Top 7 Tips to Keep Control of Voicemail
By Stephanie L. H. Calahan
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Today we are busier than ever. Our systems need to work with us to make the most of our time. Telephone and Voicemail usage has increased and being able to effectively manage the tools is what this article is about.
- Voice-Mail Limbo is Not a Fun Place -
Let people know, on your answering machine or voicemail message, exactly when you will return their call -- don't leave people hanging in "voice-mail limbo."
- Do You Really Need to Leave a Message?
Ask if someone else can help you. You may be surprised and taken care of quicker by another person.
- Voice Message Etiquette -
A simple strategy for leaving your phone number is to write it as you speak it. Consider those messages you've had to listen to three or four times just to get the phone number. A habit you could make is to pause for a breath between each set of numbers. For instance, say: "My number is ... 309...825...78...33." say the last four numbers in pairs. Grouping the numbers in pairs helps the person writing the number do it faster and more accurately.
- Saving Time on the Phone -
When you leave a voice mail for someone, if the issue you are calling about is a straightforward question, ask it on voice mail to avoid playing telephone tag. Also, encourage the responder to leave the answer on your voice mail if they miss you. However, if the issue is complex, do not leave a lengthy voice mail explaining the issue (out of consideration for the recipient).
- Productivity Management -- Using Voice Mail as a Reminder Tool
When your hands are busy, but your mind is not, such as when you are doing the dishes, or commuting home, use the time to leave voice messages to yourself on either a portable voice-activated tape recorder, or telephone voice mail. You'll get twice as much done.
- Learn to Use All of Your Phone Functionality -
Most phones now come with multiple functions such as call forwarding, do not disturb, and conferencing. Know how to use all of the functions so that you can be as effective as possible at work.
- Ask People to Repeat Your Message
When leaving messages with a human being, ask that person to repeat your message back to you to make sure they got it right.
Stephanie L. H. Calahan is a professional organizer and speaker and is president and founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. (http://www.calahansolutions.com) - a premier professional organizing and consulting firm, serving a national and local clientele in corporate settings, home-based businesses, and residential environments.
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Article Submitted On: March 06, 2006