The following sample voicemail messages will help you to use this form of communication effectively, whether you are leaving a message for someone to return your call or recording a greeting for people trying to contact you.
Sample Voicemail Messages: Recording a Greeting
When recording a greeting on your phone, keep the following tips in mind:
Write Out What You Want to Say
There is nothing wrong with writing out your greeting first. Once you are happy with the wording, practice it a few times before you try to record it.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
It may be a bit uncomfortable for you to record a greeting, and you may be tempted to rush the process. Resist this urge and deliberately slow your speech. You want the caller to be able to hear your name correctly to make sure they have reached the right person.
Smile When You Record Your Message
This may seem a little silly, but if you are in a positive frame of mind when you record your message, the listener will be able to pick up on this fact when they hear it ad be impressed by your professionalism.
You may want to say something along the lines of: "You have reached [Your Name] of XYZ Company. Please leave your name, number, and a detailed message, and I will return your call as soon as I can."
Give the Caller Other Options
Your message should also give the caller the option of pressing "0" or dialing another extension to reach a real person if their needs are urgent. You may want to use language like this:"If your need is immediate, please dial "0" and our receptionist will be happy to connect you to my assistant, Jane (or Joe) Smith."
Voicemail Messages: Leaving a Message
When you make a call and reach the person's voicemail, make sure your message is clear. The following suggestions will help you communicate effectively:
Identify Yourself Using Your First and Last Name
This seems like a basic thing to keep in mind, but many people don't think to provide the person they are trying to contact with their full name. Just imagine for a minute if the person you left the message for tries to call you back and only has your first name; what if they called a large corporation and only had the name "Bob" or "Sue"? It makes much more sense (and is considered much more professional) to provide your full name when you leave a message.
Give Your Phone Number
Don't assume that the person you are calling has your phone number handy. As a convenience, you should provide it at the beginning of your voicemail message and again at the end. Here's an example for you:
"Hello, this is Jane Doe from ABC Company calling. My number is 555-1212. The reason for my call is [fill in details here]. Please call me back at 555-1212. Thank you."
Tell the Person When They Can Reach You
If there is a specific day or time when you will be available for the person you are trying to reach to return your call, do include it in your voicemail message. This will cut down on the likelihood of you missing the call back; no one wants to play "telephone tag" if they can help it!Using the techniques discussed in these sample voicemail messages will help make it easier for you to communicate effectively using this medium.