Dear readers,

Every Thursday we study a subject linked to business and commercial field. The subject of today concerns how to leave a message by phone or create a message on an answerphone. Well, here we go!

First of all, some general advise:

Even if your correspondent is away, you can get in touch with him/her leaving a clear message to a switchboard operator (the person who works on the switchboard, which is the central point for calls coming into the company) or on an answerphone (repondeur).

Avoid doing three mistakes:

- do not leave any message or say something like "I will call back later" without giving your name and phone number

- let a too short message as the other person could not know why you called her/him and if she/he had to call you back

- let a too long message as it is quite important to tell what you want in a few words

A "clear" message includes 6 very important details:

1) the receiver: it is a message for the kind attention of...
2) the transmitter, who you are: my name is... I am calling from...
3) the subject of the call: I am calling about...
4) the purpose of this call: I would like to...
5) what will be the next step: who has to call the other
6) where? when? what is your number?

Elsa Meyer here. That is M-E-Y-E-R.
My number is 880-660.
I am calling about our next delivery to you.
The vessel will be "The Athenia".
I will call you back within the next two days.

Leaving a message to a switchboard operator

Could you pls tell him/her that Laurence rang.
Pourriez-vous lui dire que Laurence a appele.

He asked me to ring when I was in London.
Il m'a demande de rappeler lorsque je serai a Londres.

I called yesterday to speak to...
J'ai appele hier pour parler a...

When will she be back?
Quand sera-t-elle de retour?

Could you pls ask her to call me back?
Pouvez-vous lui demander de me rappeler?

What time can I call her back?
A quelle heure puis-je rappeler?

Can/Could I let him a message?
Puis-je laisser un message?

I really need to contact him.
J'ai vraiment besoin de le joindre.

Some examples of messages on answerphones:

This is .... Please leave your message after the tone or fax us on .... Thank .

You have reached .... We are sorry but we are out of the office / out at the moment. Please either leave your message and we will ring you back as soon as possible, or call us on our mobile, number.... Thank you for your call. ...

Sorry there is no one here to take your call at the moment. Please leave your name and number after the tone and we will ring you back as soon as possible.

Cheers! ceraulen