In the disaster mitigation and water damage restoration industry, it’s extremely important to be available for your customers. The way in which you answer your phone is critical – and so is the way in which you respond when you just can’t answer.
After all, when people have a water damage emergency, the last thing they want to do get your voicemail. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to answer every call, making your voicemail the last line of defense against losing a prospective customer.
A good voicemail can be a powerful water damage marketing tool. Your voicemail should be professional and informative, encouraging your potential customers to stick with you even if you can’t answer directly. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you to achieve this.
What Not to Do
First, we’ll describe what to avoid. When creating an effective and informative voicemail, it is important to steer clear of some commonly-made rookie mistakes.
Don’t Use Default – The first mistake that some ill-prepared water restoration marketing teams make is to leave the voicemail as the default, inserting only the name and phone number of your business but leaving everything else factory fresh. While this may seem sensible, it can lend the impression that you don’t care enough about your customers to even leave them a personalized message. Leaving an unchanged default message robs you of the opportunity to greet your potential customer in a more personal manner.
Don’t Drone On – On the flip side of this—don’t make your voicemail message too long! Anything over 30 seconds is going to be just as bad as no message at all. Generally, if someone is calling you during the off-hours, they really need help and reassurance—not an audiobook. Keep your message short and sweet, including all of the information that is pertinent to the situation. You don’t need to explain why you are away from the phone, only reassure them that you will be back in touch with them as soon as possible.
No Background Noise – Make certain that your message is crisp, clear, and professional. This includes reducing background noise. Excessive background noise can not only obscure the message but also takes away from your sense of professionalism and credibility. When you record your message, be sure to do so in a quiet room.
What to Do
There are two main types of calls you may receive in the restoration industry: emergency and non-emergency calls. No matter which one you are recording, it is always a good idea to…
Write & Rehearse – Your voicemail is a second chance to engage with a customer. If you are unable to take their call, most people will hang up and try someone else. If your voicemail is engaging, they may linger long enough to leave their information for a follow-up. Take the time to write out and rehearse your voicemail—don’t just wing it! You can make as many recordings as you need to, so don’t settle for the first one that sounds “okay”.
Include ID – Don’t assume that because they dialed your number, your customers already know who you are. Clearly identify your business and yourself in your voicemail. It also doesn’t hurt to include a phone number (some mobile-friendly sites can directly connect a call, but people may still prefer to jot the number down when leaving a message). Reassuring your customers that they have reached the correct number is never a wasted effort.
Help Them Help You – Tell your customers what information you need from them! If you need a phone number and a description of the problem, be sure to ask for those things. Don’t assume that someone (especially when facing an emergency water damage situation) will remember to do it themselves.
Examples of Non-Emergency Voicemail
If you are in an industry that doesn’t often deal with emergency calls (like mold remediation or plumbing), it’s okay to have a message that is both short and professional. Here are some examples that you can use as guidelines, but feel free to personalize these messages for your company.
- Thank you for calling XYZ Company. Please leave a message and we will be back with you within 15 minutes during normal business hours.
- Thank you for calling XYZ Company. Sorry we missed your call but we will be back with you as soon as possible. Please leave a detailed message
Examples of Emergency Voicemail
Those of us who handle emergency calls (such as water damage) should follow slightly different guidelines. Your message should be brief and to the point, without making excuses. Of course, if you promise to return their call within five minutes—make certain it’s a promise you can keep!
- Thank you for calling XYZ Company. We service our customers 24/7 if this is an emergency please leave a message and we will return it in 5 minutes or less.
- Thank you for calling XYZ Company’s emergency number. Please leave a detailed message so our technician can call you back in 5 minutes.
Never forget that your voicemail is a direct representative of your company. A poorly-worded or badly-recorded message will certainly turn off customers, while one that has been carefully rehearsed and recorded will give you one last chance at keeping the customer whose call you weren’t able to take immediately.