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Chapter 3. Telephone Usage > Taking Messages

Taking Messages

Many companies do not have a central switchboard with an operator or a computerized voice mail system. In this case, the administrative assistant will be asked to answer incoming calls and place outgoing calls. It's useful for the assistant to keep an accurate written record of both, particularly incoming calls when the employer is not in the office. You should record the caller's name, telephone number, purpose of call, and any message.

When a caller has a message to leave for your employer or another employee, take the message verbatim. Write it exactly as stated, taking time and being patient with the caller. If you don't understand what the caller is saying, ask to have it repeated. The message may be very important to your employer, and a single word omitted or out of place could make a significant difference in the meaning. If you are unfamiliar with the caller's name, ask for the spelling. Make sure you note whom the message is for.


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