The voice greeting – when it isn’t conducted by the live agent, it still needs to be perfect, as it sets the tone for the interaction between your automated system and the customer. To achieve the desired level of professionalism, both call centers and virtual call centers need to take the time to think about what needs to be accomplished with this integral aspect of their operations.
No one knows the art of crafting the perfect voice greeting better than industry leader 8x8 (News - Alert) Inc., who in a recent company blog highlights one of the key elements to creating the ultimate voice greeting – the information the virtual call center would like to hear from callers.
This information may be as simple as a name, message and call back number, but it may also need to include the purpose of the call and a customer number. If a call back time is critical information, the voice greeting should communicate that to the caller. For that matter, anything that constitutes critical information depending on your company’s goals, needs and purpose should be smoothly translated to the customer in the voice greeting.
When creating the business voicemail greeting, there are a few important elements to remember for the call center. The greeting should obviously include the individual’s name and company name so that callers are sure they have reached the right extension, but if possible, it should give the caller the option of skipping the voicemail greeting for the option to go directly to the voicemail box or IVR system. If the individual is scheduled to be out of the office for an extended period of time, directing the caller to a colleague is a very important, timely step.
The voice greeting for the business should also include a promise that the call will be returned. One may think this is would serve as an obvious inclusion, but it’s very surprising to see how many businesses overlook its simplicity.
The inclusion of a “try to return the call” will only encourage callers to hang up before the greeting is complete. If calls are answered at a specific time of day, that should be specified in the message. The individual should also keep in mind that the outgoing message represents the company, so the voice should match the company image. Likewise, the message should be updated on a regular schedule.
Some of the same rules can be applied to the personal greeting, as there are no guarantees that an important call won’t come to the home or the mobile phone. The individual’s name should be included in the message. It’s certainly acceptable for the message to reflect the personality of the individual, as long as it’s simple and straightforward. If the message is meant to serve callers while the individual is out of town, that fact should never be included, rather, a message that simply states the individual is unavailable will suffice.
For the call center or virtual call center that wants to create the business greeting, there is a process that can allow for the successful execution. This process starts with writing a script, forcing the individual to think about public speaking and talking the same way he or she would in a business meeting. Additionally, a friend can look over the script to offer advice.
Once the script is finalized, the individual can rehearse in a quiet place. It’s important that he or she is in a good mood and practices reading the script out loud. Keep in mind the vitality of tone and the customer’s perception of it – and more importantly – how it affects their perception of your business. This is especially important during the holiday season when customers are looking for and expect a little extra cheer and jolliness.
Any changes needed should be made at this time before moving on to the practice recording. Using any available recording device, the individual can record the message and play it back to make any necessary adjustments.
Finally, the message is ready for recording. At this point, the individual can do a trial run, becoming familiar with the prompts on the phone. It’s important to be patient in this process by avoiding noisy times of day to make the recording. Also, consider facial expressions when recording. For instance, if the individual smiles while recording, this happiness is reflected in the voice. Once the recording is complete, the individual should listen to the message and activate it only once satisfied.
Bottom Line: When the extra time is taken for the professional business greeting, the customer experience is improved – something that is always healthy for the bottom line.
If you’re specifically looking for some seasonal fun, be sure to also check out 8x8’s new holiday game. It’s an entertaining way to take a quick break from business (as well as try to beat my score of 1125 points) Click here to begin the fun! To learn more about 8x8’s offerings, visit www.8x8.com.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo