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Voicemail etiquette for the modern office

The last ten years have seen a revolution in communications. The internet has offered several new means of near-instantaneous correspondence, yet phone conversations have remained the preferred method of contact for many organizations.

E-mail and instant messaging can often lack the personal touch of hearing another person's voice, and professionals are often able to infer more information over the phone from the other party's tone, word choice and pauses, which are missing from most digital means of communication. 

However, with this new rise of instant contact, many matters of phone etiquette have been forgotten, especially by younger generations accustomed to rapid responses. Unfortunately, not everyone can be constantly available to take a call. That is why it is increasingly important today to practice proper voicemail etiquette, in order to assuage the frustrations of the caller. 

Below are some pieces of advice from LeHigh University Library and Technology Services Department on the best voicemail etiquette practices. 

  • Whenever possible, avoid using the default voicemail greeting. Already, callers can be disappointed they have reached your voicemail, and hearing the standard greeting can frustrate them further. Having a customized message tells your caller that at least they have indeed reached the right party.
  • Your voicemail message should include your name, position and if possible, an alternate means of communication in case of emergency. If you will be out of the office for an extended period, such as while on vacation, then it is important to update your message to inform callers when they can expect a response. 
  • Remember to check your messages regularly, and return calls within a 24 hour window. It is also imperative to delete messages once they have been addressed, to keep important messages from getting lost in the shuffle. 

At On Point Executive Center, our virtual personal assistant services are available to field your organization's calls and answer questions or transfer clients appropriately. By subscribing to On Point's service, your organization can save valuable overhead by avoiding making a full-time hire. 

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