by John Gross
Over the holidays, I called clients and business partners to wish them Happy Holidays and catch up. No surprise—I left a lot of voice messages. The surprise for me was that two people had full mailboxes; one person’s voicemail sent me to another person’s mailbox without explanation; and one person had not set up their mailbox. I was also amazed at the length and lack of clarity in some people’s voicemail greetings.
If success comes from serving our customers and being easy to do business with, then how does an unusable voicemail greeting help us? In a world where most people text first, email second and call last, they expect to leave a message when they call and fail to reach you. Being unable to leave a message creates the impression that you either don’t care or are unreliable.
I encourage you to call yourself and listen to your voicemail greeting. If you find either of the following issues, fix them. Also, while you’re in the process of improving your greeting, consider creating expectations for returning calls (so that you can block worktime):
1. Tell people the times when you generally return messages (e.g., 11:30 a.m. and after 4:30 p.m.).
2. Tell them what to do if the message is urgent so that you can respond immediately. The best practice for urgent messages: “If this message is urgent, text me and begin the message with the word ‘Urgent’.”
While a full voicemail mailbox or long greeting isn’t the end of the world, both create an impression for your callers.
John Gross is an EOS Implementer who helps businesses achieve Vision, Traction, and Healthy. You can contact John at John@ DrivingChangeInc.com or call