I get asked about voice mail all the time. The first obvious questions are “Should I leave a voice message?” and “If I leave one, what should I say?”
Once again, things are changing rapidly. Many of us discover that our voice mails have no listeners. How many times have you received a return call, only to have the other person say “What’s up?” They clearly didn’t hear your message; they just hit “send” on their phone and called you back. (Not to be ungrateful for return calls, but now I have to tell my story again if it was a detailed voice message.)
An excellent suggestion was made on a recent group role-playing session. One of my female advisors said she’s changed her outgoing message to say “And please tell me a good time and day to return your call so we can connect.” She has removed the classic “I’ll return your call as soon as possible.”
I agree with this idea. Phone tag has been reduced greatly by people who don’t even listen to voice mails plus those that ignore any calls you make. But if someone IS trying to reach you, then randomly trying them back becomes harder than ever.