Voice Mail for the Small Business Owner

Do you have one phone for business and one phone for personal calls?  If not, your voice mail for your phone should be professional.

What are the parts of an excellent voice mail message?

Call a few similar businesses after hours and listen to their messages.  What do you like and what don’t you like?  What makes you feel like your call really is important?
Does it answer the basic questions:
  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • How?
Before recording any message, practice in front of mirror and smile the entire time!  This practice will also help in your daily interactions with clients.
Who?  State your name and/or the name of your business.
What?  Think of your missions statement or elevator pitch.  State what you do in one sentence.
When?  State your hours.  If you do not have regular hours, such as “Monday through Friday, 8 to 5,” think of the simplest way to state your hours so someone can understand.  Practice this with a friend or ask for help.
Where?  State your address and cross-streets if applicable… or say “We come to you!”
How?  What is the best way for the customer to reach you for an appointment or questions?  Email, website, leave a message.  You may wish to state how quickly they may expect to hear from you:  24 hours, the next business day, etc.
Many cell phone companies allow a caller to press a key, like “*” to skip the message.  Please check with your provider, and ask if this is possible.  If so, add the instructions to the end of your message, such as “To skip this message in the future, please press ‘star’.”
Clear and concise is the key!

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