By  Althea R.  for our “99 Ways to Make a Positive Difference in Your Pharmacy” blog series

A friend recently had to call his auto repair shop after hours. He wanted to know when the shop opened the next day so he could bring his car in for emergency repairs. Expecting to hear a message with the shop hours, he was frustrated when all he heard was “No one is available to take your call, please call back the next business day.” He was shocked…how could a shop not have a message indicating what their business hours were?

Having a message or answering service is important for any business, big or small, chain store or mom-and-pop. This can be the first contact customers have with your store, plus it makes a positive impression. It should give existing and potential new customers pertinent information – store hours, location, and the services you offer. Your message should also include information on what to do in an urgent situation. By providing these details, you are building relationships with your current customers and developing new ones, ultimately increasing your business. You could also ease a worried mind.add a recorded message

A number of years ago I worked in an independent retail store and we had an answering service. Someone with a warm and friendly voice gave our store name and slogan, business hours, physical location, website, and types of products sold. There was also the ability for customers to leave a message. I heard from many regular customers who liked that we provided all of that information in our message. I also heard from new customers who indicated they knew where they were going to shop – exactly what the store hours were for their shopping convenience, where the store was located (they didn’t have to look at a map or use GPS) and that we carried products they loved to use…we were “the one-stop shop!”

Before you record your message, write it down. It’s much easier to read from a page than try and ad lib, plus you don’t want to forget anything. In addition, read it out loud in front of your staff. Get their feedback and make any adjustments, whether to the script or how you speak (intonation, volume, etc.).

You are also providing a service to those customers who may not have access to the Internet or don’t have the time to turn on a computer. If your store doesn’t have a website, a phone message serves as easy (and free) advertising for your small business – voicemail is typically included in your phone service.

By providing an informational message to callers, you won’t be spending as much time on the phone providing simple details. You’ll be able to spend more time with the customers in-store.


As a data assets specialist, Althea uses the process and procedure guides in place, and intelligent transcription to enter and proof information related to product attributes, back of package information, and marketing language. Althea is responsible for ensuring data in our library is up to date and accurate by reviewing price list information from manufacturers and greeting card suppliers.  For the processes that she is responsible for, Althea proactively maintains documentation and implements process improvements.


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