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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 27, 2006

Be clear with voice-mail messages

Gannett News Service

Q. Whenever I leave a voice mail, I never seem to get a call back until a couple of days later. Sometimes my calls just need a quick response, but people don't seem to understand that. Some messages I leave are answers to their questions, but they always call me back to get further explanation. How can I leave messages for people to get my intentions across?

A. What to leave on voice mails is always something callers get flustered with. Sometimes we think we are leaving too much or too little. Here are some tips.

1. State your main point. After giving your name, give your reason for calling. If it is urgent, be sure to say so.

2. Provide your telephone number. Always say it slowly and clearly. This ensures the receiver will be able to return your call.

3. Leave a clear message. If you are answering a question, make sure you answer it completely. Anticipate the receiver not being able to answer the call, so brainstorm an answer in a logical and understandable sequence.

4. E-mail. Sometimes it is easier for someone to get back to you via e-mail. Make note of people who take a long time to respond via phone and ask if it would be better to communicate by e-mail.