- When leaving a business-related voice mail for someone other than a colleague:
- identify yourself clearly. If you have an unusual first &/or last name, say it clearly, even better, spell it. Also a good idea to ID yourself at the beginning and end of the message if you're calling for the first time, and if your message is a couple minutes or longer "Hi, this is Ann. I'm calling regarding blah, blah, blah, blah . . . . please call me back at ________. Again, my name is Ann."
- speak clearly and at a regular pace and volume. Don't mumble, whisper, shout over traffic, or talk with food or gum in your mouth.
- give your call-back number slowly and clearly, even better, say it twice, if the person needs to write it down. On my work voice mail it's not as easy to play a message back as it is on other VM systems I have used. Also, it's helpful to let the person know when to call back, i.e. "I'll be in the office until 5:00", or the location you are calling from if you are in a different time zone.
- give an explanation of why you are calling, but be as brief as possible in your explanation. If I have no idea who you are or why you are calling, leaving a message like, "This is Ron, call me at ###" is going to put you at the bottom of my Calls to Return list. If I know who you are and why you are calling, I can save both of us time by looking up/gathering the info I need to answer your question or help with your problem before calling you back.
For outgoing greetings:
- update your voice mail greeting when you come back from being out. It's not helpful for me to know in mid-April that you'll be out of the office for President's Day, and it makes you look a little foolish.