Using Voice Mail for Your Business

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Sean Adams, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    You will hear people tell you that answering your phone is crucial. In fact, they will tell you that you should have a real live person answer your phone every single time it rings. That would be nice. I am all for this, but sometimes we have to be realistic. Depending where you are with your business, it just may not be feasible for you to pay someone just yet to answer your phone. And if that is the case, more than likely, you yourself are not always able to answer your phone. This is the reality of owning a business.

    However, if you are going to have voice mail answer your calls, why not use it effectively?

    This is not just about being different. Utilizing your voice mail is also smart.

    So how does a common voice mail message sound for a lawn and landscape company?

    "Hi, thank you for calling Four Seasons Lawn Care, no one is available to take your call at this time, Please leave your name and number and someone will call you back as soon as possible. Thank you for calling and have a great day."

    Ok, not a bad message - short, simple and to the point and sounds professional (assuming there are no dogs barking in the background or kids screaming).

    But what about something like this...

    "Hello, you have reached Four Seasons Lawn Care. Today is Monday, June 18th and we are in the office today. We currently have a special offer on summer fertilization and weed control services. If you are interested in learning how we can get rid of all of the weeds in your lawn, let us know. Please leave a detailed message and someone will call you back before 9:00 pm. Thank you for calling Four Seasons where we always do our best to give you the very best."

    Simple, still to the point, shows the caller it is not just some stale, rarely checked voice mail box and you make a promise to call them back by a certain time. People appreciate this.

    Don't be afraid to be creative, or even humorous, just don't confuse or offend anyone.
     
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,683

    The wife does all the phone work now. If a call does go to vm its a lot like what Seans first example is. I owe a lot of growth to the fact that a woman is answereing the phone as most of the residential calls are female.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Great idea Sean...
     
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    I use an answering service,they take the message then send it in an email.
     
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Great advice Sean! Its the little things that set us apart in this cut throat business. I check my voice mail after each job. I often find the first to return a call gets the job!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. bill1500

    bill1500 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    I like that. Good idea Sean
     
  7. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    I really don't think somebody is going to re-record all that every day just to change the day and date. Going to get old real quick. I was in the business phone system business and sold many voice mail systems. One of the things we would do is recommend that the main greeting be professionally recorded which can be done at minimal cost. Many of the guys and gals who do the radio commercials you are familiar with do this stuff on the side and can make you sound like a million bucks. Check out www.ilaudio.com

    I also recommend that you keep it short and sweet or you risk people hanging up. While your script isn't bad, I would do something like this:

    Thank you for calling Four Seasons Lawn Care. We are in the office today but presently handling other calls. Please leave a detailed message and someone will call you back before 9:00 pm. We currently have a special offer on summer fertilization and weed control services. If you are interested in learning how we can get rid of all of the weeds in your lawn, let us know. Again, thank you for calling Four Seasons, where we always do our best to give you the very best.

    It's always best to tell the caller how to leave a message first rather than make them listen to a sales spiel then tell them there is no one to answer their call.
     
  8. mrmoweratl

    mrmoweratl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I use a answering service best thing I ever did !!!!
     
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,513

    i never put a business voicemail on my phone since it's also my personal phone. i don't even leave a message. it's just the default computer voice saying leave a message at the tone. i check the phone after every job i do and i call them back soon as possible if i receive a call. anyone with any sense would know you are out working in the middle of the day so you can't always answer the phone right away. what makes me mad is alot of people don't even take the time to leave a message anyways. that kindof gets on my nerves. if it's not early in the season and they don't leave a message then i don't even call them back. if they can't take the time to leave a message why should i take the time to call them back? i have no way of knowing if they are a possible customer or just another annoying telemarket computer call. if they don't have the patience to wait 30min-1hr for me to call them back then i don't think that's a customer i wanna have anyways. let someone else have them. as soon as one day you don't answer right away they'll be calling someone else lol.
     
  10. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    Yes and no. Extra line is cheap. My friend runs a solo havc business, no message or anything,so if someone gave his number they wouldn't know.If someone can't wait then they are price shopping. But also they might sign with the first person who answers at full price.
     

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