Taking a good message from a caller is very important. If you miss any details or get something wrong, you may not be able to deliver the message and get back to them in a timely manner. Here are a few of the things you should consider when taking messages over the phone.
Better with a Live Person than Voicemail
It’s always better if a live person is taking the message over the phone than if a voicemail does. You cannot verify or ask questions if the person leaves a message on voicemail. In addition, there may be times when a caller can be helped by a phone operator and doesn’t even need to leave a message. If at all possible, use a live person to answer the phone and take messages.
Consistent Message Pads
Properly taking a message over the phone starts with a consistent message pad. Anything will work, as long as it contains clean paper ready for message. You don’t want to use the back of an envelope or some other scrap of paper that could get misplaced. Always use a designated notebook, pad, or journal specifically for messages.
Make sure you have Plenty of Space
The paper you use for taking messages shouldn’t be small. You need plenty of space to write as many details as possible. Remember, you won’t just be taking the name and phone number. You will also be taking the reason the person called, the time, date and other important information.
Stock up your Pens
The worst thing that can happen is telling the caller you are ready for a message only to discover your pen doesn’t work. When this happens, you might be tempted to act as if you’re taking the message and just try to remember it. This is very dangerous. Instead, make sure you have a few working pens at your desk just in case.
Gather Important Details
When taking the message, make sure you get the phone number with the area code, the caller’s name, their company, why they are calling, who they are calling for and any other important details. If you’re unsure about anything, make sure to ask the caller and verify the information. If the message is urgent, note this as well.
Date and Time are Important
Always write down the date and the time of the call when you take a message. This ensures accuracy on getting back to the caller and helps with recalling the conversation, if necessary.
A few other things you always want to do when taking a message include:
- Initial the message
- Put it somewhere safe
- Read it back to the caller before hanging up
- Deliver it promptly to the correct person
Taking proper phone messages is very important. If you want to ensure you have a live person answering the phone and all your messages are taken properly, a virtual receptionist may be the right choice for your company. This type of service provides professionally trained individuals to answer your phones, take messages and handle many other tasks. They won’t miss any details and your messages will always be delivered promptly.