When Taking A Message What Information Is Needed?
Many of us started to learn about receiving a message during childhood, when the phone was ringing for one of our parents or siblings, and we were the only ones around to make a call. While taking a message professionally is a little different from taking a message to your mother, the rules are surprisingly similar. You may not have realized that at the time, but by asking you to take casual messages like this on the phone during your childhood, your mother was (in a way) preparing you to take messages to the business world.
We 're going to cover the professional label for taking a message over the phone that your mother may not have covered and talking about some of the common problems that people experience when taking a message.
- Note the time.
Everyone is human – the time between taking the message and going through it can be a few minutes, maybe a few days! Note the time down (and the date when you know the person is away) so they know when the person called for them. This will help them prioritize their messages when they get back to their desk.
- Get the caller's name.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? The number of times I heard, "Oh, you know, the manager at ABC Company ... what's his name? "– Chances are, if you don't remember, I won't do that either!
If you missed it the first time, just ask for it again – the easy way to do this is to ask them to spell it out for you (even the name 'John' can be spelled in a variety of ways!). In most cases, the caller is happy to repeat it for you – they would prefer you to have the correct details!
- Get the caller’s best contact number.
If the caller tells you that the person already has their number, get it anyway. A lot of people assume that just because they once handed over a business card, the person would keep it. Write down the number and check if there is another number (i.e. a mobile number) that would be useful, just in case.
- Ask what they're calling for.
If you work in a small business, the first question is, " Why?" Because everyone wants to speak to the manager, even though on most occasions, the receiver of the call can sort out their issue for them! The less ‘simple’ call backs the manager of the business has to do, the happier she is. This is an absolute universal thing.
If it’s something you can’t help with, write down the general gist of it so your manager knows what s/he’s in for!
- Pass on the message.
The last thing to do is to ensure that the message is delivered to its intended target in an efficient manner ( i.e. not more than a few hours after the call).
Good customer service skills and follow-up questions should help to ensure that the messages you receive are useful and can be returned quickly. At the end of the day, keep in mind that if this is a new opportunity worth pursuing or your previous client, the caller should be willing to leave a short message.
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