"Doug Can't Come to The Phone Right Now, Please Leave A Message."
If you call me and I can't answer my phone, that is all you'll hear followed by the tone that allows you to leave a message. While that's a little more wordy than I like, it let's people know if they were trying to call a guy named Doug, they probably have the right number and still gives them enough time to get ready for the beep.
If your voice mail message rambles on and on about how happy you are that I called; how my call is very important to you; how you promptly return ALL calls and then finishes up by telling me to have a great day (even at night) only to be followed by the automated voice that says: "At the tone, please leave a message. When you are finished, you may hang up or press 1 for more options. If you'd like to leave a call back number, press 7.", I beg of you, stop the madness. Just let me know I got your number correct and give me the beep.
Unfortunately, these long, drawn out greetings appear to be the norm among service professionals. I don't think callers believe that you are happy they called when you don't even know who they are yet. Honestly, I get calls from Zillow and Trulia sales reps all the time...I'm never happy they called and I don't want to mislead them on a voice mail greeting. I'm certainly not going to return their call.
If you believe you must tell people how happy you are that they called, at least turn off the robot options at the end of your personal greeting. I know it's only a few seconds but it's becoming so annoying that I often choose not to listen to it.
I had a lender return my missed call yesterday. After we discussed the reason for my call, he seemed a little annoyed that he had to call me back to get the information. He said, "next time, just leave a message." I explained that I didn't have time. It takes like 2 minutes to get through all the mumbo jumbo he tries to relay to every caller. He goes into how great his team is, competitive rates, track record for closing, blah, blah, blah.... just give me the beep!
Ever wonder why no one is leaving you a message? Check your greeting.