Do you have trouble getting people to return your phone calls? Maybe it’s because you are guilty of making voice mail blunders. That’s right. You may be leaving voice mails people find annoying, obnoxious or even down right irritating.
To enhance your return call rate, here are some common sense rules to follow.
1. Listen to the message. Make sure you pay attention to the message the person you are calling has recorded on their voice mail system. If they are on vacation, it might be a good idea to call back when they return instead of leaving a message. Remember, when they get back to the office their voice mail box most likely will be full and your message could easily be discarded. Additionally, the voice mail recording may have information directing you to someone else who can help you with the information you need.
2. Don’t ramble. Whenever you leave a voice mail message, respect the recipient’s time and be concise and to the point. Don’t carry on a conversation with the recording then hurriedly leave you name and phone number at the end. Think about what you want to say before you make the call. In fact, if you have never spoken with the recipient before, it’s a good idea to actually rehearse what you are going to say. Practicing reduces the risk of tripping over your tongue when you are leaving the message.
3. Contact information. Leave your name and contact information at the beginning of your message as well as at the end.
4. Enunciate. Speak slowly and clearly when you leave your message. If the recipient has to review your message numerous times to catch the necessary information, you may get ignored and deleted.
5. Avoid humor and infomercials. A voice mail is not the place to practice your stand-up comic routine. What you think is funny, might be offensive to someone else. Also, never use a voice mail message to present an infomercial about your product or service. Once again, be short and to the point. The goal is to get a return phone call.
6. Review your message. If the voice mail system provides an opportunity for you to review your message before you hang up, take advantage of it so you can correct any mistakes you might have made.
7. Don’t be a voice mail stalker. Once you have left your message, give the recipient ample time to return your call — usually 24 to 48 hours is reasonable. Leaving multiple messages in the same day can be irritating and may be perceived as voice mail stalking.