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The Crazies on Answering Systems

By: Rob Parker

Are you tired of hearing lengthy instructions from automated systems and long, boring personal messages? I don’t know about you, but it’s such a huge time waster that it’s making me crazy.

Believe it or not – it’s now a fact – up to 70% of the time the person you’re calling won’t be there – and if they are they don’t pick up. Who is interested or has the time to listen to instructions on what button to push to get to Mr. Jones and then listen to his message as well. All you want to do is get someone live to speak to – right - and you’ll do anything (like me) – you’ll keep pressing “0” until you’re blue in the face. Whether we like it or not, the old answering machine has been replaced by automated voice mail systems and in many cases the receptionist has too - and the receptionist may not have been that great either – but that’s for another article.

Due to automated answering systems companies are not only putting callers off but also losing business as well. Do they save money? I doubt it. It’s rude and unprofessional for a company to have a system that requires that you and I waste time listening to their message and making us push button after button before we even get to the person we’re calling. Technology has put a new face on a company’s professional presence. I don’t think it’s a pretty one either. Companies beware – if at all possible - ensure that a “live” person answers your company phone politely and professionally.

HOW ABOUT THOSE LONG, BORING MESSAGES!

Are you as tired as I am, listening to messages that have rock music in the background so loud that you can’t hear yourself think never mind the message? How about long winded, cutesy messages or one that has a whiny nasal sound to it…. better yet…how about the one where the mail box is always full or leave the message I’ll get back to you – but they never do, AND these are the same people that say they are professional and don’t need help! HA!

If you have a home office or your own message system at your company, here are tips on how to ensure your message remains business like:

Record the message in a professional manner – (no cutesy stuff or industry jargon.)

Keep it short and to the point. Don’t be long-winded – just the facts ma’am, just the facts.

It’s not necessary (anymore) to say leave time, date and purpose when recording. We all get it.

Eliminate background noise and do not have music accompanying your message.

Speak slowly and clearly in a pleasant tone of voice.

Keep it up to date – if you are out of town say so – for how long, when you’ll be available, or who else will be taking your calls in your absence.

Make sure you delete messages and your voice mailbox isn’t full.

Check your voice mail at least twice a day.

Your message is a reflection and extension of your image and the brand of your business. Have the message professionally recorded if necessary. If nothing else, return messages within 24 hours if you can or at least have the courtesy to let others know that you are unavailable and you will call them again.

It’s absolutely rude and unforgivably bad form not to return calls – and yet it happens all the time – and we’ve all been guilty of it too. Just recently, it took 6 calls over a period of 4 weeks for me to finally reach an individual just to hear “I’ve been so busy – sorry I couldn’t call you back.” After 4 weeks – really! When will people get it – not returning calls shows a complete lack of respect for other’s time and is totally unprofessional. If you have someone who’s not returning your calls, send this article off to them, and then consider taking your business elsewhere.

Are you tired of hearing lengthy instructions from automated systems and long, boring personal messages? I don’t know about you, but it’s such a huge time waster that it’s making me crazy.

Believe it or not – it’s now a fact – up to 70% of the time the person you’re calling won’t be there – and if they are they don’t pick up. Who is interested or has the time to listen to instructions on what button to push to get to Mr. Jones and then listen to his message as well. All you want to do is get someone live to speak to – right - and you’ll do anything (like me) – you’ll keep pressing “0” until you’re blue in the face. Whether we like it or not, the old answering machine has been replaced by automated voice mail systems and in many cases the receptionist has too - and the receptionist may not have been that great either – but that’s for another article.

Due to automated answering systems companies are not only putting callers off but also losing business as well. Do they save money? I doubt it. It’s rude and unprofessional for a company to have a system that requires that you and I waste time listening to their message and making us push button after button before we even get to the person we’re calling. Technology has put a new face on a company’s professional presence. I don’t think it’s a pretty one either. Companies beware – if at all possible - ensure that a “live” person answers your company phone politely and professionally.

HOW ABOUT THOSE LONG, BORING MESSAGES!

Are you as tired as I am, listening to messages that have rock music in the background so loud that you can’t hear yourself think never mind the message? How about long winded, cutesy messages or one that has a whiny nasal sound to it…. better yet…how about the one where the mail box is always full or leave the message I’ll get back to you – but they never do, AND these are the same people that say they are professional and don’t need help! HA!

If you have a home office or your own message system at your company, here are tips on how to ensure your message remains business like:

Record the message in a professional manner – (no cutesy stuff or industry jargon.)

Keep it short and to the point. Don’t be long-winded – just the facts ma’am, just the facts.

It’s not necessary (anymore) to say leave time, date and purpose when recording. We all get it.

Eliminate background noise and do not have music accompanying your message.

Speak slowly and clearly in a pleasant tone of voice.

Keep it up to date – if you are out of town say so – for how long, when you’ll be available, or who else will be taking your calls in your absence.

Make sure you delete messages and your voice mailbox isn’t full.

Check your voice mail at least twice a day.

Your message is a reflection and extension of your image and the brand of your business. Have the message professionally recorded if necessary. If nothing else, return messages within 24 hours if you can or at least have the courtesy to let others know that you are unavailable and you will call them again.

It’s absolutely rude and unforgivably bad form not to return calls – and yet it happens all the time – and we’ve all been guilty of it too. Just recently, it took 6 calls over a period of 4 weeks for me to finally reach an individual just to hear “I’ve been so busy – sorry I couldn’t call you back.” After 4 weeks – really! When will people get it – not returning calls shows a complete lack of respect for other’s time and is totally unprofessional. If you have someone who’s not returning your calls, send this article off to them, and then consider taking your business elsewhere.

Article Source: http://www.marketmyarticle.com

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