Please Leave A Message...

Voicemail. A wonderful thing. It allows friends, colleagues, customers and irate people with the wrong number to leave a little of themselves imprinted on your cell phone.

It is a great invention - without a doubt... no if only we could teach people how to use it properly.

  1. Leave your NAME - just because I have spoken to you in the past, doesn't mean I will recognize your voice. More-so when you have a cold and are walking through a tunnel in a bad reception area. Please, Identify yourself at the beginning of the message.
  2. Leave a BRIEF message - OK, a long message is better than no message,, but please remember, I am going to call you back to discuss this - after all, isn't that why you called in the first place? Give me a brief idea of the content of the conversation you want to have so that I can prepare or gather any information prior to calling you back. this prevents yet another call back later.
  3. Leave your NUMBER - if you want me to call you, leave the number i can reach you at. Don't just assume that I know it, have it, or have missed-caller-id.
  4. Please, speak CLEARLY. I have lost count of the number of messages I have NOT returned because the caller leaves a nice message but spoils it by rattling off their return number faster than their mouth can pronounce the numbers and then hanging up! Do me a favour, Im getting old and it takes longer to write these down (plus i prefer not to listen to a voicemail six times to narrow down my options for redialing you.) - speak your number slowly, with the area code and any extension number. and give it TWICE so that if i do miss a digit, i can get it without restarting the message.
  5. Optional: If possible, leave me some idea of the time. I know the voice mail system is supposed to give it to me and I will get a text (or i should do) when you leave the message, but it helps me prioritize the return calls.
  6. Optional: give me an idea of urgency. If it isn't, then say so, then I can ensure that people who have urgent voice mails, get the attention. (likewise for you when you have an urgent one.)
Suggested Format for your voicemail:

  1. Greeting (be nice, at least say Hi!)
  2. Identify yourself
  3. Brief conversation topic
  4. Urgency
  5. Return Number (twice)
  6. Time of call

A bad voice mail:
Hi this is Jim. I was reviewing the figures for the server deployment and Im looking at line 5. there seems to be an issue with the...<blaa blaa=""> ... so  my daughter said, "Daddy, thats crazy" and I said ... <blaa> <blaaa> ... anyway, give me a call about the printer.</blaaa></blaa></blaa>

A very bad voicemail:
Hi, can you call me? thanks.

A great voicemail:
Him this is Jim Smith. Just wanted to review the server pricing document you sent through. Can you call me back at 123-456-5555 extension 434, that number was 123-456-5555 extension 434. The time now is 4.30pm on friday.