Funny Voicemail Greeting: Yay or Nay?

A funny voicemail will always leave a strong impression, but is it right for your business? Carefully consider the pros and cons of funny voicemail greetings before adding one to your company answering machine.

It Can Create a Great First Impression

For some customers, your voicemail will help form their first impression of your business. Think about the people you meet in real life. Who are the ones that create the best first impressions? Chances are, the people who seem humorous and don’t take themselves too seriously are the ones you instantly warm up to and want to spend more time with. Someone who’s all business can seem a little boring. Just as a funny person can quickly win you over, a funny voicemail message can soon endear your business to a new customer.

Of course, the person cracking jokes at the wrong time won’t make the best impression. No one likes a wise cracker at a funeral; if you run a funeral parlour, for example, a funny voicemail message can seem just as abrasive as a real-life joker.

It Will Help You Connect with Your Customers or Alienate Them

Your voicemail message is the way you connect to customers when you’re not around to take their calls. Whether they’ll appreciate a funny voicemail depends on your audience and the type of products or service they rely on your business for.

A funny voicemail message may be perfectly suited for a party goods business. Its customers are likely to be in a good mood when they call this kind of company because they’re anticipating their upcoming celebrations. A humorous message would match their mood and help them feel more connected to the organization.

However, a funny voicemail could alienate the customers of an accounting firm. They may place a call because they’re facing financial pressure. A joke would fall flat at this stressful time and perhaps even put the caller offside.

It Can Stick in Your Callers’ Minds

So many voicemail messages seem to come from the same exact script. Most callers find they’re simply waiting for the beep so they leave their messages and get on with the day. If your voicemail deviates from the norm, it can shake callers out of their complacency and get them to listen and engage with your company. It can also help set your business apart, which is important for brand awareness.

Your light-hearted message is likely to stick in their mind, encouraging them to use your business not just now but in the future. If your voicemail is funny enough, they might even tell their friends about it. The positive word-of-mouth that an appropriate and funny voicemail can generate would be valuable for your business.

Appropriate is the key word here. If a funny voicemail doesn’t seem right for your business or target consumers, your callers could remember it for all the wrong reasons. You don’t want the reputation as the company who delivered a funny message that seemed insensitive at a difficult time for your callers.

It Can Grate Over Time

The first time your listener hears it, your funny voicemail may seem novel and brilliant. But familiarity can breed contempt.

A funny voicemail is more likely to become tiresome over time than a message that’s more straightforward. Hearing the gags too many times may irritate and even turn off existing or potential customers. If you rely heavily on your voicemail system, you should probably consider a more concise, purely functional message.

Funny Voicemail Inspiration

Knowing you want to have a funny voicemail is one thing. Creating funny voicemail greetings is another. All too often jokes can fall flat and a voicemail that was intended to be witty can feel forced. The following can give you some inspiration.

Rather than telling your caller you’ll simply return the call, you might say you’ll call back after you get off the phone to Bill Gates, or a leading figure in your own industry. You might apologize for missing the call with the caveat that if the caller is a telemarketer, you’re certainly not sorry. You could give your emergency number and insist the caller use it if he or she is handsome or beautiful or your favorite celebrity crush.

Song parodies are also popular. Tweak the lyrics of a song like “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen or “Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)” by De La Soul to make your own fun voicemail message.

You could also play with a classic joke. For example, if your company fixes refrigerators, you might say “Is your refrigerator running? If it is, you’d better catch it. If it’s not, you’ll need our help.”

When writing your voicemail script, don’t get so carried away by the jokes that you forget the important elements either. Your voicemail should greet your caller and identify your business and in some cases yourself. It should state you’re unable to take the call and invite your caller to leave a message.

Some people like to provide a call-back timeframe, but this can be problematic if you’re out ill or on vacation. Many believe it’s better to leave this information out rather than risk disappointing your caller. You may also like to leave an alternate number your caller can try during an emergency.

Keep things short and sweet. Your voicemail might be hilarious, but your callers are busy. Your message shouldn’t last any more than 25 seconds.

No matter which voicemail style you choose, it will never make as strong an impression as a friendly voice on the other end of the line. If you find too many of your calls are going to voicemail, consider employing a virtual receptionist to share the load. A virtual receptionist can answer your calls from a remote location up to 24 hours a day, field the most commonly asked questions, and only forward the most difficult calls to you. Consider how a voicemail message and virtual receptionist can work together to improve your customer experiences.