Author Topic: Should I respond?  (Read 5681 times)

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cwm

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2013, 10:10:49 AM »
In my office, if someone calls and doesn't leave a message, nobody calls back. If you do require a call back, you send an email. No voicemail, no email, no callback.

The exception is if I call my mom or she calls me and we don't leave a message, we'll call each other back, but that's just how we've operated for years. No message means it's not urgent, but a callback is appreciated.

whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2013, 11:23:49 AM »
If I called every number that popped up on my phone/computer every day, that's all I'd ever do. My outgoing message states, "please leave a message, or for more immediate assistance, call so-and-so at such-and-such number". No message, no callback.

And it really irks me if someone says "call me back" without mentioning what their concern is; they get answers much more quickly if they state what they want so I can call them back with specific information.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2013, 11:24:20 AM »
The common factor in both your scenarios is that the other people treated hang-up calls as if a call-back is expected.

If this is your company culture, the best thing to do is roll with it. If you are the one calling, leave a short message: "Oh, you're not in, I'll call Susie instead. No need to call back."

snip

I took the first scenario to indicate the person who originated the call didn't expect a call back. Sure they said thanks for calling, but I think that was just being polite.

So I'm not sure her company has a definitive culture yet based on their knew unified messaging system. Only that the one guy has this odd expectation.

veronaz

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2013, 12:17:34 PM »
I realize office phone systems are set up differently than a person’s home phone (land line), but I wanted to mention something.

Back in the late 1980s – mid 1990s I had an answering machine at home.  I did not have caller ID.  Most of the calls I got were hang-ups.  I never ‘screened’ my calls and I didn’t hide/avoid talking to anyone.  If I was home and able to answer the phone I did.  But the hang-ups were because 1) people didn’t want to leave a message……most hated talking to an answering machine and/or 2) they assumed I wasn’t home (I could have been in the bathroom or taking out the trash).  This was really annoying because it takes a few seconds to say “It’s xxxx, call me when you have a chance” or “I’ll pick you up at 4:00” or whatever.  One set of relatives told me they hated answering machines, so they just repeatedly called and hung up.  RUDE.

My point is that when people call and get voicemail then hang up, it can cause problems and waste time (the call recipient wonders why they called, calls back, telephone tag, etc.)  There is no reason why a caller can’t just say “It’s xxxx. Guess you’re busy, I’ll try someone else, no need to call, talk to you later” or something along those lines.

Even when I call someone from my cell and reach a vm for a wrong number, I say “Wrong number….sorry” because chances are I’ll get a call later if I don't say something

Kgirl

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2013, 06:45:05 PM »
I have the same system at work.  I NEVER return missed calls only if a voicemail is left. Not everybody knows that you can see missed calls and often times call back and talk to someone else.

lorelai

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2013, 08:37:42 PM »
In my personal life I do not answer missed calls if they do not leave a message, not even from my DH. If it was important, a message would be left!

I do the same thing in a professional setting. I think it's a reasonable standard, however I think you should also get a read on the standard in your workplace.

sweetonsno

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2013, 01:37:40 AM »
Many moons ago, before smart phones, I remember that if I reached someone's voice mail, I had the option to "page" them. That would essentially leave them a message saying that I had called without me needing to leave a voice message. It sounds like some people are treating the program this way (or like a traditional pager).

It's interesting to me that so many people don't call back unless someone specifically asks them to. My MO is the opposite. If I miss a call from a friend or family member, I return it. I assume that they called because they want to talk to me.  :)

I suggest erring on the side of safety on this one. If a coworker calls you, especially multiple times, it's wise to either call back or shoot them an email to check in. It seems unlikely that they just want to chat. It does sound like your company/team's culture may be that a missed call means "please return my call," so I'd probably just start doing that with work calls, even if it seems strange.

If the volume of calls is high enough that returning them all isn't practical, then I like the suggestion of changing your message to a.) tell people to leave a message if they need a call back and b.) offering an alternate contact if they need immediate assistance.

veronaz

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2013, 10:43:26 AM »
Quote
then I like the suggestion of changing your message to a.) tell people to leave a message if they need a call back and b.) offering an alternate contact if they need immediate assistance.

The problem with this is that many people don't bother to listen to the announcement message.  As soon as they realize they've reached vm they hang up.

jpcher

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2013, 05:11:03 PM »
If this is your company culture, the best thing to do is roll with it. If you are the one calling, leave a short message: "Oh, you're not in, I'll call Susie instead. No need to call back."

This is a great thought and quite obvious now that I think about it! Instead of hanging up as soon as I hear that the call went to voice message I will do this in the future in order to avoid call back confusion. Thanks!


The recorded message that I have on my voice mail is "You have reached jpcher. I am currently away from my desk. Please leave a detailed message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If this is something that needs immediate attention, please contact Boss at extension XXXX . . . I have pretty much the same message as an "out of office" response from my e-mail for whenever I'm away at meetings and such.


Quote
then I like the suggestion of changing your message to a.) tell people to leave a message if they need a call back and b.) offering an alternate contact if they need immediate assistance.

The problem with this is that many people don't bother to listen to the announcement message.  As soon as they realize they've reached vm they hang up.

Yes. And I am (used to be ;)) one of those. As soon as I hear the call went to VM, I hang up and call elsewhere. I'm learnin' ;D . . . Leave a message, right?




As far as company culture :o. Oh. Well. Maybe I should ask my CWs what they do with the non-message emails. You know, just to find out what everybody else does? Sometimes I'm so dense that I can't see the trees in the forest.  ::)


Thanks, all! ;D

Please pass the Calgon

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2013, 05:30:03 PM »
"You have reached jpcher. I am currently away from my desk. Please leave a detailed message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. If this is something that needs immediate attention, please contact Boss at extension XXXX

Maybe it could be changed to ""You have reached jpcher. I am currently away from my desk. If you would like me to return your call, please leave a detailed message. If this is something that needs immediate attention, please contact Boss at extension XXXX "?

Peppergirl

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2013, 02:11:39 AM »
I feel that it's unprofessional and somewhat entitled to expect someone to know to return your call without the courtesy of leaving a voice mail.  At least if they've left a voicemail, it removes the guessing-game of the situation. 

Even if you don't want to get into detail, how hard is it to say 'Hello, its _____, please call me back at your convenience'?

SamiHami

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2013, 06:53:06 PM »
Actually, something I hate is that two people in my office will see that I rang their phone some time before and they are now calling back to see what I needed. I left no message. I didn't email or IM them. I work a busy desk and usually by the time they call me I don't even remember what I called about to begin with. If I can't get one of them, I immediately move on to someone else to find an answer and once that's done I don't dwell on it. So when I get a "Hey, you called? What do you need?" an hour after the fact it's wasting my time and theirs. It's very annoying and takes my attention away from the task at hand.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2013, 07:17:13 PM »
Actually, something I hate is that two people in my office will see that I rang their phone some time before and they are now calling back to see what I needed. I left no message. I didn't email or IM them. I work a busy desk and usually by the time they call me I don't even remember what I called about to begin with. If I can't get one of them, I immediately move on to someone else to find an answer and once that's done I don't dwell on it. So when I get a "Hey, you called? What do you need?" an hour after the fact it's wasting my time and theirs. It's very annoying and takes my attention away from the task at hand.

I think you could end up with a learning curve--hopefully people will eventually figure out that if you didn't leave a specific message, you don't need a callback.

But you could speed that up by telling them, when they do call you back, "Oh, if I don't leave a specific message, you don't need to call me back--I move fast enough that I'll get what I need from someone else. If I don't get it, I'll call again and leave a message."

I worked at a place once that had a sort-of-unspoken culture of *leaving* a detailed message. You *never* said, "call me back"--you always said, "call me back about XYZ, and whether I can get a copy of it."

And there was once a news story about Microsoft, and the "I can't be bothered to listen to voice mail messages" culture--people would hope to save time by leaving info on the voicemail, and the Microsoft people would just delete it and call back, saying, "What did you want?" As I recall, the tone of the story was "exasperated." They Microsoft people were sort of depicted as Special Snowflakes.

I think the default business standard ought to be, "leave a message with some detail, please--enough so that I know what you want from me and can be prepared before I call you back."

Some stuff, if it's simple enough, they might not even need to call you back, but can instead set in motion whatever it was you asked for.

jpcher

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2013, 07:04:33 PM »
Today I asked the rest of the group in my immediate department (10 people, including Boss and BigBoss) what they do with non-message VMs in their e-mail.

Every one of them said that they ignore.

BigBoss laughed! She said "I am not going to chase down extra work. If the question/problem is not important enough for them to leave a message then it certainly is not important enough for me to respond." ;D


I will start leaving messages such as "no need to call me back" instead of hang-ups once VM kicks in.


I'll change my incoming message to:

Maybe it could be changed to ""You have reached jpcher. I am currently away from my desk. If you would like me to return your call, please leave a detailed message. If this is something that needs immediate attention, please contact Boss at extension XXXX "?

Does that work?

Ceallach

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Re: Should I respond?
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2013, 07:25:09 PM »
I had the opposite problem today!   One of my newer staff called my phone and didn't leave a message.   I wasn't sure if it was her as her number is blocked (necessary due to some of the clients she calls from that phone, and fairly common at my company), but knew if it was her that it would probably be important.   I sent her a message saying "Hi I just had a missed call from a blocked number, was that you?  I am free now if you need to talk".   Sure enough, she replies that it was her and with what she needs from me.   ::)    I'm not sure what she hoped to achieve, perhaps she is one of those people who will just keep calling without leaving messages and then complain that they couldn't reach me?   I will definitely need to give her some retraining so expectations are clear.   (Although given I just demonstrated my psychic powers to her she may not see why it's necessary...)

I get that people have different understanding of the purpose of voicemail, but sometimes they are a little illogical.  In this case there was nobody else who could help her, and it was a fairly immediate need.   So she's lucky I broke my usual rule about not responding if there's no message left, and also that I guessed correctly that it was her!
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