How to Take Better Telephone Messages

Answering the telephone for you

If you work in an office then, at some stage in your career, you will relate to this ‘left holding the baby’ scenario.

Someone calls your number by mistake instead of ‘Patrick in accounts,’ or a colleague is off sick; away from their desk, goes on holiday or attends a funeral. Whatever the reason, you’re allocated their desk phone to answer should it ring. Inevitably, it does.

There’s a simple game at play here: get it right and colleagues will be impressed and grateful for your dedication and thoroughness; get it wrong and you will look bad at work.

Accurate Information

For a good telephone message, it’s vital that you get a certain amount of information from the person on the other end of the phone and the information must be accurate. It may sound simple but in the heat of the moment you may forget to ask: a) their name b) the business that they’re calling from c) their telephone number and d) a brief message. Why not scribble those down on a Windows Sticky Note pinned to your desktop?

post itVerify Customer Details

How do you make sure that the information is accurate? You repeat it back to them to ensure you have captured all of the salient points. For example, “OK, just to recap: this is Deidre Phillips of the Baker Street Pie Company. Your number is 0209 ***684 and you want to talk to David Marshall in Marketing about a sponsorship opportunity for his client ahead of the monthly catchup on Tuesday. Is that right?”

Answering the phone

A bright, fully briefed member of the Message Direct team can answer the telephone as your business.

When they have confirmed, promise to ensure that the message is relayed to give the customer confidence. Now it’s on you to make sure that David Marshall gets the message. In this example, a potential sponsorship opportunity is at stake and if the message were lost, some of your company’s revenue may be lost too. This is how vital good message taking can be.

Act Quickly

Once you have taken accurate information, pass the message on immediately after hanging up, not a couple of days later but that moment while the information is still front of mind. If your business would rather automate these scenarios, then it’s very easy to set up a free trial with Message Direct.

99% of new customers stay with Message Direct at the end of the trial period. We’re able to offer reliable call handling services, as if we are your own receptionist or PA, from as little as 60p per day.

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