Receptionist Etiquette Tip: 3 Things to Ask Yourself While Taking a Message

Our virtual receptionists are sure to verify phone numbers and addresses
Photo by Evan P. Cordes

If you’re a telephone answering pro like Ruby® Receptionists’ virtual receptionists, you know a thing or two about taking quality messages. But even the best and brightest forget to snag a key piece of information now and then, and that D’oh! I missed something! feeling is no fun.

Whether you’re an executive assistant, an answering service staffer, or simply filling in on phones for the afternoon, try asking yourself these three questions before wrapping up your next call, and you’ll be sure to catch all the important info:

  • Am I confident the content is correct? If your caller wants to leave a detailed message, it may be best to read it back to make sure you’ve taken it down correctly. Don’t let fast talkers or folks with a lot to say make you lose your confidence — if you didn’t catch something, politely ask your caller to repeat it. A friendly “Would you mind repeating that?” does the trick!
  • Did I check my 123s and ABCs? Always confirm numbers and contact information, including all telephone numbers, email addresses, reference numbers, and mailing addresses. Our virtual receptionist staff recommends reading info back from your notes one character at a time (“That was 866-611-7829, correct?”). Remember, some letters are tricky to discern over the phone, so you may want to reference a spelling alphabet.
  • What else? Want to be sure you got it all? Just ask! A wrap-up question like “Is there anything else you’d like me to relay?” is a great way to show your courtesy and attention to detail. Best of all, it ensures a thorough message. Look at you, capturing every detail without batting an eye — why, if you keep this up, how could you not get that big raise?

Are there any questions you think we should add to this list? Please share by tweeting us @callruby! Our phone answering team would love your feedback!

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