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Voice mail best practices for the global leader May 7, 2009

Posted by rickbron in Communication, Global communication, Global leadership, Grow your skills, Leading globally.
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The next communications technology we will examine is voice mail. The Big Dogz know to use voice mail when the content is simple and we want to impart some interpersonal component like tone to communicate not just the information, but perhaps a sense of urgency with tone.

 

Here are some best practices around leaving voice mail:

 

  • Plan your call

Most of the time when we call people, we get voice mail. When leaving a voice mail, you want to sound professional. Before you make that call, sketch out what you will say. I recommend you actually practice your message before making the call. Once you get voicemail, you have a short outline and will leave a professional sounding voice mail. If you get the person, you now have an outline of the discussion.

  • Always leave your name and number even if this is a person you leave voice mail on a daily basis.
  • Keep your messages short
  • If you want the person to take action, give them enough information so they do not need to call you
  • If you can not leave a short message, leave a message for them to call you.
  • Speak in a pleasant voice; smiling can make a big difference.
  • Speak slowly and clearly; having to replay voice mails to understand you is irritating!
  • When you are leaving important information, lead with “Here is the information about the new client.” Then pause to allow the person to get something to capture the information.
  • Some voice mail systems will let you replay the message you want to leave. If you are fortunate to encounter this feature, by all means use it. Sometimes we are not aware of the message our tone or language is sending. If your message is not what you want to send, erase it and leave a different message.

 

Here are some tips for your voice mail greeting:

 

  • Keep your greeting short, simple and informative
  • Include your name or function.
  • Let the caller know that if you are out of the office , who they should call
  • Let the caller know when you will return calls. I will get back to you as soon as possible is not as effective as I will return your call within one business day.
  • Some people advise updating your voicemail message daily. I recommend a general greeting that applies everyday. There is an advantage to updating your message every day because it lets people know you are at business that day. Consider the options and choose what works for you.
  • If your voice mail technology permits it, give the caller an early opportunity to skip to the beep.

 

Finally, some tips about processing voice mail:

 

  • Set aside a specific time each day to empty your voice mail
  • Take advantage of technology that will send you an email alert when you get a voice mail
  • Having a voice mail inbox that is full, really irritates someone trying to reach you
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