Improve your Voicemail Etiquette
Advances in technology have been remarkable. But also remarkable is the lack of business etiquette that is on the rise.
With so many distractions, and the need for more laser like focus, solid business etiquette practices are needed more than ever.
An area of concern for me as of late has been voicemail etiquette. It is tiring enough to wade through the hoard of telemarketers, but it is also equally frustrating to have to try to discern who is calling, why they are calling and where I can reach them.
Good voicemail etiquette can help all of us be more productive.
Here are five top voicemail etiquette tips to ensure that those receiving your message aren’t cursing it or completely ignoring it.
1. Don’t leave a voicemail. If it isn’t important, don’t leave it. Out of all of the modes of communications available today, voicemail is a time sucker. This is especially true if you aren’t following the other four tips that follow.
It may be easier for you to leave a voice mail than typing out an email, but put yourself in the shoes of the person listening to your message. Would you want to take the time to listen to it? If not, then you might want to reconsider leaving it.
Some things are better in an email, text message, instant message or face to face. Think before you leave a message – please.
2. Be concise. I recognize this is difficult for some, but force yourself. Do you like five-minute rambling voicemails that never get to the point; let alone the purpose?
State the purpose quickly and then elaborate when they call you back. If you find yourself rambling, then voicemail etiquette demands that you stop yourself and re-record.
3. Don’t be too concise. “Hi this is Jim, call me.” Have you ever gotten one of those? You might ask, “Jim who? What number? Why? Is it important?”
Such calls are irritating at a minimum and increase your chances of not getting a call back.
4. State your availability. Have you ever heard of phone tag? It can be eliminated by simply giving the one you are leaving the message with specific times that he or she can reach you. The alternative is to let them take a guess on your availability, but that isn’t wise.
5. Be clear. Being clear helps the person understand the message and jot down the number to call you back. Speak slowly and beware of background noise – especially with cell phones.
A big time waster is having to listen to a message several times to understand it and/or retrieve the number to call back.
One of my big pet peeves is someone who spits out their call back number as if they were at an auction. Speak slowly and provide the number twice at the
end of the message with a pause between the two. The pause allows the receiver of the message to get a pen and paper to write it down.
We all want to be more productive. However, don’t just be concerned with your own productivity. Help your boss, co-workers and friends be more productive as well.
What other voicemail etiquette tips would you suggest? Do you agree with these? Please comment below.
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