How Voicemail May Hurt Your Business

Voicemail riskPerception is everything. Yoessu may be incredibly busy and sometimes, it is a fact of life that a large number of your callers get shuffled off to voicemail. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a couple minutes to think about what your voicemail is saying to your callers.

What you said:
“Hi there! You’ve reached the desk of Joan Smith. I’m away from my desk or on another call at the moment. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” *beep*

What they heard:
‘Mu-wha-ha-ha! My electronic sentries have prevented you from disturbing me while I did something trivial and ignored you! Leave a message and I might listen to it sometime later today and call you at an inconvenient time.’ *beep*

Important Voicemail Factors

  • Change your voice mail message as often as necessary to reflect the current circumstances. Take a moment to change 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to reflect your current workload. If frequent updates are too arduous, change your message to say “before noon” or “before 5:00 p.m.” instead.
  • Don’t ever let your voice mailbox get full. If not getting you on the first try is frustrating then image how much worse it is not being able to leave a message.
  • Updating your message creates a two-way communication channel with your callers showing them that you care and that you are alive. Remember, phone systems can answer calls long after we are dead!

A New Voicemail Strategy

Instead of leaving your customers open to all sorts of wild interpretations change your outgoing message to something very specific.

For example:

“Hi, this is Mike. I check my voice mail every time I finish a call. If you require a return call please leave the appropriate information and I will get back to you within the hour (or after 4:00 p.m.).” *beep*

Now you have a client who understands that you’re busy, but unlike all the other voicemail recordings they’ve listened to today, they feel acknowledged by you and know, not only that you’re going to return their call, but when you’ll return their call. You now stand head-and-shoulders above the crowd.


Some PBXs (Private Branch Exchanges) can be configured to recognize an incoming number and direct those calls to a group such as your sales team, which means they always reach a live person. Convenient integration with CRM tools like SalesForce.comTM help keep contact records and routing in order.

Your PBX can also forward specific callers to your cellular number or a private home number, without the caller even being aware of the transfer. Most PBX systems are even able to ring on multiple numbers so you can answer on whatever device is most convenient for you.

The Takeaway

Pay attention to what message you are sending clients through your voicemail. It matters and an oversight in this area may be acting against you. If used properly, your voice mail can be a great asset.

Consult with your IT person and learn what your system can do to enhance your communications. DLS customers may simply call us to learn more about setting up a customized approach that works best for you. You’ll love it and so will your customer

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