In the age of cell phones, telephone etiquette has largely gone by the wayside. Knowing how to take messages is still useful when you're working in an office or taking calls for someone else. Being polite, writing everything down, and delivering the message promptly are key!
Answer the phone.
The person on the other end asks for your immediate supervisor or co-worker who is not at his/her desk. The first thing you should do is say, “He/she isn’t available at the moment. Can I take a message?” Assuming they say yes continue to the next step. If they say no then please insist they at least allow you to help them. If they refuse politely, ask the person to at least give you their name and company name; be sure to jot down their number off call id also let the person know a good time to try back. Just remember to ask if you can do anything else — they might want to call back and leave a message on the answering machine. Be sure to let whomever the call was for who called and when they might try back.
You may not think what they say is important but the person you are writing the message for might think it is. If needed ask them to repeat information.
Give the message to the person as soon as possible or leave it somewhere they will find it.
- Be polite.
- Write in neat hand-writing.
- Make sure that you don’t write the wrong thing down. You wouldn’t want the person who gets the message to get the wrong idea.