupation, company, hours, etc. I am inspired to check all of the voice mail greetings in the building!

I have a few thoughts…

In current times it is understood that we are all busy and cannot babysit the phone, so an apology is not needed. Also, today’s callers are more skeptical than ever and will assume insincerity in hearing “sorry” or “your call is important”. (Really? You think every call is important? I don’t believe you.) A stronger position might be getting right to the point, telling the caller what to do such as, “Please leave a message.”

I don’t ask for your number, because today voice mail is so much more. We don’t have time to talk, so I expect the caller to say why he/she is calling. If they desire further correspondence, they will volunteer an email address or phone number.

Taking the issue further, I perused the Telephone Doctor website. Got some great ideas.

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)

Here are some elements to consider:

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: “I do check messages often and calls will be returned.”
5) An alternative: “My email address is “tim at easy on hold dot com.”
6) Optional cheerful expression: “Thanks and have a great day.”


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Founder of Easy On Hold and Brandi Music. Thinker, writer, speaker, tinkerer, husband, father, musician.


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