No matter how long or short, good message taking requires a few simple steps to ensure the recipient is delivered the correct information.
In order to thoroughly record a message every time, our own virtual receptionists have developed the following habits while speaking with a caller:
Collect all relevant contact information.
This could include name, title, company, phone number, secondary number, email, or physical address. Depending on the urgency of the issue, virtual receptionists may ask for multiple contact methods for the most effective response. Always confirm the spelling of the caller’s name, the telephone number and any other pertinent information. It never hurts to be safe, and the caller will appreciate the fact that you are making the extra effort to confirm all the information.
Reiterate the message aloud.
While typing a lengthy memo, you may forget a detail; double check by rereading your message to the caller. Even if you got all the information correct, they may have forgot to mention something. When it seems that the message is incomplete it may be best to ask a few probing questions for clarification.? Again, callers will be satisfied that you went out of your way to be accurate.
Don’t be intrusive.
Sometimes callers do not like to share contact information that the recipient already has. If this happens, politely ask them to confirm their phone number (or whatever the means of communication) so the recipient has it on hand. If they still refuse, stop there. Also, only ask follow up questions that enhance the quality of the message. Refrain from asking too many questions that may come across as pushy or meddling.
And last but certainly not least – make sure that every message is delivered to the correct recipient in a timely manner!