Your 1st Impression May be a Recording

When I need to call my wife at work, I’ve always called her on her cell phone. Then about a month ago her office moved to a remote location with sketchy cell coverage. So, for the first time I called her company’s land line and was greeted by a bland, monotone male voice that read the front-end announcement like it was Ol’ Yeller’s obituary. As soon as my wife answered the phone I shouted, "Oh my gosh, you have to get that recorded greeting changed!" She then informed me that she had been getting comments and complaints from their customers, and to her employers credit, they’re working on it pronto.

Tim Norton and Natalie Ferguson wrote a few weeks back that, after reading the post about World-class Greetings, they decided it was time to change the recorded greetings on their phones. Good for them. They realized that those recordings may just be the first impression a customer or potential customer has of them and their business – and as mom always said, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" (You go, Mom).

My favorite recorded greeting used to be Gateway. You could almost hear the cows and prairie grass in the background along with a guitar on the back porch as a pleasant and chipper female welcomed you to South Dakota. My favorite was when she added, "if you’ve got a rotary phone – we love your sense of nostalgia – hang on the line…" It was funny, pleasant and on brand. I just checked the number from their website. Sounds like the suits at Gateway got their neckties too tight and lost their sense of humor. The greeting is now boring like everyone else.

What impression does your customer get from your voice mail announcement? How about your front-end greeting? Is it time to put a little energy into making a good first impression? Got any examples we should listen to as positive or negative examples (post a comment with the number)? Do you prefer male or female voices? Do you want a free, objective opinion of your company’s recording?

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  2 comments for “Your 1st Impression May be a Recording

  1. June 30, 2006 at 8:43 am

    Teach Others While You are Still Learning and You Retain More

    Whenever Im simplysurfing for fresh ideas and wisdom… want to read good writing from a leader I trust, I tend to hit on Tom Vander Wells blog at QA QnA. Why…? Tom teaches at the same time he is learning…

  2. June 30, 2006 at 8:47 am

    Teach Others While You are Still Learning and You Retain More

    Whenever Im simplysurfing for fresh ideas and wisdom… want to read good writing from a leader I trust, I tend to hit on Tom Vander Wells blog at QA QnA. Why…? Tom teaches at the same time he is learning…

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