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Are You Losing Customers After-Hours? 4 Tips for After-Hours Business Voicemail and Auto Attendant Greetings

After Hours Business Voicemail - Auto attendants

Is your business losing customers after-hours? You might be if you don’t have your auto-attendant and after-hours business voicemail greetings set up properly to handle calls that come in from customers when your business is closed.

Most businesses have their phone system configured to automatically play a recording if you try to call their office when they’re closed. Rather than have your callers reach the same auto attendant or recording they get during the day – smart companies setup a different auto-attendant and after-hours business voicemail greeting message to notify callers of important details rather than making them wait for the call to failover to a voicemail box.

Setting up a well-thought-out after-hours announcement can help you win and keep customers!  Presenting callers with a clear, welcoming message that has all the important information they need shows you value your caller’s time. If, instead, your message is vague or confusing customers are likely to get frustrated and hang up instead of leaving you a message.

Here are four tips to help you create an effective after-hours voicemail greeting:

1. State your business name and hours of operation upfront

The first thing your callers should hear is the name of your business or organization. If they are calling when you are closed you should also be sure to let them know your standard business hours. Sometimes this is buried in another phone menu option but it’s best to state this upfront when your business is closed for the day.

Example:
Hello, you’ve reached Reliable Engineering. Our offices are currently closed. Our regular business hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.  If you would like to leave a voicemail, please include your name and phone number, and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible. Thank you and have a great day!

2. Offer clear options

For many small businesses, the phone announcement will typically send the caller straight to a voicemail box. For larger organizations, you may decide to direct callers to a phone menu with options or forward the call to an external destination.

Here are some options you can include:

  • Listing different voicemail boxes for different department or employees
  • Forwarding calls to a live professional answering service
  • Giving callers an option to connect to an after-hours or emergency support line (good for medical offices and those that provide 24×7 product support or services)
  • Presenting menu options to listen to additional recordings about office locations, ongoing promotions or other company information

After hours voicemail greeting example:
Hello, you’ve reached the office of Dr. Martin. We are currently closed and will reopen Monday at 7 AM. If this is a medical emergency and you would like to speak with the doctor on call please press 1! To leave a message for the billing department please press 2. To cancel or reschedule an appointment press 3. To leave a message or press 4 to leave a general voicemail.

3. Provide other ways to contact you or get information

Are there other ways your caller can get information about your business or contact you?  Consider including your website or an email in your after-hours greeting.

Example:
You’ve reached the Fellowship Church. Our hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 7 PM. Please visit our website at www.fellowshipchurch.org for information about our upcoming services. If you would like more information about our upcoming retreat send an email to retreat@fellowshipchurch.org.

4. Keep your after hours voicemail greetings current

If your business will be closed during its normal operating days for a holiday or is dealing with some type of emergency situation you will want to update your after-hours announcement. This allows you to communicate this information to your callers and avoid confusion. Also, be clear as to when they can expect to be contacted.

Examples:

Company Holiday Schedule
You’ve reached Northside Investments. We are currently closed from December 25th through January 2nd for the holiday season. If you would like to leave a voicemail, please include your name and number and we will be returning calls and emails on Monday, January 3rd.

Local Weather Emergency
You’ve reached the Village of Westlake. The village offices will be closed today due to inclement weather. We expect to reopen on Friday at 8:30 AM. If you would like to leave a voicemail, please press 1 or send us an email at info@villageofwestlake.org.

After-hours greetings can improve your customer service

There is no one, perfect after-hours voicemail greeting template for every business. It all depends on your company. The most important goal is to make sure you give your customers the information they need to know and other avenues to contact you through voicemail, email, or other options.

When creating your after-hours business voicemail greeting or auto-attendant, be sure to explain the hours your business is typically open and any potential conflicts with that schedule (like upcoming holidays or business closures). If your business could benefit from more than one menu option or message use an auto attendant.  This allows you to present multiple options to callers such as individual extensions or an emergency support line.

You may not think a short recording is a place to win new business but it’s like my Mom always said – you never get a second chance to make a good first impression! If your recording is professional and provides new potential customers with all information they need in a clear fashion – it will stick in their mind and leave a positive image of your business.

Are you looking to upgrade your phone system? Want phones that work as easily from home as the office so you and your team can work from anywhere?
Contact us to schedule a consultation so we can show you how your business can be flexible and adapt to any situation without missing a call!

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Phil Montero

Phil Montero