When creating a voicemail message, there are 7 pieces of information that can help your caller.

1. Identify Your Voice

It is important to identify the person and department taking the call (just in case the caller gets transferred to the wrong department). This should be done by providing the department name as well as the person’s name answering the call.  This also allows the caller to note who they left a message with and the name of their department.

2. Provide a Date Reference

If you are in and out of your office a lot, provide the caller with the day and date.  This sends the message that the voicemail is updated on a regular basis and that the call will be returned quickly.

3.  Apologize

It is appropriate to apologize for missing the call (especially during working hours) and then reassure the caller that they will receive a return phone call as soon as possible.

4.  Notify

Notify the caller as to when the message will be heard and when they can expect to hear back from you. If you’ll be out of the office a few hours, a few days or a couple of weeks – let them know.

5.  Set the Expectation

Set the expectation by providing a realistic timeline for when to anticipate a return call. Remember to make sure you follow up and return the call as promised.

6.  Provide an Option to Speak to Someone Else

Always give the option to speak to a backup person in the case of an urgent issue. Nothing frustrates customers more than feeling like they have an emergency and no one is available to help them.

7.  Thank You

Lastly, thank the caller and reassure them that their phone call will be returned as soon as possible.

Example Church Voice-mail Message:

“Good morning, this is Tuesday, August 30th.  Thank you for calling the accounting office of First Community Church. This is Kathy and I am sorry I missed your call.  I will be in meetings until 3 pm today and will be responding to your voicemail immediately after that.  If this is a matter that needs immediate attention, please contact Stacy at extension 4354. Thank you for calling.”

Other things to think about:

  • Voice-mail messages should be updated whenever you will be out of the office for an extended period of time
  • There should be a service standard that all voice-mail are answered by the end of the business day

If you’d like more information, this is a great book on telephone service skills – The Best of the Telephone Doctor.

Source: Smart Church Management