KISS: 5 Voice Mail Templates that Get It Done

Copyright 10.7.2014: Scientific Cowboys – Nancy C Everitt, PMP; Nicole S Bond, PMP

Overview:

Voice mail impacts 50-70% of your telephonic communication. Getting this right is a game changer. Voice mail should be respectful, impactful and concise.

If you can increase your call back rate to 50% or greater you will save a significant amount of time. HEOPS has been extremely effective in our provider network development processes through a mindful approach. Below are 5 messages that work .

The Magic Message: Voice mail, what’s the big deal?

Given that 50-70% or greater of all business calls end in voice mail it is statistically a big deal.

Most voice mails are ineffective and not compelling enough to merit a return call, which results in further outreach, rework, wasted time and missed opportunities.

Design: What Makes an Effective Voice mail

  1. Tone and Tempo
  2. Content
  3. Timing
  4. Professionalism
  5. Call to Action

Tone and Tempo:

  • Stay positive and upbeat. Vary tone and tempo when needed.
  • Smile when you are speaking, sounds trite but its true.
  • Your voice should be natural but compelling.
  • If you are reading from a script – STOP IT- practice so that you do not sound like you are reading.

Tip: Listen to yourself and think…would I call me back? If not, you have lots of work to do Lucy!

Content:

  • You need to be prepared to leave a message 5 to 7 calls out of 10.
  • Write your message down and say the message aloud before you call.
  • Great content creates value. A compelling message creates value for the other person. Value could be a relevant opportunity, key information, etc.
  • If the message is solely about you and your needs, rethink the messaging.

Tip: Always leave your call back number twice and speak slowly. No one wants to play your message back multiple times.

Timing:

  • Keep the message short, 30 seconds or less.
  • Every second after 30 seconds causes the net response rate to drop by 2%.

Tip: Again – practice and time yourself. If you have too much content tighten your message rather than speeding up.

Professionalism:

Say who you are. Only scammers and telemarketers use the cryptic voicemails that do not identify them, their company and reason for call. Shame on you if you call them back.

  • Be respectful in your call even if the subject matter may be sensitive.
  • Leave a message with content so that this can be redirected if necessary.
  • Do not say this is John Doe with XYZ Company its urgent call me back, that is an incomplete message.

Tip: Give your name and your company name in your message along with a reason for your call.

 

Call to Action:

Ensure that you define the desired action in your message and time bound the response.

Below are examples of sample call to action.

  • Please call back today.
  • Please call back today or forward to the correct party internally.
  • Sign and return the materials.
  • Log in and update your account by x date.
  • Schedule a call on x date.

Tip: Keep your Call to Action concise and clear.

 

Sample Messages: 5 Templates that Get it Done

Each of the messages below is designed around an initial call from a Health Plan/Payor to a Provider. The key is to tweak an approach that pulls a return call.

SCRIPT 1:   Plan to Provider

  • 1st Contact: Initial VM
  • CALL to ACTION:  Return Call
  • Timing:  28.5 seconds

Good morning John, this is Jack Smith with XYZ Health. Your practice was SELECTED to join our high value network which means a smaller network with the potential for increased revenue. We mailed a contract to you on June 11th and have ONLY 30 days to complete the contracting process.  Please call me back TODAY so that we can discuss if this is a fit for your practice at 888-888-8888, again Jack Smith with XYZ Health at 888-888-8888.

SCRIPT 2:   Plan to Provider

  • 1st Contact: Initial VM
  • CALL to ACTION:  Identifying the Decision Maker
  • Timing:  29.75 seconds

Good morning John, I am Jack Smith with XYZ Health. Your practice was SELECTED to join our high value network which means a smaller network with the potential for increased revenue. John I am uncertain if you are the correct person in your organization and ask your assistance in getting to the correct party. Please call today or forward this message to ensure that we connect before the network expansion is complete. Please call me personally at 888-888-8888, again this is Jack Smith, XYZ Health at 888-888-8888.

 

SCRIPT 3:   Plan to Provider

  • 1st Contact: Initial VM
  • CALL to ACTION:  Call to Vet the Opportunity
  • Timing:  29.5 seconds

Good morning John, I am Jack Smith with XYZ Health. I am calling to see if your practice is interested in expanding in Johnson County. If yes, then we need to connect quickly. XYZ is expanding our high value network and are seeking just a FEW quality providers to join our plan.

Call me back TODAY or forward this message to the correct party. Time is LIMITED so please call ME personally at 888-888-8888, again  this Jack Smith with XYZ Health at 888-888-8888.

SCRIPT 4:   Plan to Provider

  • 1st Contact: Initial VM
  • CALL to ACTION:  Personalized Intro and Request to Set Up Exploratory Call
  • Timing:  27.25 seconds

Good morning John, I am Jack Smith with XYZ Health. Congratulations on your recent article in the Tennessean.  I have an opportunity that is a good fit with your strategic goals. XYZ is expanding our high value network over the next 30 days and are seeking just a FEW quality providers to join our plan. Call me back TODAY and let’s schedule a call to explore this opportunity. Call ME personally at 888-888-8888, again this Jack Smith with XYZ Health at 888-888-8888.

SCRIPT 5:   Plan to Provider

  • 1st Contact: Initial VM
  • CALL to ACTION:  Urgent Call Request to Connect
  • Timing:  26.02 seconds

Good morning John, I am Jack Smith with XYZ Health. It’s urgent that we connect today. Your practice has a VERY limited time opportunity to participate in a SELECT high value network.  Call me back TODAY and let’s explore this opportunity… only a FEW providers per county are being invited to participate. Call ME personally at 888-888-8888, again this Jack Smith with XYZ Health at 888-888-8888.

Summary:

Mindfully plan your voicemail message. Be clear about your Call to Action. Sell value from the other party’s perspective to stand out, it’s not about your need – it’s about their benefit. Always avoid intimidation and guilt. Lead with intrigue, opportunity and curiosity.

Takeaway: Develop your own voicemail templates. Learn where to place emphasis. Record yourself and PRACTICE!

Great voice mail follows an effective design.

  1. Tone and Tempo
  2. Content
  3. Timing
  4. Professionalism
  5. Call to Action

Good luck and share with us your best VM script!

 

About The Authors:

Nicole  S Bond PMP, is the  Senior Project Manager in the HEOPS Project Management Office (PMO) and works with clients to plan and implement winning Network Development Initiatives and other health plan operations projects. To discuss this article with the author you may contact nbond@heops.com.

 

Nancy C. Everitt, MBA is the President and CEO of HEOPS, Inc. and Editor in Chief of Scientific Cowboys. Ms. Everitt is lead strategist to Clients’ on the design and fulfillment of patient access solutions such as network development and provider engagement, quality analytics, Medicare Advantage STARS strategy, disruption analysis and mapping. Ms. Everitt has been involved in the strategy of each engagement and provides significant perspective on industry best practice.

In addition to serving as Editor in Chief on Scientific Cowboys, Ms. Everitt is a frequent contributing writer to the publication sharing real world advice and operational insights on process and performance improvement. Questions on this article may be addressed directly to neveritt@heops.com.

Search

A leader, once convinced that a particular course of action is the right one, must….be undaunted when the going gets tough. — Ronald Reagan

Latest News:

“Cowboys vs. Scientists”: HEOPS Sponsors Innovative Network Contracting Congress in Las Vegas February 25, 2010 (Las Vegas, NV) Approximately 100 delegates from many of the nation’s top health plans and key provider organizations met in Las Vegas for the inaugural 2010 Network Contracting Congress on February 25, 2010. This premier network contracting event was organized by Global Media Dynamics and sponsored by HEOPS.

Contact Us

325 Seaboard Lane, Ste 100
Franklin, TN 37067

Mail:
HEOPS, Inc.
PO Box 2403
Brentwood, TN 37024

Phone: 1.615.376.4677 or 1.866.887.3677
Fax: 1.615.376.7771