How to Write a Voicemail Script for Any Private Practice Office

Use this clinician voicemail script to ensure you’re not missing any important information

As you know from working with clients, relationships are built on trust, confidentiality, and the ability to talk things out together. When you make yourself available to your clients, whether in a session or on the phone, their comfort level builds, and they’re more likely to open up with the clinical process. But, what if you aren’t able to make it to the phone because you’re in session with another client or you’re not in the office? If you don’t use an answering service, the call will find its way to your voice message system. If it’s been awhile since you’ve updated it, use a clinician voicemail script, so you know you’ve covered all the bases in the quick message.

The basics: what goes into a clinician voicemail script

The first thing you need to do is identify your practice, which reassures the caller that she contacted the correct number. This will reduce hang-ups and those wasted messages that you feel urged to respond to even though you know the caller isn’t looking to connect with you. “Hello, I’m looking for Adam. Adam, are you there?” There’s no Adam in your practice, but do you need to take the time to call them back? Having a dedicated greeting that states your practice name resolves this problem for you.

Next, commit to a timeline in which you’ll call the individual back. Don’t say you’ll return all calls within 24 hours if it usually takes you two-to-three business days to call someone back. Finally, ask for detailed information from the caller so you can call them back when you’re able to make a call.

Here’s a simple clinician voicemail script if you want to keep your message to the point.

Hello. You’ve reached Highland Family Counseling Services. We are currently unable to take your call, so please state your name, phone number, and a detailed message after the beep. We will return all calls within two business days.

While you could leave the above message on your voicemail system, we highly recommend adding a bit more. If you keep regular office hours, let’s say 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., mention it on your voicemail. Also, and most importantly, since current or potential clients may be in crisis, include instructions on what the caller should do in case of an emergency.

Here’s a more detailed clinician voicemail script you can use, just remember to change the details to suit your practice.

Hello. You’ve reached Highland Family Counseling Services. We are currently unable to take your call, so please state your name, phone number, and a detailed message after the beep. Our regular business hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We will return all calls within two business days. If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911 or go to your local emergency room, at 1 Main Road in Your Town. If you’re not in immediate danger, but would like someone to speak with, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you work in a group practice, invest in a voicemail system that allows the caller to leave a private message for their provider. They may not feel comfortable leaving a message for the entire group, even if it’s something as small as rescheduling their appointment. Reframe your new message as:

Hello. You’ve reached Highland Family Counseling Services. We are currently unable to take your call. If you’d like to leave a message for Samantha Brown, press one. For John Smith, press two. For Hannah Abir, press three. If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911 or go to your local emergency room, at 1 Main Road in Your Town. If you’re not in immediate danger, but would like someone to speak with, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Then, each clinician can follow up with their own voicemail script which can be similar to the first basic script above.

A few quick notes before you start re-recording your messages.

  • Speak slowly and clearly. There’s no need to rush this important information.
  • Rehearse your message a few times before attempting to record it.
  • When you’re ready to record, remove all background noise and speak in a professional, yet welcoming tone.
  • Be patient with yourself. You might need to record the script a few times, but eventually it will sound precisely how you’d like.

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What do you include on your voicemail? Would you add anything to these scripts? Share your ideas in the comments.

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