I was recently asked for a few samples that would make a good voice mail greeting for a holistic practice such as massage therapy, chiropractic, naturopathy, bodywork, personal training or somatic instruction – who, in turn, were faced with the dilemma of a very limited or possibly no professional office staff on site.
I have found that simple yet informative works best. You won’t please everyone (and need to accept that for this aspect of your practice), but you should be able to find something effective and helpful for most people who plan to become a part of your private practice.
Consider creating a greeting that encourages people to leave messages.
Here are two samples I have used:
Thank you for calling <name of business>. We offer advanced massage therapy sessions by appointment only, <days and hours of business>. Your call is very important, so please leave your name and number after the tone and someone will return your call as soon as possible. You may also visit us at <website>. Thank you for calling and have a nice day.
Hello. You’ve reached <name of business>. We can’t come to the phone right now as we’re either in session or away from the phone at this time. However, if you will leave your name, number, a brief message along with any days or times that are more convenient for your appointment, we’ll call you back as soon as we can do so. Thank you for calling and have a nice day.
A colleague of mine used to use a “tag line” at the end of her message. “Thank you for calling and create a great day!”
Other items of interest which you may wish to consider or use for your greeting:
- Play soft music in the background only if it won’t be distracting to the caller.
- Take time preparing your message. Smile when recording it, and try to sound cheerful. So many people are just general bumps-on-a-log nowadays. Stand out from the crowd.
- Some people will not like a long message and others will prefer it (they can “get to know you” before meeting you in person).
- Use a phone system that allows the caller to bypass the message by pressing a button.
- Use “we” if you don’t want the appearance of practicing alone.
- “We are sorry we were unable to answer your call in person…”
- “If you are calling during business hours we are in session with a client.”
- “We are available today but are currently assisting in-house clients.”
- “As a courtesy to our clients we do not answer the phone during sessions.”
- State hours, location, prices/rates and/or any other work you offer.
- “I am located in <name of business>.
- State when you return phone calls.
- “8am, noon and 5 pm daily“, “at the end of the business day, no later than 8pm“, “within the hour“, “within 24 hours“, “as soon as possible”.
- State when you are closed <insert days or week-ends & holidays here>.
- “Today is Sunday and I left my office for the weekend. All calls will be returned Wednesday morning during regular business hours.”
- “Any messages left after 6pm on Friday will be returned upon regular business hours, Monday morning.”
- Leave your website and gift certificate info on the greeting.
- “For additional information on services and rates, please visit <insert website here>…”.
- “You may also wish to visit our website at <insert website here> for additional information.”
- Ask the client to leave their reason for calling.
- “Please leave a message so I can better serve your needs…”
- “Please tell me the day and time of your preferred appointment…”
- Leave an alternate phone number.
- “You are welcome to try <insert name here> on the cell phone at <insert cell phone number here>.”
- Be reliable. Say you will call the individual back, not that you will “try“.
- “I’ll be talking to you soon.”
- Ask a friend to call and listen to the completed message.
Upon their first visit, provide the new client with your messaging and phone policies:
- When you do and don’t return phone calls.
- “I don’t return phone calls on…”:
- Days off
- After hours
- “I return calls when I get back in the office on my first working day of the week .”
- “I don’t return phone calls on…”:
- Ask clients to be aware of your preferred messaging sequence.
- “Please leave a specific message when calling to schedule future appointments, including what days and times are best for you, as well as your return phone number and any other pertinent information regarding your phone call. This way I can know what information to have in front of me or if I need my appointment book available when I call you back.”
- Inform client of your cancellations policy at this time.
- Cover advanced notice expectations.
- Cover items such as if they are required to call prior to the days you are out of the office (your week-end) in order to keep from paying a cancellation fee for an appointment scheduled on the first business day of the week.
Much of this information is a re-cap from a wonderful thread at Bodywork Online entitled: Sample Voicemail Greetings.
- Sample Voice Mail Greetings – How to Sound Professional With A Changing Schedule
- Sample Voice Mail Greetings – Therapist Over-Booked or Out of Town/Vacation Hold
- Sample Voice Mail Greetings – Salon Doesn’t Book The Therapists’ Appointments
- Potential Clients and Obsessive Callers Who Won’t Leave a Message
- The Importance of Appointment Management