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Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 1 Mishaun D. Cannon Communications and Training, HPT October 28, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 1 Mishaun D. Cannon Communications and Training, HPT October 28, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 1 Mishaun D. Cannon Communications and Training, HPT October 28, 2014

2 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 2 Welcome: Welcome to the training camp on communicating effectively when taking and leaving phone and voice messages. While this training is geared towards administrative support staff, sales assistants and customer service groups, anyone in a position to take a message can benefit from this training to enhance their message taking skills both professionally and personally. Entry Level Skills: Learners experiencing this lesson should have some exposure to telephone work and know the proper etiquette used when answering a phone call and addressing the caller on the other end of the phone. The learner must also be familiar with a general voic delivery system and its relationship to message delivery.

3 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 3 Introduction: This lesson on communicating effectively when taking and leaving phone and voice messages will address the communication deficits associated with message information mismanagement. In the real world, everyone wants to receive messages with the correct information and everyone has experienced a sense of anxiety when they received a message that is missing critical information. There is nothing more frustrating then missing out on a big business venture, a job opportunity, a hot date or an important social activity just because the message you received lacked the critical information need to follow through on the task at hand. In this lesson, I will cover both ends of the message delivery system: The technique of taking and leaving effective messages, both professional and personal. Learning Objectives: Upon completing this lesson, you will be able to:  Discuss three (3) types of message platforms  Take a business or personal message via the telephone  Take a business or personal message from a voic system  Leave a business or personal message via the telephone  Leave a business or personal message on a voic system

4 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 4 Outline: Message delivery methods/platforms Taking telephone messages Business messages Personal messages Taking voic messages Business messages Personal messages Leaving telephone messages Business messages Personal messages Leaving voic messages Business messages Personal messages

5 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 5 Before we explore the target lessons, let us discuss the critical path of taking and leaving phone and voice messages. While all of the information a caller gives you is important, there is some information that is considered to be the key components of the message taking process and should never be overlooked or left out, if at all possible. Critical Message Path Date Time To From Company Phone Number Message Body The message is the container which holds the information; without good information, there is no message. Background Information:

6 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 6 Background Information Continued: If you have not figured it out yet, the critical message information path and fields are listed below. When effective messages are being taken over the phone or being left on a voic system, these key component fields should always be populated/spoken to form what is known as a complete message. Critical Path, Message Components (fields):  Date: Day the message was taken (month, day, year)  Time: Time the message was taken (hours and minutes)  To: Who should receive the message (recipient)  From: The person leaving the message (sender)  Phone Number: Sender’s call back phone number  Company: Company affiliation of the message sender  Message Body: What the caller (sender) wants to say In addition to the critical path message components (fields), we must also consider the three (3) types of message delivery platforms and/or delivery methods: Handwritten note, digital note, and a voic . Handwritten message notes use to be the dominate delivery system platform used to convey a message. As technology continued to scale new heights, so did the message taking process. This new message taking process gave birth to the voic and the digital message note. Today, most messages are left directly on voic or sent directly to the recipient’s or mobile phone via a digital text or note message.

7 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 7 Background Information Continued: The following images are examples of the three (3) different platforms and/or delivery methods currently used for taking and leaving messages – Handwritten note 2 – Voic 3 – Digital note

8 Taking Business and Personal Messages Via the Telephone 8 Pictured below is an example of a standard, handwritten, business, message note. When taking business messages, it is important to populate all of the critical path components (fields): Date, time, to, from, phone number, company and message body. When writing the caller’s name, always write his/her full name, first and last, and always verify the spelling of the caller’s name – never assume the spelling. Also, always verify the telephone number. The caller’s name and telephone number are the most critical components (fields) in the message taking process. Taking business messages via telephone:

9 Taking Business and Personal Messages Via the Telephone 9 Taking business messages via telephone continued: Some message fields can be left blank but only under very special circumstances, those circumstances are:  You are 100% sure that the recipient of the message is extremely familiar with the sender of the message  You are 100% sure that you and the recipient of the message have the sender’s information readily available Scenarios of when it is appropriate to leave critical path information out during message taking: If someone’s spouse or long-term client calls, it is safe to assume that the recipient of the message is familiar with the caller and your message taking would go something like this: A) Jim, your wife Pam called at 11:49am; give her a call when you get free. B) Mr. Ralphman, Karl from Baldwin called at 1:15pm and wants the new pricing.

10 Taking Business and Personal Messages Via the Telephone 10 Taking business messages via telephone continued: Another dynamic to consider when taking business messages is the relationship that you, as the message taker, have with the message recipient. Are the two of you informal when communicating, on first name bases, or is the communication formal? If the communication is informal, it is perfectly acceptable to address Jim Smith as “Jim”. However, if the communication between the two of you is formal, then you must address him as Mr. Smith when communicating messages. Furthermore, if the message recipient has a credential that bears a title like, Dr. for doctor, Rev. for reverend, and judge for a judge, you should address them using their title (i.e., Dr. Smith, Rev. Smith or Judge Smith) Taking personal messages via telephone:

11 Taking Business and Personal Messages Via the Telephone 11 As you can see from the informal personal message note shown on the previous page, personal message taking is by far, less demanding. However, less demanding does not mean less important and the rules for business message taking still apply: Verify the caller’s name and telephone number ALWAYS!!! And use professional titles when necessary. Taking personal messages via telephone continued: Let us review what we have learned thus far

12 Taking Business and Personal Messages Via the Telephone 12 Check your understand of taking telephone messages: (Answer key found in the back of the training manual) 1.Name the seven (7) components (fields) of the critical message path? 2.What are the three (3) message delivery platforms currently used? Circle the correct answer. a)Handwritten note, and voic b)Voic , text and digital note c)Digital note, handwritten note and voic 3.Which two (2) critical path message components (fields) should always be verified in the message taking process? 4.Dr. Allen Price calls and leaves a message for your boss Michael Smith and you and Michael are informal when communicating with each other. How would you write Allen Price’s and Michael Smith’s name in the message note? 5.When pulling business messages from voic , what should be done if you are not sure about the spelling of the caller’s name or company they are affiliated with?

13 13 Taking business messages from a voic system: Taking Business and Personal Messages from a Voic System Let us start off by saying that the process for taking voic messages is no different from taking messages via the telephone; the main focus remains to be the seven (7) components (fields) of the critical message path (date, time, to, from, phone number, company and message body). Constructing messages from information pulled from a voic system can be somewhat difficult and frustrating at times. Unlike taking a telephone message, the opportunity to probe for additional information and/or get clarification is not an option during the retrieval process. So, this message taking process will sometimes need a little more attention. This is often the case with taking business messages from voic . In the business world, it is typically the responsibility of most support staff to retrieve and streamline phone and voic messages for their bosses. And, in most cases, it is not appropriate to give your boss an encrypted or cold message that was pulled from the voic system. If the voic message is not complete and clear in its meaning, the support staff member will have to call the company and/or contact person to get additional information before forwarding the message on.

14 14 Taking business messages from a voic system continued: Taking Business and Personal Messages from a Voic System Experienced support staff know the rules and usually clear up possible problems before they occur. To do this, simply take the extra steps to clean and clear up encrypted and incomplete voic s messages before you forward them to your boss. This will prevent your boss from entering your workspace with a negative attitude and complaints about your message taking skills. As the case with personal telephone messages, personal voic messages should also be handled with care and consideration for its intended recipient. While you are not expected to make a callback regarding a personal voic retrieval, you are expected to save the voic and inform the intended recipient of the problem so that he/she can hear the message and perform his/her own research or inquiries, as personal messages can be sensitive in nature and are best handled by the intended recipient. Taking personal messages from a voic system continued:

15 15 Taking Business and Personal Messages from a Voic System 1.What should you do if you come across a personal voic message that it not clear and needs some extra attention? 2.What should you do if someone leaves your boss a business message that is not clear in its meaning? Let us review what we have learned thus far Check your understand of taking messages from voic (Answer key found in the back of the training manual).

16 Leaving a Business or Personal Message Via the Telephone 16 If you think leaving a message is a simply task, then you are probably doing it all wrong. Leaving an effective message is just as important as taking an effective message. Effective message communication is a critical part of our business and personal interactions and most of the communication responsibility lands in the lap of the message taker. Conversely, what responsibilities do the message giver have in these interactions? When leaving business or personal messages, the message giver has the responsibility of speaking clearly and concisely, and slow and loud enough for the message taker to fully understand the verbiage. The message giver needs to be open to probing questions, nonresistant to giving information and allow sufficient time for the message taker to verify critical message information. Believe it or not, message takers always remember when they interact with pleasant people and they, in many cases, are the gatekeepers and the key to getting in touch with decision makers. So remember, cooperation is key! Leaving business messages via the telephone: Let the gatekeeper see you smiling on the other end of the phone

17 Leaving a Business or Personal Message Via the Telephone 17 Regardless of how comfortable you are at the time of leaving a personal message, try and follow the same rules for leaving business messages. In addition to speaking clearly and concisely and using an appropriate voice tone, volume and speed, message givers should also be open to inquiries from message takers. Example: If the message giver has a common name, he/she should offer their last name and a telephone number to eliminate confusion or they should NOT be offended when the message taker probes for this information. Example: If the caller’s name is Jan, the message recipient might know more than one Jan. Leaving personal messages via the telephone: When leaving personal telephone messages at someone’s home, be sure that the message taker is capable to relaying the message to the intended party (i.e., do not leave messages with small children or people who are impaired). This is a sure way of NOT getting your message across to the intended party.

18 Leaving a Business or Personal Message on Voic 18 Leaving a business or personal message on voic The caption to the right is probably accurate for some message givers but clearly not for most of them. We often hear ourselves one way while other hear us in a totally different way. The act of leaving a voic is viewed as an unwanted task for many message givers. And because of this, voic messages are often rushed through, cut short, muffled, too long and, overall, missing critical information. To prevent from leaving someone an ineffective voic , follow the same rules for leaving business phone messages; focus on the critical message components (fields). When leaving voic s, there are often time constraints placed on the message length so be mindful of this and get the important information out first. Voic Examples: Business voic Good morning, this is Connie Jones from Purchasing, my ext. is and we have a problem with the order you placed yesterday; please call me as soon as you can. Personal voic Hey Bill, this is Kelly. Call me at (708) , checking to see if you’re available for drinks on Friday.

19 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 19 Summary: In summary, the key to effective message communication is the seven (7) critical message component (fields):  Date  Time  To  From  Company  Phone Number  Message Body Put these elements first and you will be well on your way to a future of effective message communication! In addition to putting the critical message information first, here is another thing for you to consider. Leave out any extra verbiage that is not important to the meaning of the message. And do not forget to repeat the telephone number at least once during the message and say and spell your first and last name. Leaving a business or personal message on voic

20 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 20 Check Your Understand, taking telephone messages: Answer Key 1.Name the seven (7) components (fields) of the critical message path? Date, time, to, from, company, phone number and message body 2.What are the three (3) message delivery platforms currently used? Circle the correct answer. a)Handwritten note, and voic b)Voic , text and digital note c)Digital note, handwritten note and voic 3.Which two (2) critical path message components (fields) should always be verified in the message taking process? The name and it’s spelling and phone number 4.Dr. Allen Price calls and leaves a message for your boss Michael Smith and you and Michael are informal when communicating with each other. How would you write Allen Price’s and Michael Smith’s name in the message note? Dr. Price and Allen 5.When pulling business messages from voic , what should be done if you are not sure about the spelling of the caller’s name or company they are affiliated with? You should contact the company and verify both pieces of information before forwarding the message on to your boss.

21 Communicating Effectively When Taking and Leaving Phone and Voice Messages 21 Check Your Understand, Taking Message from Voic Answer Key 1.What should you do if you come across a personal voic message that it not clear and needs some extra attention? You should NOT make a callback, as personal messages can be of a sensitive nature. However, you should still take the message and forward it accordingly and advise the intended recipient that you have saved a copy for their review. 2.What should you do if someone leaves your boss a business message that is not clear in its meaning? You should place a phone call to the company to clarify any misleading information and then forward the completed message to your boss.


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