All of us have heard those words. We call someone on the phone and their voicemail greeting reassures us that they really value our call and that they will respond to us as soon as they can. If our call was not important to them they would not go to the point of having such a reassuring message as their voicemail greeting.
Do any of us really believe this to be true? Do any of us really believe that the person that we called values our call? That voicemail greeting is the most overused and flagrantly abused greeting in the history of voicemail. It is used primarily by those who use voicemail to hide from their customers or anyone else whom they wish to avoid.
The first paragraph above presents a situation which all of us have experienced. The second one is very blunt and “in your face”. However, many of us believe that the words in the second paragraph are true and are very much reality in today’s business world. Let’s face facts; we have all had similar thoughts when attempting to reach anyone whose voicemail greeting starts with those words.
Marketing is everything that we do in the course of a day, every word we speak, every gesture, and every action. We must make everyone whom we contact in any manner believe that we appreciate them as human beings and that we are grateful for what they do. Our actions include not only our spoken words but those we write, print, and record. They include our voicemail greetings and our follow-up.
We must make those who attempt to contact us feel welcome, believe that we actually care about their inquiry, and know that we honor their requests. Whether their contact is an inquiry for information, a request for a response regarding an order, or a complaint about service, we must show gratitude and respond in a manner that honors the caller.
None of us wants “lip service”, being placated without substance, or being ignored. We call someone because we want to discuss some subject that we believe is important to both parties. We need to speak with someone and gain access to information or action. Our call is very important to us also; otherwise we would not have called. Share that importance with a reassuring greeting and a prompt response.
It doesn’t matter if the caller is a prospect, customer, family member, friend, or someone who we do not know; their call should be a priority for us and should be returned promptly and with substance. If we cannot answer our phone, a heartfelt greeting that is not “canned” should be used, and we should make an effort to return the call promptly.
“Your call is very important to us” should never be used by anyone or any organization. How about a warm, more personal, and heartfelt greeting that actually makes the caller believe that we value their inquiry and will honor their call with a response as soon as possible? We cannot allow the caller to believe that we do not care. They can always find someone else who is grateful and appreciative for their call.