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Another Phone Mistake…

April 7th, 2007

In January I wrote about how so many marketers WASTE their phone message with a voice that totally cancels the words that are said. If you say “exciting” but your voice is BORING, then your message is cancelled. If you are funny and enthusiastic, let it be heard in your VOICE, not just your words.

But there are two other answering machine/voice mail mistakes that I hear people make all the time and I want to make sure that YOU are not making them. Take a moment to call yourself and listen to what your customers and prospects have to listen to before they are allowed to leave a message.

NOTICE: This is entirely different from pressing the “Hear Message” option as I’ll explain below!!

MISTAKE #1: Don’t waste time telling people how an answering machine works. There is no need to tell ANYONE that in order to leave a message they have to wait for the beep. Answering machines have been around for over 30 years now. We ALL know how they work. Worse is that most voice mail systems AUTOMATICALLY add a very long message telling listeners how to…

“press one to page this person now [long pause] press two if you would like to send this person a text message now[really long pause] if you would like to leave a message [DUH!] wait patiently while I mention seven other functions that no one uses and THEN I’ll play the beep, but not a second sooner.”

You can turn this option off and I highly suggest that you do. There is no need for it, and it wastes everyone’s time. I truly believe the cell phone companies do it because they know it adds a minute to every single phone call made that doesn’t connect directly. The result, after literally BILLIONS of cell phone calls made each day, is a noticeable increase in revenue. You don’t have to participate nor do you have to force your customers to participate in this invisible scam that steals more than cell phone minutes. It steals everyone’s valuable time as they listen to pointless instructions. Disable this function on your voice mail!

MISTAKE #2: Not telling people alternate ways of getting the information they want. People have become accustomed to instant gratification. If you can’t serve them immediately they either move on to someone else or lay aside their conversation with you to get to at a later date. That later date might not come. Your answering machine message should mention your web site at least as well as alternate phone numbers if you allow customers to call you on those lines.

There are lots of other little things you can do to improve your answering machine message, but most are a matter of preference and specific goals. These two things (combined with using a positive and enthusiastic voice) are NOT options! Implement them today!

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