Today I called a local restaurant to place a take-out order for lunch. The phone rang numerous times before a perky voice answered and said, “You have reached XYZ restaurant. Our hours of operation are 11 AM to 8 PM Monday through Saturday. If you give us a call tomorrow, we’ll be happy to help you.” Well, hello, today is “tomorrow.” It’s Monday, and it’s after 11 AM.
After trying several times to see if someone would pick up, I called the merchant next door to ask if the restaurant was open. I was told that they were not, but there was a sign on the door saying they would be closed all week for vacation. It’s not possible to see that sign through the phone. Since this particular restaurant does a good bit of take-out business, it would be important for their customers to know about their vacation closure.
Voicemail is a valuable business tool. The greeting feature is one of its most useful. You can change your greeting anytime and keep your customers up to date. You don’t have to be a restaurant or a big business to change your voicemail greeting. You can be a solopreneur like me.
I change my voicemail greeting on a regular basis. If, for instance, I am going to be out of the office and unavailable by phone, I make that change to my greeting. My temporary voicemail greeting might say, ” Hello. This is Lydia Ramsey. I will be out of the office today from 11AM until 3 PM. Please leave me a message and I will call you back as soon as I return.” If I am going to be away for a longer period, I let my clients know how long I will be gone and when they can expect to hear from me.
It’s just good business and good customer service. I suspect that the restaurant in question will have more than one unhappy customer when they return.
You can find more helpful tips on telephone and voicemail etiquette in my e-book, Business Etiquette 101 -Telephone Courtesy.
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.