The highest value, best-rated phone system with the maximum number of features is still only as good as the people answering it-- and those people are only as good as their greetings. First impressions are important-- how calls from clients and prospects get answered sets the tone for the entire call.
Here are six proven business phone greeting winners to help your staff start conversations off on the right foot...um...lip?
Business Phone Greetings 101
As a professional company, you want to get across the right message to clients, partners, customers, and others who call your business. For phone greetings to be successful, they need to be:
Crisp. A crisp, clear voice goes a long way. The message needs to be clearer than glass. No shuffling papers or dogs barking in the background.
**Professional. **Your phone greeting needs to sound like you're a real company, not a random person answering their cell phone.
Thought-out. Companies suffer when their founders don't think carefully about phone interactions. You need to give employees clear instructions on how to answer the phone.
Self-proclaiming. Make sure you say who you are so customers know they've reached the right place.
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1. 'ABC Company. This is XYZ. How can I help you?'
This phone greeting works for the same reason 'said' is the best way to mark dialog in a story. It's so common and inoffensive that it's invisible. It zips right past the greeting and lets a caller get right down to business, making it great for professional environments. Don't waste time by changing 'How can I help you?' with something cute like 'How can I exceed your expectations?' Most people don't notice it, and it often annoys those who do.
2. 'Good (morning/afternoon/evening). ABC Company. XYZ speaking.'
It's a little less formal than asking 'How can I help you?', but this phone greeting trades formality for a casual and personal touch. It gives all the necessary information in a brief time and is a good choice for relationship-based businesses where added warmth can make clientele feel connected.
3. 'It's a great day at ABC. This is XYZ, how can I...'
This is even less formal than saying good morning, being intentionally upbeat. It's a fun, surprising, and positive greeting, and it's hard for customers not to smile. It only works if you sound like you're having a good day, though, and it's not appropriate for all business situations. If used incorrectly, this phone greeting can sound forced. If the customer is calling a support line because they're not having a great day, this greeting may be frustrating.
4. 'ABC Company. This is XYZ, and how are you today?'
This option is tricky, but can work well for companies that bank on personalized service and friendly interactions with clients. You'd be surprised how rarely people get asked that question in the course of a day, and how much they appreciate it. Only use this if you're willing to listen to the answer. Using it as an alternative to a more standardized greeting may come off as insincere if your curiosity isn't real.
5. 'Hi, XYZ speaking.'
It's not great for a front-line call, but excellent if you're answering a line that's already been fielded by a receptionist or other teammate. In such a case, the caller already knows what company he's speaking to, and he's ready to speak to the right person that can answer his question or give insight into an issue. All he needs to know is that the right person is picking up the phone.
Okay, this one isn't actually a phone greeting, but a smile will make every greeting better. People are programmed to mimic the mental and emotional states of those around us, and we can hear whether or not the person on the other end is smiling. If you smile on the phone, you put the other party in a better mood. Who wouldn't want a happy customer?
Readers, what's the best phone greeting you've heard when you called into a business? What did they say, and why did you like it? Tell us about it in the comments below.