As millions of workers connect remotely, the telephone is replacing office chats and customer visits. That’s why you need to know how to set up voicemail.
People place phone calls because they need help and want quick answers. So, of course, it frustrates them when they are put on hold or, worse, no one even answers the phone. If you’re like me, you call the next business in your search engine results.
Speaking with an actual person is the best-case scenario. But sometimes we miss phone calls. As a backup, voicemail is used to give people a chance to be heard. If structured properly, voicemail can be a positive thing and build trust with callers.
A voicemail system gives customers the option to leave a message when the line is busy or representatives are unreachable. It shows that the business values customer’s and their time. One of the most important things with voicemail is to tell the caller how quickly you’ll get back or provide another way to reach you.When you serve the customer better, they always return on your investment. – Kara Parlin Click To Tweet
What Is Voicemail?
Voicemail is a computerized system that allows callers to leave a message. It is an audio note a caller leaves when the person they call cannot answer the phone.
Nearly all mobile carriers, business phone systems, and telecom providers offer voicemail. Typically voicemail is a standard feature and should not cost any extra money.
The voicemail feature functions similarly to the old answering machine. Voicemail picks up unanswered calls and provides time to leave a message. The significant difference today is that instead of saving the voice note on your answering machine, your telco provider keeps it on their servers.
One enormous benefit is that voice messages are available immediately from anywhere. Often VoIP providers integrate with the Internet, enabling users to retrieve incoming messages on computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
How Does the Voicemail System Work?
Voicemail has three components. The first is the capability to play a greeting. The second is the ability for callers to leave an audio message. And the third part is hearing the recorded message.
Without getting too technical, voicemail systems route, record, and retrieve.
Most systems send unanswered calls to a digital storehouse where a greeting is triggered and played. Callers can record their own audio messages. The voicemail depository saves the message and retrieves it for listening to later.
Some providers send alerts when a person leaves a voicemail. More of this benefit later.
Routing Phone Calls
After five to six rings, many phone systems send callers to voicemail. The call routes or redirects to the voicemail system.
If someone doesn’t know how to set up voicemail or hasn’t taken the time to do it, a default greeting will usually play. We do not recommend this passive approach. Record your own personal voicemail greeting!
Later in this article, we will cover the easy steps and psychology for great greetings.
Convirza lets users specify the exact number of rings before phone calls route to voicemail. You can also set up numbers to go straight to voicemail or ring one person and then everyone in the department. Our advanced telephony features and call routing have tons of flexibility.
Recording messages: Your greeting and the voicemail
When someone dials a <phone number, but the line is busy or keeps ringing, a voicemail greeting plays. Usually, the owner of the phone number records the greeting.
The greeting can provide instructions to the caller to leave a voice note, or give other directions. The message may have other available options for the caller. More on this later.
Hi, you’ve reached John from Convirza. Please let me know how I can get right back to you. Thanks!
Knowing how to record messages is the other half of a voicemail system. In the olden days, like in the 1970s, when answering machines were first introduced, a tape recorded and stored messages. Occasionally, the tape would get full, and the owner had to delete messages to open more recording space.
Today messages left on voicemails are recorded digitally and stored on massive servers.
Voicemail alerts are built into almost every system. iPhones let you immediately with a pop up notification on your home screen. The phone app shows all the missed calls and voicemail messages. You can listen (retrieve), share messages, delete, and even call back the person from this screen.
The Convirza Platform works similarly but has many more capabilities. You can listen to, tag, download, share, and analyze voicemails.
How to Set up Voicemail?
Setting up voicemail varies by device but is usually straightforward. We will cover how to set up voicemail on smartphones, including Androids and iPhones. Also, we’ll explain setting up voicemail for tracking numbers.
How to Set up Voicemail on Android
Manufacturers set Android phones to record voicemails automatically. To listen to your voicemails, tap the Phone icon in the lower-left of your screen. If you can’t find the Phone icon go to your Apps and then Phone.
Other ways to hear your voicemails include calling in your mailbox. Also, you can use Visual Voicemail on an Android or a computer.
Some carriers offer a voicemail number for people who want calls to go straight to their voicemail. The best way to get this dedicated number is to call your telephone service provider. Request a voicemail number and ask about the services, the charges, and additional details.
On your Android phone, open Settings and select ‘Call’ or ‘Phone’. Choose the ‘Voicemail’ option. Then open ‘Voicemail settings’. Enter your voicemail number (received from your service provider). This is basically the process you follow for a dedicated voicemail number. It may differ based on the phone and based on the Android version.
How to Set up Voicemail on the iPhone
Just like Android, iPhone automatically has voicemail. And just like the Android, iPhone offers Visual Voicemail, which is a must. You will need to set up or activate your voicemail.
We will outline briefly the steps for setting up Visual Voicemail.
- Click on the Phone app at the bottom of the home screen.
- Look at the bottom of the phone window and click on the Voicemail icon, probably in the right-hand corner of the screen.
- Select the prompt with ‘Set up now’ will appear in the middle of the screen.
- Create a voicemail password or enter your existing password, if you have one.
- Next is the greeting screen. Your options are ‘Default’ greeting or a ‘Custom’. No surprise that we recommend a custom greeting.
- Click ‘Custom’ >> ‘Record’ >> ‘Play’ (make sure you like your greeting) >> ‘Done’.
How to Set up Voicemail on Tracking Numbers
Once you sign up for Convirza, you can provision a phone number or port in your existing number. You can then configure a tracking number that will send your unanswered calls to voicemail.
At Convirza, you can set up voicemail in two different ways.
- Activating voicemail feature for the existing route type
- Sending the calls directly to voicemail
You can also record custom greeting messages for your voicemail. The interface is so simple that you can set it up without technical help, in no time.
Ways of Creating a Voicemail
#1 Route Calls Directly to Voicemail
Sometimes you just want to collect the voice data instead of answering the call phones.
Example of good times to send calls to voicemail include:
- Radio station gathering individual views of its audience.
- Realtor capturing calls from property signs.
- School hotline.
- Utility company that needs to prioritize outages.
- Calls after business hours.
- Trucking or delivery company that wants to know how it’s drivers are doing.
- Restaurant asking for feedback and suggestions.
Let us know how you use voicemail in the comments below.
Convirza tracking numbers can go directly to voicemail. Call management and routing are configured in the app.
Here is how to send calls straight to voicemail:
- Login to the Convirza Platform
- Click Campaign >> Tracking Number in the left-hand menu bar. Create a new campaign or choose an already existing campaign.
- Once in the campaign, click ‘Add Tracking Number’
- If you wish to build a call flow with a single Tracking Number, choose the ‘Single Number’ option
- If you want to create a call flow using a Tracking Number from a reserved numbers list, click the ‘Reserved Number’ option
- If you wish to build a call flow with more than one Tracking Number, choose the ‘Number Pool’ option
- Set the tracking number ‘Active’ and enter the area code for the number you want to find. Choose the phone number from the ‘Tracking Number’ list.
- Choose your ‘Ad Source’.
- Select the ‘Send Directly to Voicemail’ option from ‘Route Calls by’ drop down.
In the advanced tracking number settings, you can customize the voicemail greetings. You can either type in your greeting or upload an audio file with a pre-recorded message.
That’s it. Now the calls to this tracking number will go directly to Voicemail.
#2 Activating Voicemail Feature for the Existing Route Type
When you want to activate voicemail to any existing Tracking number, you just need to edit the tracking number and activate voicemail. You can configure the custom greetings with a text-to-speech message or upload your own audio file.
Other call management or call routing options are to follow a schedule, percentage-based route, and IVR. Also, you can configure voicemail for an individual ring to number.
Learn more about getting calls to the right person by visiting the Convirza call routing webpage.
Best Practices for Voicemail
For many companies, it’s not workable to answer all incoming calls. Sometimes consumers call after business hours. Other times, you may be busy or have limited staff available.
Naturally, this is when voicemail saves the day.
Be careful, because having a lousy voicemail greeting can cause callers to hang up and dial your competition. Also, not getting the voicemail greeting right has other downsides — like poor customer perceptions.
Here is some basic advice that you can follow to create exceptional voicemail greetings.
- Avoid cliches like ‘Your call is important to us.’ These sayings are outdated and don’t feel genuine anymore.
- Ensure that your voicemail recording is friendly and personal.
- Make sure you don’t sound like you are reading a script.
- You can include relevant information, such as business hours and contact information.
Voicemail Greeting Examples
We compiled a few of the most common voicemail greeting messages. You are welcome to use them for your personal greeting.
“Hi, thanks for calling [business name]. Our business hours are [business hours] Monday to Friday. Please leave your name and number after the beep, and we will call you back. Also, visit our website at [www.example.com] for 24/7 live chat.”
Busy & Away Greeting
“Hello! You’ve reached [company name]. We value every phone call, so please let us know your name and phone number. We will get right back to you. Have a great day!”
Keep it Short and Simple
A perfect voicemail greeting should only be between 20 to 30 seconds. Don’t make it much longer or much shorter. Just the right length to share your information without losing your customers’ attention.
People don’t listen to long voicemail greetings. So pushing past 30 seconds results in frustrated callers that will often hang up before leaving a message.
Another point to consider when keeping your greeting to less than 30 seconds is it will be easier on voicemail automation. Combining personalization, speed and consistency become much more comfortable when you are working with a shorter length of time.
Remember, 20 to 30 seconds is the winning spot. A voicemail in this time span sparks curiosity without obliging too much time.
Voicemail Follow Up
The only thing we have to say about responding to voicemails is…
Always call back!
Leaving a Voicemail
When you place a call and end up in voicemail, here’s some advice for leaving a message that works.
Don’t sound desperate
Avoid using phrases like:
- Please call us right away when you receive this message.
- We are really looking forward to hearing from you.
- Call us back at your earliest convenience.
Phrases like these are pushy, competitive, and desperate.
Don’t tell your prospect what to do. It should feel like a mutually beneficial relationship, one in which every person wants to call the other back.
Leave voicemail messages like:
- Call us back when you get this.
- Talk to you soon.
- Thank you for your time.
- Have a great day.
Test Your Voicemails
For voicemail response rates, the tiniest details can make a tremendous difference. Strong response rates are affected by:
- The length of your voicemail
- The day and time you leave the voicemail
- The number of times you say a user’s name.
There are many competing views and best practices. But the point is, you must know what works great for you and your users.
So we suggest testing various voicemail techniques to discover which one works best. The more versions you test, the more knowledge you’ll have while creating the perfect voicemail.
Your voicemail can be one of your first impressions. When you set up your voicemail, keep it clear, professional, and up to date. When you give this small but important business detail some attention, it pays back.
You can boost productivity, increase your response rate, and ultimately make more sales.
Follow these steps to make sure your voicemail is exceptional.
Learn how Convirza can help you set up voicemail and also get call analytics from voicemails. Schedule a 15-minute demo with James, here’s the link for his calendar.
Also, comment below and tell us about both the great and the terrible voicemails you’ve heard. Let’s create a running list.