Monday, June 13, 2011

Please Leave a Message After the Beep

As party planners, the telephone is a very important tool for us. For most of us, the family phone will also be the one we use for business. This means we need to think a little about how the phone is used.

Do your family members know how to answer the phone politely? Do they know what to say if you are not available? Will they offer to take a message and are they reliable? These are great skills for children to learn regardless of your need to appear professional!

What does your voicemail message say? Make sure it is short and to the point. People (especially your friends) do not want to hear a long message all about why they should join your business, or what the specials are for the month and most won’t stay on the line to the end of a long message. Even worse if someone is making a toll call and has to pay to listen to it!

Things your message needs
You need to incorporate the fact that this is a family home as well as a business.
Your message needs to be professional and not cutesy. Some people find these messages funny and others find them annoying. If you want to do a funny message then it would be better to have a separate line for your home phone.
Make sure there is no background noise when you record it, and listen to it after you have done it. If it needs done again, do it again!

Things your message doesn’t need
You don’t need to state the obvious or unnecessary. Here are some examples:
“I can’t take your call right now“. Of course you can’t – if you could have, you would have!
“Sorry I can’t take your call“. Why are you sorry?
“Please leave a message after the beep“. Everyone knows there is going to be a beep.
“I will call you back“. This isn’t necessary. It’s obvious.

Here’s an idea for your message:
This is VERY simple but does the job well, doesn’t keep people waiting, sounds professional and incorporates the fact that this is your home. When you read this, imagine a friendly, happy voice that goes up and down in pitch (ie not a monotone) and is relaxed with no rush….
“This is Anne, from The Party Plan Expert (pause) and the home of Anne, Steve, Alena and Alex. (pause) Please leave one of us a message. Thanks.”
That’s really all you need! The tone of your voice and the fact that you aren’t rushing conveys friendliness.

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