How to Leave Voicemail

It’s been hot this week, and travelling around the country in planes, trains and automobiles takes it toll. But nothing is more strenuous than picking up voicemail.

I pick up voicemail at the end of the day, as I never get the chance during the day. This week I’ve been phoning in using my mobile phone to listen to my office messages, which a lot of road warriors do. And I get the same frustrations everytime.

I listen and the lady with BBC English from BT Call Minder announces I have 5 messages, so I hit 1 to play and listen to the first one.  Didn’t quite catch the first name, message sounds interesting though, what was his name and number again?  Better save it.

Next message, not interested, key in 3 to delete.

Next message. Cricky she went on with that message and lost me half way so hit delete. If it’s important she’ll call back.

This one is important, what was his number, have to listen all over again, bother, what was the number to re-listen, 3 wasn’t it, rats, I’ve just deleted by mistake.

You see the problem with voice mail is that they’re linear, you have to listen to them in order, it’s so difficult to re-wind, go forward, repeat if you have a series to listen to.  And most people do. Very few of us grab the voicemail as soon as it’s come in.  No, we listen to them all together.

Here’s some tips to help you leave better voicemail.

  1. Give your name and number clearly at the beginning
  2. Leave your message, maximum 30 seconds, in total
  3. If you want them to call you back, then leave a compelling message with a solid reason why they should call you back, don’t trick or confuse, just make it compelling.
  4. At the end, repeat your name and number quickly
  5. Speak slower than you normally do
  6. Finally email the same message immediately afterwards, if you can.

Follow these tips and I bet you that, people like me, won’t delete your message by mistake rather than hitting the rewind button.