How important is my voicemail message?
How important is any aspect of your presence that makes a first (or reinforced) impression? Our voice mail message is often ignored as a part of our branding. Most of our voice messages go something like: "You've reached Mary Smith. I am not here now but if you leave your name and number I'll call you back as soon as I can." Efficient, but it may miss an opportunity to reinforce your brand.
The above message leaves a few questions unanswered. Is there something Mary Smith would like to reinforce in the mind of the caller - such as the fact that Mary is the author of a new book or is known as an expert on supply chain safety? How likely is Mary to call back any time soon (I know one consultant who says "I will return your call at my convenience" - maybe true but hardly customer friendly)? It even sounds like Mary was in a bad mood (or whispering into the phone) when she recorded the message.
Whether the caller is a colleague, client, prospect or reporter, you'd like to make sure they know who you are, what you stand for, and how you want to relate to them. Use your voicemail message to strengthen your brand by scripting what you want callers to think and feel as they leave you a message. Reinforce your core brand. Clarify your operational style and values. Leave them excited about your return call. Tip:
Think about your brand and write a few alternative voicemail scripts. Run them by a colleague and confirm that they accurately reflect your intended image. Consider having someone with an "announcer's" voice record your message. Also, you may want several messages on hand to provide variety or to emphasize different elements of your brand. Once you are using your new voicemail message, ask your friends what they think when they hear it. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA