Five Voicemail Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Business


How many times have you missed out on important business leads because the voicemail message wasn’t clear? You may spend valuable time working out the message, hoping to successfully reach out to the person who left the message, but what happens when it’s the other way around? If your recorded message isn’t clear or otherwise discourages existing and potential clients from leaving a message, you could be missing out on a lot of money. What out for the following mistakes:

1. Not Speaking Clearly

If you’re used to being understood in person, you may believe you’ll be just as understood in a recording. It is very important, however, that you don’t risk being misunderstood in your greeting. To that end, you need to slow down and enunciate a bit more than you do in ordinary speech. If you tend to mumble or speak quietly, there are several things you can do to make an improvement before recording your greeting:

  • Practice deep breathing
  • Slowly recite tongue twisters
  • Maintain good posture
  • Work out your voice by reading aloud or singing
  • Practice your greeting before recording

Before you publish your recorded greeting, make sure you listen to it and then make a new recording until you’re satisfied that it is clear and easy to understand.

2. Making Your Greeting Too Long

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Have you ever made a phone call and been connected to a recorded greeting that started off with a chime or some kind of music, followed by a quick advertisement about the business and then a long list of choices? Hopefully not!

These greetings tend to annoy customers who may end the call before the greeting ends. Your initial greeting does need to provide important information: who you are, the name of your business, and your position within the business. It’s also helpful to give your caller an idea of when you’ll call them back. If there’s another phone number they can use, give this number at the end. It may be a good idea to repeat that number.

Here’s an example: Hi! You’ve reached Cory, the editor at Gateway Publishing. Please leave your message, and I’ll return your call during business hours. You can also reach us at ….

3. Not Returning Calls Promptly

If you wait too long to return calls, clients and potential clients will become anxious. They may leave multiple messages, making it difficult for other clients to get through to you. On the other hand, impatient callers may seek help from your competitors. It’s very important that you return phone calls as soon as possible. In fact, one of your top priorities each day should be listening to and responding to the messages left for you.

If you know that you won’t have answers for callers, return their calls anyway and tell them your plan of action. “Hello, Dr. Jones. I received your recording last night and want you to know that I am tracking down the documents you requested. I should have them by 4:30 this afternoon.”

4. Not Listening to Client Messages

Many people find it irritating to leave a detailed message about their issue, only to repeat all of the information when they get in touch with a real person. You can avoid making this mistake by taking notes as you listen to the messages left at your ninja number. Jot down the name of the person, their concerns, their phone number, and the time they called. As you listen to each of the messages, you can determine which are vital to your business and which numbers should be flagged as spam. When you make your return calls, you are then prepared to address the caller by name, describe their problem so you both understand the situation, and then present the solution you have already taken the time to put into action.

5. Leaving an Unprofessional Greeting

There may be times when it’s appropriate to leave humorous voicemail greetings, but your business number is not the place. Your interactions with existing and potential clients should always be friendly and professional. Create a joking or somewhat obnoxious greeting for your friends and family. Stick to polite and cordial for your business dealings.

Have you been confronted by unpleasant voicemail recordings? What mistakes have you recognized in your own greetings? Do you have other tips that could help business owners improve their recorded greetings?

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