When you say you’re going to do something do you always do it? If you answered “yes,” did you take into consideration the voice mail message you recorded to answer incoming calls when you are unavailable? For instance:
Voice Mail Message 1: “Your call is very important to me and I will get back with you shortly.” Result: The person never called back.
Voice Mail Message 2: “Thank you for calling. I am out of the office today, but will return your call as soon as I return.” Result: This person never returned my call.
Voice Mail Message 3: “I’m sorry I missed you, but your call is very important to me. If you will leave your name and number and a brief message, I will get back with you in 24 hours.” Result: This person returned my call. (Wow, was I surprised!)
It doesn’t matter if the caller is a vendor, employee, or customer. You never know for sure what they have to say that may be important or who they know. If your voice mail message is out of synch with reality, ask yourself: (1) Do I treat people with the respect I would like them to extend to me?, (2) What are your employer’s core values and are you living them?
If you are not willing to return all of your calls, how about recording a new message to this effect: “Thank you for calling. I am sorry I am not available to take your call right now, but please leave your name and number and a brief message about the reason for your call. After I listen to your message, I will decide whether I want to talk to you or not. If you don’t hear back from me, I am not interested, so please save yourself the time and aggravation and take me off of your list of people to call.”
You may say this is a less than professional message, but it is what you’re already telling many callers when you promise to respond and don’t.
(Learn more about our “Uncommon Common Sense” approach to employee retention.)