What Should I Say in My Voicemail Greeting?

What Should I Say in My Voicemail Greeting?

Voicemail is a fact of business life, but we have found that most people in Canada would rather not leave a message.  In the same way, most Canadians are uncomfortable leaving a voicemail greeting.

What should I say in my voicemail greeting?  As with any communication, it's important to be specific in what you need from your callers.  Anticipate what they may be calling you about and ask them to leave pertinent information to help you begin helping them, without having to call them back.  For instance, if you work in an accounting department, you may ask them to leave their account number so that you can review their account prior to returning their call.

Introduce yourself and your role.  For some of your callers, this may be the first time they have called you.  Help them feel confident that they have reached the right person by clearly saying your name and your role. For instance:  “You have reached the voicemail box of Dar Zuch, Director of Operations for Helia….”

Provide alternate contact information like an email address.   Some callers may be better served by sending you an email, or using Skype.  Consider including your email address or instant messenger moniker:  “Alternatively, I can be reached by email at dar@helia.ca

Include emergency contact information.  There will be a portion of your callers that need a time sensitive reply even though you are unavailable.  Include some alternative people who can be reached and can help even when you’re not available.

Let them know when you plan to returning their call.  It is best practice to return all calls within two hours, even if it is just to let your caller know that you’ve received their message but haven’t been able to look into it yet.  Callers are much more likely to leave a message if they can trust that your voicemail box is a regularly checked and if they feel it is worth their effort to leave a message.

Mention when you left the voicemail greeting.  For callers who are unfamiliar with you and your voicemail, there is always a concern that your mailbox is a black hole for messages left.   Who knows?  You may not even work at the company.  Leave the date that you left the greeting and update it regularly.  We recommend updating at the start of every week.

In summary, consider including these components in your business voicemail greeting.

  1. An introduction of yourself and your role;

  2. Date when the greeting was left

  3. How often you check your message and when they can expect a response

  4. Alternate contacts in case of emergency

  5. Alternate ways of contacting you

  6. What information you need to serve them before returning their call

Here is an example of what we recommend at HeliaVoice:

“You have reached the voicemail box of Dar Zuch, Director of operations for Helia for the week of July 23.  I check my messages every two hours and will return your call within two hours.   If this is an emergency, please call Kevin at extension 204 or Dawna at extension 201.  You can alternatively reach me with email at d-a-r at h-e-l-i-a dot c-a.  Please leave a message after the tone including your name, phone number, urgency and reason for your call.  Thank you for calling.


HeliaVoice provides phone system and call center services for businesses of 10-50 people and helps you get more from your current phone system.  We’re happy to chat and help out where we can.  Feel free to visit us at www.PhonesAlberta.ca or call us direct at (403) 698-0700.

Published by

Dar Zuch

Find me on Linkedin at: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/darzuch