Leaving an organized voice mail

July 30, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

I’m always surprised when I receive a voice mail message that sounds akin to this:

Hithisis Mgarblegarble, call me.

I have no idea who the caller is, what she wants, or how I’m supposed to get into touch with her. My work and cell phones have caller ID, but if the caller is in an office the number displayed on my screen usually isn’t a direct line but a general corporate number. Also, I have to call the person back (if I can figure out how) instead of taking a more meaningful action.

An organized way to leave a voice mail is:

  1. State your name, slowly and clearly.
  2. State your telephone number, slowly and clearly.
  3. Repeat your telephone number, clearly.
  4. If appropriate, also state your e-mail address, slowly and clearly.
  5. Explain why you are calling.
  6. Request the action that you would like from the person you are calling.
  7. Hang up.

A well-crafted voice mail message means that the person is able to actually find what you need or take care of the situation before getting back into touch with you. The best voice mail messages won’t even need a call in return.

Hi, this is Erin Doland from Unclutterer.com. My telephone number is 5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5. I’ll repeat that, (555) 555-5555. You can also reach me by e-mail at email at email dot com. I’m calling because the documents you had delivered to our office this morning were blank. I’m guessing there was a printing error. Can you please send another set of documents to our office this afternoon? Thank you.