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Setting Up Your Voicemail

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Voicemail Etiquette Setting Up Voicemail

Many business people lead busy lives and although it can often be the bane of a caller to be greeted by the sound of a voicemail message, we have all become accustomed to leaving voice messages and even setting up our own in many cases and we understand that in the modern day workplace, it is simply impossible to take every single call as it occurs as we’d not get any other work done at all. However, if having a voicemail facility is a fundamental component in your ability to do your job effectively, you should ensure that you set it up correctly in order for it to work as efficiently as possible for you.

Outgoing Message

No one wants to hear a rambling message when they hit voicemail. If your outgoing message sounds as if it’s going to be a lengthy monologue address, then people will simply hang up which could result in you losing business or missing out on receiving vital information. When formulating an outgoing message, you need to identify your name, company name if necessary and telephone number. You need to state that you are presently unavailable and if you are going to be away from the office for more than a day, you should state the date upon which you will be returning. If you’re also not going to be able to retrieve your voicemail until the date you return, you should also mention that on your outgoing message too so that callers will not think you are ignoring them or failing to get back to them. If, on the other hand, you are simply busy in the office on other duties and unable to take calls, you should state that you are in the office but away from your desk at present thereby giving the caller the option to leave a message or to, perhaps, try again later.

Once you have stated your position in your outgoing message, you should give the caller brief instructions as to how you’d like them to respond should they decide to leave a message. You might also care to request that the caller gets in contact with you via e-mail if this is an easier way for you to keep in touch if you’re out and about on the move. If you work in a job where you deal with urgent matters, you should also leave the contact details of an alternative person who would be able to assist the caller in the event of an urgent matter that they might have.

An Example of a Good Outgoing Message

Here is an example of a professional outgoing message:-

“Hi. You’ve reached the voicemail of Peter Gordon. I’m currently overseas on business and will not be returning to the office until 10th December. During this time I will not have access to voicemail but will sporadically be checking e-mail at peter.gordon@cpu.com . If your call is urgent, please contact my colleague, David Smith on 0000 111 2222. Alternatively, please leave a brief message after the tone with your name, company name and phone number and I will get back to you upon my return. Thank you.”

These days, however, voicemails can be retrieved remotely and, unless you’re on holiday, if you give this option to the caller, then you should make a habit of retrieving your voicemails every couple of days, if not daily, as then your caller will be expecting a prompt response from you.

By following these tips, you will find that voicemail can be a highly efficient tool instead of the burden people often perceive it to be.

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An outgoing message should be updated whenever need - for instance, if you’ll be gone from the office for a day or a few days, stating that and when you’ll be able to return calls. Once you return, change the message. Something out of date comes across as very unprofessional, which isn’t the image you want to put across.
concerned - 18-Sep-12 @ 3:59 PM
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