Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Voice-Mail Etiquette

Leaving voice mail is another business fact of life that is here to stay. It’s a very good and useful tool for conveying information within your company. However, clients or others calling in from outside are apt to find it annoying. And, depending on the message, it can be almost as bad as dealing with a real and really disagreeable person.
The message on this medium should give the caller some choices—leave a message, call another extension, or switch to the receptionist. However, few things are more annoying than messages with too many, mostly irrelevant options.
The message you leave should embody the journalist’s five Ws—who, what, when, where, and why: “This is Mary Mitchell on Thursday, June 1. I’ll be traveling all day today and will not be able to return calls until after 7 P.M., Philadelphia time. Please leave your name, telephone number, and a brief message.” When you are the caller, be brief and to the point. For example, “This is Mary Mitchell, calling on Thursday, June 1, about the training seminar. I’m calling to confirm that 12 people are registered from your company.”

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