How to Create and Record a Professional Voicemail Greeting

Published: June 26, 2017 - 9:00am EDT

Woman on bluetooth phone working at laptop

Recording a voicemail greeting can be a surprisingly tricky task. What should you say? How would that come off to other people? Do you sound professional enough? These are the kinds of questions we know can come to mind. If you’re looking to record a professional voicemail greeting message for yourself or for your business, we’re here to help! To get us started, let’s talk about what makes for the best voicemail greeting.

6 important things that make for a good voicemail greeting

1. Think about who might be calling you, and why.

When deciding what you want to say in your voicemail greeting, take some time to think about who might be calling you and the reason why they could be calling. Are they calling to offer you an interview or a job? Is it a potential customer calling about your business? Take these possibilities into consideration.

It’s important to remain professional with your voicemail greeting for many reasons. If you’re currently representing a business, or you’re looking for work, your voicemail greeting could greatly impact the caller’s perception of you.

2. Politely add a “Thank You” or an “Apology.”

These things are always nice to include as a sort of courtesy to the person calling you. Let them know that you’re sorry you couldn’t get to the phone, and/or thank them for calling. If this outgoing voicemail message is for your business, you should be especially courteous because potential customers could be calling, and you want them to try to reach you again in the future.

3. State your personal information to validate the caller.

At the beginning of your greeting, you should mention your name or the name of your business (or both) depending on what the phone number is for. This way, the person calling will know that they’ve reached the right number, and can leave a message as appropriate.

4. Record your greeting in a quiet place.

When you’re ready to actually record your greeting, try to do to in a quiet room. If you’re in a noisy place, you may end up with annoying background noise that can distract from what you’re saying in your greeting, lower the quality of the recording, or even prevent the caller from hearing what you’re saying; this could make your greeting seem less professional. If you can avoid being near other people, wind, fans, and anything else that could make noise while recording your greeting, try to do so.

5. Be as concise and brief as you can.

Try your best not to make your greeting too long. Give your name and business information (if applicable), thank the person for calling, and provide any other pertinent information, but try not to ramble on. Make your message brief while still getting your point across.

People tend not to enjoy a voicemail greeting that goes on and on, and it’s even possible that they will call you less frequently, or try to deal with someone else to avoid listening to an overly long voicemail message.

6. Motivate them to leave a message.

At the end of your recording, ask the caller to leave you a message with their contact information and let them know that you’ll get back to them when you can. If this recording is for your business, you may also want to mention your business hours so the caller has an idea of when to expect a call back.

Voicemail message notification on smartphone

Now that we’ve given you some tips to help your recording sound professional, let’s look at some voicemail greeting examples.

5 great voicemail greeting examples for business

  1. You have reached [your name] at [your business]. Please leave your name, number, a brief message, and I’ll return your call as soon as possible.
     
  2. Thank you for calling [your business]. We’re sorry we missed your call. Leave us a message with your name and phone number and we’ll get back to you when we can. Our hours of operation are [your hours].
     
  3. Hello, this is [your name]. I’m away from the office right now, but will return your call when I get back. Please leave your contact information after the tone.
     
  4. You’ve reached [your business]. Our office is closed right now. Our business hours are [your hours]. Please leave us a message with your name, phone number, and reason for calling. We will return your call as soon as we can. Thank you.
     
  5. Hi, this is [your name]. I am unable to take your call right now, but if you leave a message with your name, phone number, and the reason for your call, I will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you for calling, and have a great day.

These are just some examples, but start here for inspiration and put your own spin on them, or use our examples as a guideline to come up with your own personalized voicemail greeting! Now that we know what we’re going for, let’s talk about the kinds of things that shouldn’t be included in a professional outgoing voicemail.

Things to leave out of the professional voicemail greeting

  • Background noise – other people, wind, fans, or other outside noises can disrupt your recording.
     
  • Humor – If you want to sound professional, don’t crack any jokes in your voicemail greeting. Unless of course being a comedian is your profession (haha!).
     
  • Unprofessional language – Don’t use any colloquialisms or otherwise inappropriate language when you create your recording. Try your best to sound professional and set the tone for how you would like yourself or your business to be represented.
     
  • Rambling – Nobody wants to stay on the line listening to you listing off excessive information regarding why you’re unable to answer their call. Give just enough information, like your name and business, mention that you’ll get back to them (and perhaps an idea of when), but nothing unnecessary.
     
  • Lack of information – On the other hand, be sure you don’t make it too short. If all you were to say is “leave a message,” that doesn’t confirm to the caller that they’ve dialed the correct number, or give them any indication that you’ll respond to their message. Be brief, but not extremely so.

 

That wraps up this article on how to create a professional voicemail greeting. If you need some guidance on how to go about actually creating your voicemail recording, check out our tutorials for how to record one on your iPhone or Android.

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