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Lost in Menu Land! Who’s Really in There Anyway?

Lost in Menu Land! Who’s Really in There Anyway?

Voice mail menus

We know you’re in there!

Part of Futurize Your Business Series

Who’s Really in There Anyway? Lost in Menu Land!

Voice mail is an effective communication tool when used with respect and consideration.

THINK! When you call a friend. business or require service. what is on your mind?

You want to satisfy a need that motivated you to call in the first place, right!
There are several aspects of filling that need—reassurance, promise, delivery, ongoing service!

So, how comforting to the caller is it to be immediately put on hold? You’ve already
disrupted a trust point.

My recommendation is not to answer the call until you are ready to handle the query.
Better to go to a friendly voicemail, but you must promptly return the call.

Another powerful reassurance tool is tone of voice. The caller usually can’t see you unless using VoIP.
Now analyze your own voice mail message, how does your voice sound? Are you enthusiastic or lethargic?
Are you out of breath, do you sound sincere, is your voice tired and meek, do you mumble and stumble?
Do you sound distracted (translation is not paying attention)? These subtle cues transmit over the call.

Sound attracts! Perk up your tone of voice by taking three deep breaths before recording your message.

Vocal delivery counts. Are you memorable? Can prospects hardly wait to meet you?
Refreshingly different and unexpected entertainment value is compelling.
Personally, I change my phone message frequently so the message isn’t stale.
Consistent positive feedback tells me callers are listening.

Now to the message itself . . . It is not a multiple-choice exam!

Omit you’re either on the phone or helping others. How does that help the caller; it is frustrating.
Instead, provide an expected call back time or a reference to someone else who can serve them.

What are you promising?

Content defines your promise. Consider the hidden message when a caller hears,
We’re either on the phone or out of the office“. TRANSLATION — “you can’t catch me,
and I will get to you when I darn well please!”
Slip into the caller’s moccasins, and you will remember what frustration is.
It’s subtly confrontational to the caller and destroys confidence, an integral part of building trust, that you’ll be there when they need you!

Disappointment spreads.

People are contacting you for a reason, and they become disappointed when faced
with a multiple choice menu like, “We’re either on the phone or in the refrigerator!
What difference does it make to the caller? You haven’t answered their desire for information!
Remember how you want them to feel when they hang up the phone!

Why This Information Matters for You

In our short-attention span world, people want an instant response or at least information to keep them interested.
Also, consider the primary language of your audience.  Deliver your message with that option.

How do you measure up?

  1. Consider your call-back ratio. Do people return your calls?
    Ongoing service…Will they think of you when their need dictates again?
    Successful communication flows two ways. It requires accessibility to keep
    a fluid flow. Communication and accessibility are the foundations
    for exceptional customer service. They will set your business apart from
    most. Be available, or prospects and clients will go somewhere else.
  2. Tone of voice—do your prospects want to hear from you again?
    Your voice sets a tone for a future relationship. Will prospects enjoy the sound of your voice
    and hearing from you? Listen for a nasal quality, juvenile tone of voice, or mumbling.
    If you’re uncomfortable, have someone else record for you.
    Pick someone’s voice that you admire. (Practice with a camcorder or tape player.)

    • Enthusiasm evokes attention! Your message is a promotional opportunity.
    • Confidence is contagious and people want to work with you. Teach them how.
    • Greet your callers with a smile in your voice. You’re welcoming them to do business with you.
    • Write what you’re going to say before you record so there is no to do business with you.
    • Write what you’re going to say before you record so there is no hesitation.

Sample Tactics

  • Write what you’re going to say before you record so there is no question as how to do business with you.
  • Write what you’re going to say before you record so there is no hesitation.

Here is a voice mail formula that has worked well for me:

  1. Identify your business name. Welcome to (business name)!
    You’ve reached (your name.)
  2. Use a quick, memorable statement about your business. (A tagline is useful.) Consider tying in a current event or community item.
  3. Offer alternative ways to communicate with you depending on the circumstances. The best time to reach you, general business hours, appointments available? They can use this data. (pager, fax, alternate phone number, etc.)
  4. Define when a reasonable response can be expected (within 48 hours, by 6 p.m. today?).
  5. Refer to someone else if you’re gone for more than two days. “We’re on vacation until (date). Please contact (name) if you need immediate assistance. We will follow-up with you when we return. Thank you for your interest in (business name).

Ongoing service—Will they think of you when their need dictates again? Give them a memory hook.

Think of your voice message as an audition. It’s that important to portray confidence and personality.

Successful communication flows two ways. It requires accessibility to keep a fluid flow. Communication and accessibility are the foundations for exceptional customer service. They will set your business apart from most. Be available, or prospects and clients will go somewhere else.

We can help!

If you would like to create a customized message or a variety set of different scenarios including voice over, please call Michelle Cubas, Positive Potentials, (480) 510-7166 for details. Also, other language versions are available.

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