Cell Phone Voice Mail Phrases Right Way – Wrong Way

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service 


A few months ago we ran a blog/article on what NOT to say on your cell phone voice mail. We had many comments back to us (in loud form), “OK Nancy, if we shouldn’t say those, what should we say?” 

Good question. 

My first thought is, when is the last time you actually called your own cell phone voice mail and heard what your callers are hearing

When I ask that question in our customer service programs, I find very, very few attendees have called themselves to hear their own message.  That’s like going out the door without looking in the mirror. Suggest you call your own voice mail before you read on. 

If you used any of the 5 Frustrating Cell Phone Phrases, shame on you. Refresher from last blog: 

  • I’m not able to answer my phone – DUH – Really?
  • I’m sorry I missed your call – Useless
  • Your call is very important to me – Useless & Unbelievable
  • Leave your name and number and I’ll return the call ASAP. (Just needs to be “And I will return your call.” You will not exceed anyone’s expectations with ASAP.)
  • No escape clause. (Deliver a home or office number or here’s my email)

Well, now what? Bottom line, use your imagination. Don’t worry, not too much is needed.

Your voice mail message simply needs to be, well, that’s right – simple. 

Here’s mine: Hi, it’s Nancy. Thanks for calling. Go ahead and leave your name and number and I will return the call. If you need the office, it’s in St. Louis, 314 291 1012. Thanks. Make it a great a day. 

Yup – that’s it. (Oh and I smile while talking.) I get my messages or they call the office. 

Don’t over think it. Don’t put the sequel to Gone with Wind on your voice mail. 

What do I think of folks who don’t return their phone calls? Answer: Not very much. 

Not return a phone call or have it returned on your behalf? Who are you? Bruce Springstein?

Oh, you get a lot of calls you say? Know the answer to that? THANK G-D! Are you complaining because people like you, need you? Get a life. You’re in business. The telephone is an instant, synchronous way of reaching you. Long live the telephone.

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Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers. You can see her 9 books here. For more information, log on to Nancy Friedman's website www.nancyfriedman.com or call (314) 291-1012. Oh yeah you can email her at nancyf@telephonedoctor.com. Nancy is a recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Award - St. Louis Small Business Monthly

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