Working Smart has a great post on how to create a template for your voicemail so that you can update your outgoing message every day. Here's the template from Working Smart:
Hi, youâve reached the voice mailbox of Mike Hyatt. Please note you can bypass this message at any time by pressing â1â. Today is [day of week], [date].
- I am in the office, but Iâm either on my phone or away from my desk;
- I am in the office but will be in meetings all day;
- I am out of the office on business; or
- I am out of the office on vacation.
However, your call is very important to me. If you will leave a message, I will call you back at my first opportunity. If you need immediate assistance, press press zero-pound to speak to my assistant, Vicki Parr. Thanks for calling.
Interestingly enough, I actually use a somewhat similar template for my own voicemail with the following exceptions:
- I never tell people I am on vacation, I am always just out of the office.
- I do tell people how long I am out of the office.
- I add this language: "If you leave a message with your name and number, and you have thirty seconds to do so, . . ." My voicemail system doesn't actually cut you off after 30 seconds, but the ploy works remarkably well in forcing callers to get to the point quickly. I always ask for a name and number because people still don't leave numbers when they call and still sometimes forget to leave names.
- I say that I will call people back in 24 hours and I do, always.
One important, time-saving lesson from Working Smart is this:
I started by programming into my cell phone my voice mail telephone number and then all the keystrokes necessary to log in and initiate the âchange your greetingâ feature. I was able to reduce the sequence of twenty-seven keystrokes to two: I press the speed key to dial my voice mail number once, then, once I'm connected, I press a key to initiate the log-in process.
Automating the process by programming menu choices is an absolutely great idea. This isn't just limited to the cell phone either; you can do the same with speed dials stored in your office phone.