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Jennifer Chen

June 19, 2016

5 Tips for Creating a Professional Phone Greeting

How to create a professional greeting for your business phone system that will impress customers.

Calling your business phone number could be the first impression your potential customers have of your business, so you want to make sure it's professional and polished.

When you use Telzio for your business phone services, you get features like phone menus, on-hold announcements, and voicemail included. Telzio makes it easy to add greetings by:

  • Recording yourself directly through the browser,
  • uploading an audio file, or
  • typing in the greeting using the text-to-speech tool.

Regardless of the method you use to add the greeting, creating a simple framework will help keep the face of your business consistent.

Outlined here are some tips and best practices that will go a long way in making your business phone greeting sound professional, and not home-made.

1. Keep it short

More SMBs today are implementing phone menus (ie, press 1 for sales, press 2 for support, etc.) to greet callers. Automated menus get a bad rap for being too long, broken, and repetitive, but if you have the right tools and the right concept, it can add much value.

The first rule they teach in biz comm 101 is to be concise. Brief but comprehensive. Describe what’s important in as few words as possible. It’s a good rule for a professional phone greeting too because customers don’t have patience to sit on the phone and they will appreciate getting what they need quickly.

Best practice: Limit the phone menu to 3 to 5 options and keep greetings under 30 seconds.

By the time option 7 rolls around, the caller's attention span has likely faded.

Related: How to set up a phone menu for a small business

2. Choose a good voiceover

If you have a decent microphone and insulated space (like a coat closet) to record, then you might try to record a greeting yourself. Test it out and hear if the quality is good enough. If not, you can use our text-to-speech tool, or find a professional voiceover artist.

If you’ve searched for voice over talents on the internet, you’ve probably also noticed that it isn’t cheap. Most professional voice over talents easily charge up to $300 for a single speak for an IVR menu.

We've found that Fiverr is a great source to find inexpensive, yet high quality voiceover recordings.

The concept of Fiverr is that you can buy a lot of different services from random people all over the world – all of them for only $5. But be careful – the page is highly addictive!

There are hundreds of voiceover artists on Fiverr. Some of them are actually very professional, and they deliver in only a day or two. Here are some worth checking out:

  • Spblat – Great calm American voice
  • GreatVoiceOver – Professional commercial sounding American male voice
  • Jamescott – Adult American male voice over
  • Reddrorhocs – Great British female voice
  • Songnet – Adult British voice over.
  • Kiffinyjean – Commercial sounding American female voiceover
  • ActressEllen – Great American female voice over talent

3. Establish your tone

The tone of your greeting should reflect your brand and company culture. Are you a young tech company or a nonprofit org?

Tone can be described as upbeat, friendly, or calm.

Identifying the right adjectives will help your voiceover artist deliver the right tone and attitude. Specific directions, pronunciations, and examples will improve the chances of getting the results you want from a voiceover artist.

For example, an appropriate greeting for a media-entertainment agency might be:

Thank you for calling the WeHo Marketing Company. It’s our pleasure to help you! Please select one to speak to a creative consultant, or two to be connected to our lovely receptionist.

Directions for the voiceover artist might include:

  • Tone is friendly and energetic
  • Read at medium-pace
  • WeHo is pronounced (WĒ-hō)

Understanding tone is critical in crafting your script. It not only impacts the tone of voice, but the content/vocabulary of your messaging.

Write out your script and read it out loud.

Elements to consider when giving instructions to your voiceover artist:

  • Pace: fast or slow
  • Energy: excited or calm
  • Mood: serious or light-hearted

Get your team involved in this exercise! The phone greeting for your business is as crucial as the welcome sign on your store front. Marketers and customer service agents alike should have a say.

4. Personalize

Forget about how it’s normally done. Your script should be totally original and answer why your customer’s calling.

Options in the IVR menu should reflect the top customer phone support issues.

For example, an accounting firm during busy tax season might adjust their greeting to:

You’ve reached Busy Bee Accounting. Please press one to make an appointment, press two to make a payment, and press three to speak to our next available agent. Thank you for your patience during this busy time of year!

The great thing about being able to customize your greetings easily, is updating it anytime to reflect the patterns of your business’ evolution and seasonal changes.

Related: 30 Business Voicemail Greeting Examples and Tips to Create Your Own

5. Use sub-menus

If tone and personalization doesn’t translate to every single caller, simplicity will.

Like in writing, chapters and headings help readers digest information. Similarly, you can create sub-menus.

For example, you can start with a main greeting, like:

For English press one, for all other languages, press two.

When the caller presses two, they can be directed to another menu where you offer support in various languages, and so on.

Unique sub-menus can be used for open and closed business hours, different departments, and product types. The trick is not to create too many menus, but more importantly, to keep those menus relevant and concise.

Finally, make sure it works

The most annoying thing that can happen for a caller is going through menu options and then getting hung up on. Nothing says I don’t care more than having a broken phone system. The only way to avoid this is to simply get a phone system that works.

Telzio provides a free trial to all new customers, where you have 30 days to test your phone menu and listen to the greetings you've created before you go live.

Learn about the leading business phone system from Telzio.