MAGIC - The MAGIC of Voice Mail

Voice Mail/Phone Tag: Infomercial Op

Ding-a-ling...ding-a-ling...ding-a-ling. First of all, if your business, organization or association phone rings more than once with an automatic answering system in place, you are in trouble.

Suggestion #1: If you aren't going to answer the phone with a human being please don't make your customer, prospect, suspect, member, student inquiry or wrong number, wait longer than the first ring.

If you are one of countless businesses, organizations, and associations that have become convinced there is value in having your phone answered electronically, please remember your phone is your "life line", your "first line" of "distinction" "differentiation" and your "competitive edge." I have an idea for you.

Idea #1: Have your CEO answer the phone with a personalized electronic message that welcomes every caller. This effort enables the caller to "emotionally look" at the electronic messaging system differently and put the CEO literally "on the line" and accessible.

Put your phone line "presence" to work.

The "CEO greeting" sets the tone for the entire business, organization or association and initiates "brand imagery" a powerful emotional resource.

Enable the phone to bring you business and good will in the community. Make it easy for callers to access your value and utilize your products people or service.

Idea #2: Phone Tag Fatigue ... Here is a thought for those receiving voice mail.

Many ordinary people believe the electronic voice mail system and automatic answering systems are designed to "exclude". The "CEO greeting" provides access and that is what everyone desires. So take a page from the CEO and turn your voice mail into an infomercial about you, your value and the service you provide.

Distinguish yourself again with a prompt return phone call. No matter what the call "sounds" like, important or not important, urgent or inquiry, friend, family or client; return the call promptly with courtesy and interest expressed.

Guess what?

Professionals in all disciplines need to know what they do not know. Often the only way someone can reach you is by phone. If the phone is your "lifeline" if it is your "nerve center" for activity, then consider it twice before deciding ahead of time not to return a call.

All behavior changes one choice at a time. Make your electronic messaging system user friendly accessible and profitable. People have "emotional dollars" to spend. Make your business organization or association the "oasis" in a sea of "sound-a-likes." Turn on your innovative light and let it shine in your business, organization or association by using courtesy and common sense in making and receiving calls.

© 4/2002 Edith C. Varley, The Varley Group, Inc.