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The forgotten voices of business

Ronnie Gunn | 10 Aug, 2021 | Return|

Some time ago, we at BBI Brandboost upgraded the telephone system at our High Wycombe offices, which included integrating an automated vocal response to incoming calls. Installed before the pandemic, it has proved invaluable during periods of lockdown, an important element in maintaining effective communications when members of the team have been working from home.

The forgotten voices of business

We are pretty pleased with the system. The caller knows for certain that they have reached us and is directed efficiently through to whom they wish to speak to. While being transferred, they will be treated to some pleasant upbeat music that is unlikely to get on their nerves.

In any case, they won't normally have long to wait before being put through to a clued-up, professional and friendly human being that will deal with their enquiry effectively.

So, we think we've got it just about right. Of course, people don't often complain about voicemail, but it does make an impression, good or bad. And if a company has invested in a superb website, and has promoted their products and services through a brilliantly conceived marketing campaign, it is surely a pity if that perception of the business ends up flawed by an inferior voicemail messaging service!

VOICEMAIL MESSAGE: “Please be patient, as we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls"

FRUSTRATED CALLER: "What, at this time of day?"

When a caller has been trying to get through on a number of occasions, it is incredibly irritating to be told every time by an automated message that the company in question "is currently experiencing a large volume of calls."

It may be, or it may be not, but frustration breeds cynicism, and if the caller times their call for what they perceive to be outside a peak period, then they are likely to mumble something like "No they aren't, they just can't be bothered to answer. I'll try someone else to get what I need."

However, all that is needed is to replace the words "we are experiencing" with "we may be experiencing." This is both more believable and more personable. It makes a more direct appeal to the patience of the caller.

FRUSTRATED CALLER: "Important, am I? Pull the other leg!"

A good stack of voicemail advice has been given by Michael Calabaza in his recent post titled "Seven Best Voicemail Greetings" for the Mighty Call blog. One recommendation he makes, in our opinion, rises soaring above the others in value:

"Do not begin with the 'Your call is very important to us…'
This phrase is overused and can be “turn off” to callers."

This formula is not only overused but, in many cases, may be patently untrue, because everybody knows that some calls are important and some are not. A call from someone offering a major contract is surely more to be valued than a call from someone who is trying to sell you something you don't want?

A voicemail service can be an excellent way to reflect the individual character and branding of an organisation. For instance, if you were to telephone the wildlife tour operator Naturetrek and were put on hold while being transferred, you would not sit there listening to music but instead would be treated to a glorious symphony of birdsong.

CALLER: "It's always a pleasure to phone these people."

Voicemail systems work best when thought is given to how they are tailored to fit in with the other ways that a business wishes to present itself. They are often the forgotten voices of business, but they shouldn’t be.

BBI Brandboost is very much clued-up in the field of copywriting and scripting of audio and video projects. If you'd like those who telephone your business to get a really pleasurable experience, please get in touch.

About the Author

Ronnie Gunn

Ronnie Gunn

As Head of Communications, Ronnie focuses on content writing, PR and media relations. Throughout a long journalistic and business career, he has developed an exceptional talent for spotting a good story and knowing how to tell it. His varied experience allows him to understand complex technical subjects like precision engineering and appreciate the key selling points of consumer markets such as travel.

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