Today I was complimented by someone on a voice mail message I left. I always thought that I left good messages ("I give good message", I guess), being sure to leave my phone number and my name twice, as well as a summary of where I’m calling from and why.
It really comes from the fact that I myself get extremely annoyed at people who leave bad messages. Cell phones that cut out are bad enough, but when people leave a 2 minute message, and leave their number ONCE at the end of the message, AND then reads it too quick, is just really annoying to me. It takes up my time, which is simply inconsiderate. Not saying I probably haven’t done it once or twice myself, but I do try to make it a point of trying to NOT do it.
So here’s my short little guide to giving good voice messages:
- Say hello at the start of the message using the person’s name, which helps to confirm that you reached the right number/extension (this assumes you know the person’s name. If for some strange reason you do not, state YOUR name and say that you hope you’re reaching the right person, but if not, you hope that they can point you in the right direction)
- State YOUR name clearly and where you’re calling from ("My name is Derek Archambault, calling from Medport in Providence, RI")
- State what you’re calling about succinctly ("I’m calling to obtain a quote for some radio commercial production")
- Go into some appropriate level of pertinent detail, but don’t try to do everything on the message ("we need to do it quickly, within the next week and hope you can help us out")
- ASK the person to call you back. Don’t just give a number – say "I would appreciate a call back at your earliest convenience" or something to that affect
- Leave your number. Say it in a clear, SLOW tone of voice, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use the natural rhythm of phone numbers. There’s nothing worse than someone who takes a 555-555-5555 number and reads it as 55-55-55-55-55 or whatever. It’s annoying and really messes up the person taking the message!!
- Then state your name, company and your phone number AGAIN, also clearly and slowly. Repetition is KEY, as not all voice mail systems have a "rewind" option – only a "replay" one, and even then, its possible that there was a solar flare on the sun during the first time or an alien landed on the phone cables, etc., and it didn’t come through clearly.
- End by saying "thank you" and "I look forward to hearing from you soon" or "Call with any questions" or other appropriate ending.
That’s it – its very simple, but is one of those things that would probably make for a much better, more enjoyable and friendlier work environment if everyone did it.
P.S. Congrats Patriots!!!