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Voicemail prompts

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I think most people's prompts are way too long. The worst that I've heard is "Hi, you've reach 555-555-555, John Doe's cell phone. Please leave your name, number and I'll get back to you. Thanks, bye." Mine is short, I copied it from Jack Bauer: "Leave a message for Kent Wang." We all know the standard procedure for leaving messages so there is absolutely no reason why anyone should have a long voicemail prompt. Adding to the waiting time before you can leave your message are the unalterable prompts built into each system. The shortest is "To leave a message, press 1" which will immediately beep and allow you to record. The worst is something like "Leave a message after the beep. Press 5 if you'd like to page this person. For additional call options, press 9 after you record your message. <beep>".
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
I think most people's prompts are way too long. The worst that I've heard is "Hi, you've reach 555-555-555, John Doe's cell phone. Please leave your name, number and I'll get back to you. Thanks, bye." Mine is short, I copied it from Jack Bauer: "Leave a message for Kent Wang." We all know the standard procedure for leaving messages so there is absolutely no reason why anyone should have a long voicemail prompt.

Adding to the waiting time before you can leave your message are the unalterable prompts built into each system. The shortest is "To leave a message, press 1" which will immediately beep and allow you to record. The worst is something like "Leave a message after the beep. Press 5 if you'd like to page this person. For additional call options, press 9 after you record your message. <beep>".

Kent,

I used to work for the company that was world leader in Voice Mail. you wouldn't believe all the people who were involved in research of how to build up the prompts for this. a lot of science goes into it.
post #3 of 16
Other tedious filler includes such lines as "You've reached so-and-so. I'm either away from my desk, on another line, or in a meeting..." and "Please leave a message with your name, number, and the time of your calling..."
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I used to work for the company that was world leader in Voice Mail. you wouldn't believe all the people who were involved in research of how to build up the prompts for this. a lot of science goes into it.
Intriguing. Are there any interesting observations you can share with us or are you under an NDA?
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Intriguing. Are there any interesting observations you can share with us or are you under an NDA?


nothing that secret - but just think for a second that cell phone companies are in the business of keeping you on the phone for as long as possible, and that even a few seconds, if you do it every day, and if every one of tens of millions of subscribers do it, adds up to big bucks. so, for instance, the sequence of buttons you have to push to get your messages is very well thought out - not too long to be uncomfortable and have you notice it, but long enough to lengthen the call by a fraction.

a voice mail system, if it has well thought out human engineering, can pay for itself in additional air time generated, in about 90 days.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Mine is short, I copied it from Jack Bauer: "Leave a message for Kent Wang."
I've got you beat. Mine says: "Leave a message. Thanks."
post #7 of 16
Cellphone voicemail rant: As a tangent, leaving a message that says "hey, this is John, call me back" is almost 100% useless. People should either leave messages with pertinent info or not leave them at all. If you're not calling for anything, when I see that I missed your call, I'll call you back. If you're calling for a particular reason, tell me what that reason is so that 1) consider a response before I call you back, and 2) if you miss my return call, I can leave you meaningful message.

Back to the topic: I don't have strong feelings about voicemail prompts, except they should be prompt. To those who's VM prompt is only "leave a message," I'm curious, do you answer the phone by stating just your last name?
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATM
I've got you beat. Mine says: "Leave a message. Thanks."
Don't you think it's important to mention your name? It's possible your caller has mis-dialed. I know that sometimes when I'm calling and being distracted I sometimes forget who I am calling by the time I reach voicemail. Globetrotter: That is sneaky.
Quote:
To those who's VM prompt is only "leave a message," I'm curious, do you answer the phone by stating just your last name?
Why do you ask that? I don't get the connection. No, I usually say 'Hello' or greet the caller by their name. If we have been calling back and forth a lot for the past few minutes I might just say 'Yeah'.
post #9 of 16
I have a friend who changes his pretty frequently, but always throws this one in, "Hey.........................................you have reached Jon." So all that time is me talking to him, then the message he gets is usually me cursing him out. Drives me crazy, and now he will answer if he sees it is me, and pause while I'm talking to him then over me will say "you have reached Jon." He thinks it's great, and I am the only one who has a problem with it. I need new friends.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Don't you think it's important to mention your name? It's possible your caller has mis-dialed. I know that sometimes when I'm calling and being distracted I sometimes forget who I am calling by the time I reach voicemail.
Yes, you're right. I do occasionally get messages from people who dialed the wrong number. I should change it.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATM
Yes, you're right. I do occasionally get messages from people who dialed the wrong number. I should change it.
I'm changing the world, one person at a time.
post #12 of 16
I find most people have become accustomed to the long, long voicemail prompt.

My prompt is, "This is Nicholas Mason, leave a message". Many of my friends tell me they get stumped because they expect something longer and don't have time to formulate a response.

Globetrotter - insidious. Will make an interesting conversation topic in the real world.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
I'm changing the world, one person at a time.
Better living through Kent Wang.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
There are very few "clever" prompts that I like, except "This is Jane Doe. The beep is axiomatic."
post #15 of 16
What does "If you wish to page this person, press 5" even MEAN?
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