In an ideal world, you wouldn't need voicemail. You'd have time to answer each and every customer call as it came in--with a smile in your voice, of course. In the real world, that's just not possible. Even if you put in a 60 hour workweek, you have to get up and use the bathroom or grab a snack eventually.

Luckily for you, there's a convenient little thing called voicemail. Voicemail is great for your business, because it allows customers to contact you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Voicemail is also great for potential customers, because it gives them a sneak peak at your personality -- and yes, they're judging you when they call.

So what should you say in your voicemail? How long should your recording be? What type of voicemail makes a potential customer want to do business with you, and what makes them hang up before you even finish your recorded greeting?

Try these tips for recording a great voicemail greeting:

1. Smile

You might be shaking your head right now, saying, 'But they can't see me through the phone...why should I smile?'. Customers are smart. A study by the University of Portsmouth shows that people can tell when you're happy to hear from them, despite the fact that they can't see your facial expressions or body language. The Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) has specific rules pertaining to office etiquette, including recording voicemails with a smile. If you don't think smiling makes a difference, record two different voicemails: one where you're smiling and one where you're not. Which one sounds better?

2. Identify Yourself

This might seem like a no-brainer, but many businesses fail to state their name in their voicemail.  This confuses customers and makes them hesitant to leave a message. Many of them worry they've reached the wrong company and hang up, and they don't always call back.

3. Speak Clearly

'Hi, this is momeroumgsljl and I'm ahaljfoufofoirold'. Don't mumble in your voicemail. If you are a chronic mumbler, have somebody else record your voicemail for you.

4. Be Creative

Your callers have done this before. They know that you are unavailable, they know this is a voicemail, and they know to leave a name and number so that you can 'get back with them as soon as you can'.  There's no need to tell them what they already know, so be creative. Incorporate a fun fact or statistic into your message, such as 'A Duke University study found that many voicemails were not heard within 7 days, but don't worry, we listen to all messages within 24 hours'.

5. Give Them What They Want

You're pretty awesome, but people don't always call to talk to you. Sometimes they just want important information, such as hours of operation or your website address. Mention these things in your voicemail greetings, as well as anything else you think your customers might want to know.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. There's a reason you've heard those phrases hundreds of times: because they're true. If your first voicemail greeting doesn't turn out the way you planned, record another one. And another one. Your voicemail may be the first impression a potential client has of your business, so don't let them down.

It’s impossible to answer every single call that comes in so it’s important to make sure that when your customers are  getting your voicemail, they're getting a good first impression of your company. Take the pressure off of yourself with the Grasshopper voice studio feature. Just have one of our professional voice talents record your greetings and prompts for you. Using our voice studio, you can even produce top quality on hold commercials for your company, even better, have your greetings recorded in different languages.

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