Voicemail Message Etiquette

I just cleared out my voice mail box, and I made some observations about voice mail messages:

  • First, I hate voice mail. Email me instead.
  • You don’t have to tell me what time it is. Voice mail is time-stamped, and it usually doesn’t matter that much.
  • You do need to say who you are, because voice mail doesn’t record that. Do this in your first sentence. If you are with a vendor you should say that, too, especially if I’m waiting for a call from you.
  • Please use your full name. You might be one of my closest friends but sometimes phones make people sound weird, cell phones cut out, and background noise sometimes makes it hard to figure out which “Bob” you are.
  • If you called to have a conversation with me just tell me to call you back. A conversation is where two people talk to each other. My voice mail is not me, so you’re just talking. Talking != a conversation.
  • Tell me why you called, using one sentence or less. Extra points if the whole message is a sentence or less.
  • Tell me where you want me to call you back. Don’t assume my phone or voicemail has a log of your missed call, though if you’re sure I have your number it’s fine to tell me to call your cell, etc.
  • Don’t leave me a message saying only that you’re going to try calling me somewhere else. Not useful.
  • If the message includes an address or a phone number say it twice, slowly, so I can write it down. The first time you say the phone number I’ll be scrambling for a notepad, and replaying the message just for a missed number sucks.

That’s about it. *Seems* simple. Thanks for listening. 🙂

1 thought on “Voicemail Message Etiquette”

  1. I always say “Here, let me give you my number” before giving the number, to give people a chance to do the pre-number scramble

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