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The Three R’s of Out-of-Office Voicemail Greetings

Winter break is fast approaching, bringing with it vacations and the tedious task of recording (and writing) “out of office” voice messages.

Here are some tips for recording your out-of-office voicemail greeting according to McLuhan & Davies Communications.

Remember the Three R’s that we use here:

1. ‘Rite 2. Rehearse 3. Record

1. Write it Out Don’t go off-the-cuff. It’s easy to overlook important information your caller will want to have, and tempting to say more than you need to say.

Voicemail greetings (like voice messages) are best when they are brief and to the point.

2. Rehearse it Practice your new greeting so that your enunciation and information are clear, saving your caller from making a second call to clarify your message.

Try this simple script which is broken down into three easy parts:

Part 1: Who, Where, and When “This is an out of office notification for ____ I will be out starting ____ I am returning to the office on ____.”

What is the first thing you notice? The greeting starts with “out of the office” right away. Many people will by-pass a standard greeting. It is imperative that you alter the introduction immediately to alert your caller that something is different. They will not be tempted to press # to skip.

Remember to include the date which you actually return to the office.

Part 2: Whether or not messages will be checked in your absence “I will not be accessing my voicemail or email during my absence.” OR “I will have limited access to my messages during my absence.”

Indicate how frequently you will be checking in… and stick to it. OR “I will be checking regularly for messages during my absence.”

If you have indicated you will be checking messages, ensure that you do so. If your ability to do so changes, remember to update your greeting.

Part 3: Whom your caller should contact if the matter is urgent “If the matter is urgent, please contact who can be reached at ____.”

3. Record it After you’ve prepared and rehearsed your greeting - record! Tip: Have someone else call your voicemail and check your greeting. You may not hear your own omissions.

4. Would you like a fourth R?

Remember to update your greeting upon your return. We will call that a Re-Record.


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