• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 5. Electronic Etiquette > Answering Machines

Answering Machines

While not the optimal choice for answering your phone, answering machines are still a more satisfactory option than a telephone that is never answered. So here are some guidelines for this necessary evil.

Recording Your Message

  • Before recording your final message, practice what you’re going to say from a written script. Play it back and keep recording it until you think it’s pleasant sounding, enthusiastic, and upbeat. Your message might sound something like this:

    “Hi! This is Kay duPont. I’m not in the office today, but I’m checking my messages and I’ll call you back as soon as possible. Please leave your name, your company name, and telephone number when you hear the beep.”

    If you’re able to say when you’ll return, do

  • Make it clear early on that the caller has reached a machine. Saying, “Hi! This is Teddy,” and then pausing may cause the caller to start talking to thin air. A better message is “You’ve reached ABC Company. No one is available to answer the phone. Please leave your name and number, and we’ll return your call as soon as possible.”

  • Say your name. Simply saying, “I’m not in the office right now,” doesn’t give your callers the peace of mind of knowing that they have reached the right number.

  • Use an unlimited-time tape. If there’s little time allowed for a message, the caller may be abruptly disconnected. That’s like having someone hang up on you before your business has been concluded.

  • Call your own answering machine from time to time. A caller might not tell you that a high-pitched noise comes on the line with your message, or that your message cuts off in midsentence. An unwelcome addition to your message, like interference, should be corrected quickly. so.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint