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Today’s lesson in voice mail etiquette

I just had a fun adventure in returning a wrong number voice mail. I arrived into work late today and I had a voice mail message time stamped at 10:00am. The message was the following:

This is Steve F____, number 1163. I need to know what time to come in for the ____ meeting. Please call me right back at XXX-XXXX

I have no idea who Steve is and we don’t number our clients, we go by their school district name. We also don’t any ____ meetings.

However Tyler is a big enough company to have another Chris Miller. That Chris works for another division a few time zones away. He was hired a few months back and we get emails and meeting invites for each other all the time. I make sure that any communication meant for the Chris Miller is sent to intended destination.

So I went under the assumption that this call may have been for the other Chris Miller. Steve didn’t say who he worked for, or where he was calling from, or even the area code. Our voice mail system lets you dial the caller back, so I did that.

When Steve answered, the conversation went more or less like this:

Steve: Hello?
Me: Hi, is this Steve F____?  This is Chris Miller from Tyler Technologies, and I am returning your call from 10:00 this morning
Steve: Who is this?  I didn’t call you
Me: You left a voice mail asking me to call XXX-XXXX
Steve: I called someone else at ZZZ-ZZZZ
Me: That is my number (and I repeated his message back to him)
Steve: I was calling ____ at the ____ company, they must have given me the wrong number.

Then we ended the call. If you call my number and get dumped to voice mail, you get the following message:

Hi, you have reached Chris Miller at Tyler Techologies. I’m sorry I am not able to take your call right now, but if you leave your name and phone number, I’ll return your call…

If you are going to leave a message, please listen to the outgoing message to make sure that you have called the right person and/or company. Also, you need to leave your area code. We have customers across the country and in Canada, I do need your area code if you want me to call back.