Some of the simplest and most common elements of your business’ phone system can be the most nuanced and difficult to make right. The welcome greeting is usually the first thing a caller will hear, making it a pretty important impression on calling customers. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating and setting this greeting.
1. Keep it Brief
Depending on how the structure of your system is laid out, you may either have it set to ring your phones right away when someone dials your main business number, or to bring them to some kind of menu first.
If routing calls to a menu, your “welcome” message may just be tacked onto the beginning of the main menu prompt which describes to the caller what number they need to press to be connected to the correct department—but even then, it should be brief.
Your callers simply do not want to wait very long before reaching the person or department that they need to reach. Just say hello, thank them for calling, and identify what business they’ve called. That’s all you really need to do.
2. Pleasant, Polite, & Smooth
Considering that this is probably the first impression that the caller will have of your business, the welcome greeting should be a well-crafted message. Firstly, make sure that the voice on the recording is pleasant, calm, and inviting.
Secondly, the language and cadence of your message is also important. Try to give it a natural, satisfying sort of rhythm that is easy on the ear, and remember that you are literally appealing to the good graces of this potential customer through an audio message.
3. No Dead Space
There is a very common mistake that people make when setting up greetings and announcements on their phone system, which can be easily overlooked. This is the empty space that is left on the recording, at the beginning or end of the audio recording which surrounds the spoken words.
It’s a problem that you typically won’t encounter if a professional studio creates the audio messages for you because they are already aware of the potential issues with dead air on a recording.
Once finished recording a message (when doing it yourself), just listen to it a few times and make sure that the spoken content begins immediately and ends abruptly because if the dead space is long enough, it might make the caller to think the line is dead and cause them to hang up.
4. Make Them Feel Welcome
It is, after all, a welcome greeting; and we can easily forget that people want to feel valued and welcome when coming to your business, whether over the phone, through a website, or A in-person.
You know those people who wear a special vest and stand just inside the door at Walmart, who say hello to you and ask how you’re doing today? They don’t hire those people out of charity, despite what they would have us believe.
Walmart understands that every person who comes into the store wants to feel special and invited where they are, even knowing that they have just walked into a massively big-box store.
This same principle applies to a customer calling your business. The “Greeter” is a crucial point-of-contact, even if it’s an audio message on the phone. Get your welcome greeting right, and you can retain even the customers who barely know who you are.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.