6 General Voicemail Greetings

Make a Good First Impression With Your Voicemail Greeting

businesswoman on phone in office
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The general voicemail greeting is used as the default voicemail greeting if you don't set any other greeting type. Occasionally, during events like power outages, it might kick in even if you think you've set another greeting – that programming might be wiped out. Or you might simply forget to change the greeting at the end of a busy day. 

The bottom line is that you never know when this greeting will be played to callers, so it's best to be brief.

Avoid dates and timeframes for when you'll return calls – after all, you have no way of anticipating when the caller will hear the message. This voicemail greeting will be played for both external calls originating from outside your company and internal calls – people calling from another extension within your company.

Here are a few ideas for greetings that can get you started, ranging from businesslike to less formal. Tweak and personalize them a little as you see fit, but try not to stray too far from these basics. 

A Few Good General Voicemail Greeting Examples

  1. Hello. You have reached Jim Bucki. Unfortunately, I cannot take your call right now, but I would like to return it as soon as I can. So please leave me a message after the beep.
  2. Hi. This is Jim Bucki. I can't answer the phone right now, but if you leave me a message with your name and phone number, I will return your call as soon as possible.
  1. You have reached Jim Bucki. I can't take your call at this moment but please don't hesitate to leave a message after the tone. I will return your call as soon as I am able. If you need immediate assistance, please call my secretary, Susan Smith, at extension 6338. Thank you for calling. Goodbye.
  2. You have reached Jim Bucki, your guide to Operations Technology. Unfortunately, I can't take your call right now, but if you leave me a message and include your name and telephone number, I will get back to you as soon as I can. You can also contact me via email at operationstech@XYZ.com. Thank you for calling.
  1. Hello. You have reached Jim Bucki. I cannot answer the phone right now but I will return your call as soon as I can. If this is regarding a recent order, please call our Customer Service department at 1-800-555-1212. They are available Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Or you can login to our website. Otherwise, please leave a message after the beep.
  2. Thank you for calling. You have reached the office of Jim Bucki, Guide to Operations Technology. I am either talking with another client or I am away from my desk. If this is an emergency, please call my answering service at 1-800-555-1212, 24 hours a day. Otherwise, please leave a detailed, confidential message after the tone and I will return your call when I am available. Thank you.

Include the basics where appropriate:

  • Greet the caller.
  • State your name and title, if applicable.
  • Explain the information you need in the message that's left, whether that be just a name and number or additional identifying information.
  • Give the caller other options.