The Importance of First Impressions in a Virtual World

First impressions are important, even more so via the phone. As a business owner, you will not be able to answer every call personally. When designing your voicemail, take a few moments to consider the first impression that your callers will receive. First impressions are made quickly – within the first seven seconds – and take a lot of effort to fix if you start off on the wrong foot.

The principles that apply to meeting someone in person apply to recording voicemail and guiding your callers through automated attendant settings. With this in mind, it’s important to remember the following:

  • Smile. It may seem silly to smile, particularly since you are creating a recorded message. But, smiling will energize your message. It will make your organization seem more approachable and callers will be more willing to listen to the options you present. As an added bonus, if you get into this habit before taking a call, you’ll put yourself in a better mindset and you’ll convey the importance of their call to you.
Make sure to smile.

Make sure to smile.

  • Introduce your organization. There’s nothing worse than calling a business only to be greeted by a generic “please leave a message.” Callers will wonder about the safety of providing their personal information. Don’t waste precious moments having your callers worry about who they have reached, tell them right away, and then continue with the rest of your message.
  • Speak clearly. Make sure the phone equipment you are using is placed to capture the message well. Holding the microphone too close to your mouth can make your recording garbled. Too far away and the message can be full of echoes. Avoid speaking too loudly or too quietly. And, regulate your pitch and pace so that your message does not come across as a high-pitched, rapid attack of information.
  • Show respect. Let the caller know that you value their time and business. Keep your messages concise, relevant, and appropriate. At the same time, make sure that you’re giving the caller enough information to easily navigate through your auto attendant options.
  • Be consistent. Match your messaging to what your callers expect from your brand. If you are a child care facility, playing children’s lullabies might be appropriate for hold music. However, if your company offers accounting services, lullabies would likely be a very poor choice.
  • Listen. This doesn’t exactly apply in the same way as if you were in a face-to-face meeting, but it’s still of vital importance. Once you’ve recorded your voicemail greetings and/or your auto attendant instructions, go back and review what you’ve said. Did you follow the tips above? Are there areas that you could tweak or improve? Even after you’re satisfied with your recording, make sure to reflect on the messages being left by callers. Are they consistently asking for information that could be provided via recording? Are they leaving the types of messages that you expect?

Your virtual phone system will often begin the customer’s experience with your business. The first few seconds of the interaction are critical and your company’s reputation is on the line. It’s important to turn this customer touchpoint into a positive and memorable first impression!

Do you have additional first impression tips? Please share in the comment section below.