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Include a “waiting time limit” in your voice mail

timely-response-to-voicemailSo I’ve been playing lately with convincing more callers to leave messages on your voice mail. We covered the six “dos and don’ts” of voice mail. Then last week I shared how to “bribe a caller” to leave a message. However…

No amount of money will completely “heal the irritation” of an impatient customer waiting (and waiting and waiting) for your return call. So give your caller “hope” when you…

Put a specific time limit on your caller’s wait.

Here is my suggested wording for your voice mail message…

“I check my voice mail every sixty minutes at the top of the hour. So if you leave me a message now you can expect a call back within  59 1/2 minutes OR less!”

NOTE: You choose your timing frequency but be sure to follow through on your promise! (Adding a sense of humor with the “59 1/2 minutes or less” helps too!)

Restoration WARNING: Flooded out property owners simply will not wait around for a return call! So IF you can’t answer the phone with a live person (best) then offer a traumatized insured “immediate action” options.For example …

1. See if your phone system will give the option of “If this is an emergency press #1 to be connected to an on-call technician” or…

2. At the very least give your caller the cell phone of your on-call employee. (Or if you are as OCD as I was just have your phone transferred to your cell phone after hours!)

Commercial HINT: Most of your commercial issues originate with a miffed tenant who complains to your property manager who NOW has to make an irritated phone call to you! The solution? Cut the property manager (with his or her approval) out of this “communication loop”!Here is what to do …

Simply visit the major tenants of your commercial accounts, explain that you are improving your response time to any “concerns” they have (never use the word “problems”) with your new 24 hour commercial “hotline number”. (Make sure it is always forwarded to your on-call tech’s cell phone.)


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One Response to Include a “waiting time limit” in your voice mail

  1. Justin March 19, 2015 at 9:51 AM #

    I’ve been doing this for 8 years and my customers love it. I offer 10% off if I don’t return a call within 60 minutes. I’ve found that it keeps people from going down the list and calling the next guy. Most times I call back within 30 minutes and we have a laugh about how they almost “got me”. Great way to start a relationship.

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