Three Tips for Taking Superb Messages

Receptionist Etiquette Tip: Taking Exceptional Messages

At Ruby® Receptionists, our virtual receptionists are champion message takers.  Need to brush up on your message skills?  Here are three easy tips from the Ruby crew:

Ready, set, type!

Want to be sure to capture all the most important content when taking a message?  Start typing as soon as your caller starts talking!  Don’t get caught in the listen-then-type routine. Instead, type what your caller is saying as it’s being said.  Imagine you’re dictating a recorded message, and do your best to capture the caller’s words.  You may not end up needing all of the information you type, but it’s better to have it than not.

Use words to confirm letters.

M and N, P and B, S and F: Lots of letters sound similar, and distinguishing between them over the phone can be nearly impossible.  When confirming spelling, it’s best to use words (“Is that N as in November?”).  Try keeping a copy of the International Civil Aviation Organization alphabet at your desk for quick reference.  Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, create a spelling alphabet of your own–just be sure to pick words that capture the unique sounds of letters.  P as in potato is great; P as in peach is not, because peach rhymes with beach, and P rhymes with B.  You get the point: letters are tricky.

Repeat what you wrote, not what you heard.

Even the best typist transposes content now and then, and it’s dangerously easy to parrot back a telephone number perfectly while typing it incorrectly.  When repeating information, always read from your notes to confirm that you not only heard correctly, but typed correctly as well.

Do you have any tips for taking superb messages?  We’d love your feedback!

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