Voicemail Etiquette

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Voicemail Etiquette

We would all probably agree that using good telephone etiquette techniques, such as using a greeting and your name when answering the phone, are important in demonstrating a professional image to the public. Voicemail Etiquette is just as important.

There are certain elements that every good voice mail greeting should have.Your voice mail greeting should contain: UMKC, your name and department, hours of operation (especially important for main department lines), the week of the month, or the day of the week (if you record a new greeting on a weekly or daily basis) and an alternate extension (preferably to a main department number so that callers can talk to a "live" person if needed).

An example of a good greeting for a main department might be: "Thank you for calling the UMKC Networking & Telecommunications department. This is John Smith. Our hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have reached us after hours please leave your name, call back phone number and a detailed message and your call will be returned on the morning of the next business day."

An example of a good greeting for a personal voice mailbox might be: "You have reached the UMKC Networking & Telecommunications voice mail of Jane Smith. For the week of April 2, I will not be available Monday morning from 8 to 11 and Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 3, but will be in my office the remainder of the week. Please leave a message and I will return your call within 3 business hours. If you require immediate assistance, please call our main department number at 816- 235-...."

Following are some additional tips to help callers feel more comfortable when leaving you messages.

Update your personal greeting regularly.

Many callers feel more comfortable leaving a message when the greeting conveys the status of the person they called. If you can't record a new message daily, record a new one every Monday morning letting callers know your schedule for the week.

If possible, let callers know when you will return their call.

You might record something like, "Your call will be returned within 24 hours."

Include an alternate phone number.

This is especially important when you are away from the office for an extended period of time.Callers should be able to reach a co-worker if you are not available. Be sure that this alternate number is one with a "live" person answering during regular business hours.

Check your voice mail messages frequently.

Checking your messages every two to three hours is a good time frame.

Always try to answer the telephone when you are at your desk.

Screening calls is not proper business etiquette. Besides, it may help free up your time if you deal with questions while they occur, rather than letting them pile up in your mailbox.

Use the voice mail system to send and respond to others on campus.

If someone needs information from you, you can quickly send your co-worker a voice mail through the system and not have to disturb him/her by calling him or her directly.