Voice-mail is an important part of every business. Whether you have just one phone line, hundreds of lines, or just a cell phone, it’s essential for your company’s voice-mail greeting(s) to communicate in an effective and professional manner. As in most cases, how you say it is as important as what you say, and here are some important things NOT to do with your voice-mail greeting:
1. Don’t have music in the background. Yeah, it was cool in high school. Even I admit using Depeche Mode in the background of my outgoing answering machine message, but for your business, keep the music off! Music is effective for promotional telephone on-hold promotions, but not for voice-mail messages. (Did I just admit to liking Depeche Mode?) Continue reading
When someone calls your business after hours, are they greeted by an answering machine? Ever stop and think about what impression that makes? Think about it – when you call a place and get an answering machine – you can tell it’s an answering machine! The white noise…the way the message sounds…and what does that tell you? It gives off the impression that your business is either very small since you don’t have a voice-mail system, or that you are behind the times. To me, it just screams “small time!” and isn’t very professional. Continue reading
I often consult business owners who are just starting out with a home-based business. They are often unsure whether to use their home phone number, cell phone number, or get an extra phone line. I often recommend a little known service called virtual voice-mail.
With virtual voice-mail, you get a phone number, but it doesn’t ring anywhere. Just like any voice-mail, you record an outgoing message, your callers can leave you messages, and you can retrieve those messages any time by calling into your mailbox. Many services even allow you to log into your account online and listen to your messages on your computer. Plus, they are very affordable at about $10/month, and often don’t require a deposit or start-up fee. Many of these companies even allow you to pay via pay pal, which means you don’t have to worry about giving out your credit card number.
The only drawback I can think of is that it doesn’t connect to an actual phone line, so you can’t answer it if you wanted to, but here are some reasons why I think virtual voice-mail is a great option for many start-ups:
Here’s a good company that offers virtual voice-mail service: http://www.voicemailnumber.com/ You can find more by doing a search for “virtual voice-mail” online. This may be a service that can help you get off the ground!