In this digital age of posts, ‘grams and pins, you may be well aware of the story your business is telling online. But what you may have forgotten is the one you’re telling – or not telling – when callers dial your number.

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Here are some questions to consider when comparing your professional voicemail greeting to your online strategy:

  • Is your voicemail congruent with the story you’re telling online?
  • Does your greeting engage your callers like your online presence?
  • Have you put as much thought and strategy into creating your voicemail greeting as you have your social media?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, here are seven tips that can help your professional voicemail greeting work as hard as your online presence does in telling your company’s story.

Tip #1: Be Consistent

Stories go further and work harder when they’re told through every medium. Thread your stories throughout your online presence as well as in your professional voicemail greeting so the messages are consistent. The voice that callers hear on social media should be the same voice they hear when they dial your number.

Tip #2: Write It – Don’t Wing It

Someone once said that ‘writing is the doing of thinking.’ As a rule, you don’t post corporate social media messages on a whim, so you shouldn’t just press a button and start recording your voicemail greeting. Put some thought into it and write a script that aligns with your marketing strategy.

Tip #3: Get Engaged

Social media allows you to engage naturally with followers. But you have to work at it harder with a professional voicemail greeting. When you engage with your caller – even on voicemail – the call is transformed into a conversation. To foster engagement and interaction, encourage callers to share something personally when they leave a message. It might be unusual but they’ll take notice.

Tell them that you’ll return their call as soon as possible if they share the name of their favorite television show. Then mention that show when you return their call. You’ve just moved the mundane to the memorable and created an engaging experience. Your caller will be impressed that you listened to the message and are engaging with them on a personal basis.

Tip #4: Be Specific

Callers have been trained to leave their name and phone number, but often little else. If you need more information in order to serve them well, ask for it. Keep it simple and to the point but as specific as possible such as ‘please leave your name, phone number, and account number.’

When you do call them back, you’ll be able to serve them better and they’ll appreciate that.

Tip # 5: Provide Helpful Information

It’s easy to provide a phone number or web address on social media. But it’s a little more cumbersome on the phone. Research shows that people tend to remember more of what they see than what they hear, so you have to work hard to be memorable.

Be concise and only give them what they need. But do give it to them.

Tip #6: Keep It Positive

Just as you want to portray a positive image on social media, you want to do the same on your voicemail greetings. That means avoiding negative phrases like, ‘I’m sorry I can’t take your call’ or ‘Unfortunately, I’m not available’.

Instead, use upbeat language like, ‘I’m out of the office but I’ll return your call as soon as I return’.

Tip #7: Update Your Professional Voicemail Greeting

While you don’t want to update your voicemail greeting as often as you tweet or post on Facebook, you do want to freshen it up frequently. If you’re still using the same voicemail greeting you recorded when you first got your phone system, you’re not only boring you callers to death but you’re missing opportunities to make deeper connections with your callers.

Keep your voicemail greetings fresh with the latest deals, news or helpful information. Callers will sense that you’re on top of things at your business and that you care enough to keep things current.

The Power of Consistency

Your online presence may afford you the ability to tell your story, engage your customers and provide information about your company. But don’t discount the power of telling a consistent story through your professional voicemail greeting by ensuring they are congruent with your online presence and align with your marketing strategy.