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Response: When & How to Leave the Details

Welcome to a guest post by Linda Daley, owner of Daley Progress. She had an immediate reaction to my last post and agreed to share her thoughts with us. Linda helps busy business owners build relationships and their reputation through their newsletters. Read her articles on the Work Better, Not Harder blog. Enjoy and share! 

I’m a big fan of the detailed message, whether it is by phone or email. But, as Mary Jane mentioned in her last article, they aren’t intended to build relationships – they’re intended to save time. From a customer service perspective, we want them to save time for the person we’re calling. But, of course, they can also be more efficient for us.

These are instances when a detailed phone message is perfect:

  • You want to relay ALL of the relevant information so the other person doesn’t need to call you back. This is great for giving someone an update on a work project.
  • You want to ask questions which may require some preparation to answer. This gives the other person time to think about or research their responses before calling you back.
  • You’re replying to a request for information and no discussion is necessary.

An example that many of us are familiar with is when we need to make an appointment for a meeting. I’ve learned that when I suggest a date, time and location in my detailed message, several back and forth messages are eliminated.

Here are some tips for making those detailed messages effective:

  • Start your message by saying that details are coming and to grab a pen.
  • Include the required information and leave out the fluff.
  • Remember, you can think and talk faster than the listener can absorb the information. Repeat details like dates and numbers.
  • Check for understanding. Encourage the other person to call you back if your message isn’t clear.
  • If there are a lot of details, and especially if there are numbers involved, use a detailed email message.

Enjoy your phone work everyone!

4 thoughts on “Response: When & How to Leave the Details”

    • My pleasure,Linda. It was great to be able to share a reader’s response in such a clear way. It reminded me of “Letters to the Editor”. I appreciate that you took the time to craft that post. And … I encourage others to submit their thoughts as well.

  1. Thanks Mary Jane! This one definitely resonated with me as well. There are many times when I have to re-play a phone message over and over again just to hear the person’s name and phone details because the caller speaks too fast or there is noise/interference in the background and I can’t hear it clearly. There have been times, when after multiple attempts to hear the #, I couldn’t get it. Which is unfortunate, because I couldn’t call them back and missed the opportunity to respond and help them.

    • Thanks, Nicole. In these days when companies are beginning to abandon voice mail, I think it is important for us to share why and how messages are valuable … and how we can use messages to communicate more clearly. Speaking too fast is a common mistake that is so easy to fix. Often people simply need a kind reminder to slow down.

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