We are all guilty of it. That phone call you have to make but you choose to make at a time when you’re nearly certain the person you’re ringing won’t be there. In business, these calls are made each and every day. But I wonder about the two ways this can assuredly backfire.
First, for how many years have voicemails been readily recording the precise time at which the message is left? When a West coast caller calls the East coast at 8pm EST, there’s a better than average chance the East coaster has left for the day. The damage and embarrassment of leaving a message at this time can be entirely mitigated by a message like, “Hello Brett, this is Laura – I know you’ve left for the day but I wanted to be sure to let you know we’re still very interested in holding your group at our hotel.” On the other hand a message like, “Oh, Brett, I’m sorry I missed you…” is an utter farce.
The second way this can backfire is when businesses like mine, and many others around the nation, are operated from a single phone line which also doubles as my personal cell phone. What it means is I might very well be in the mood to answer the phone at an odd hour. Then I catch the other party on the phone in a very odd circumstance for they all but have to admit they simply phoned to leave a message.
The truth is, I’m all for this. As someone who advocates emailing over phoning in almost every circumstances, a credit call can often be the next best thing. And a credit call which indicates the party will follow up with an email is a dream come true.