Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hello, You've Reached our Happy Family at ...

The title of this blog item is the way our answering machine's announcement begins. We used to have a more vanilla announcement: “Hello, you've reached {our number}; please leave a detailed message.”
The trouble with our old outgoing message was that people called and left messages for “Dr. Smith,” whose number differs from ours by one easy to misremember digit. The last message we got for Doctor Smith was pitiable, something like this: “I'm in great pain and I desperately need a pain reliever fast! Please call me right away.” I decided to change our message to discourage such mistakes.
I really wanted our outgoing message to say: “Hello, if you're calling Doctor Smith, please hang and dial {xxx-xxxx}. Otherwise, please leave us a detailed message.” But that seemed too extreme. So far, the “happy family” thing has done the trick. People pay little attention to OGMs, but maybe they notice we don't sound like a doctor's office.
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