I remember the first time I called a professional service supplier and her voice mail announcement promised she would call me back “at my earliest convenience.” My reaction was:
Excuse me — her earliest convenience?
I was the customer and she just told me she’d return my call when she was ready without any concern for my schedule or needs.
She probably meant that she would call me back as soon as she could, but that’s not what she said. And maybe it’s not what she meant. In any case, her message didn’t leave me with a good feeling about doing business with her.
Never use the phrase “my earliest convenience” unless you intend to sound arrogant.
Mark Nichol did a great job of addressing this issue in his blog “At Whose Earliest Convenience?” — it’s worth a read.
For tips about how to create an effective voice mail announcement, check out “What does your voice mail greeting say about you and your company?”
Whether speaking or writing, be sure the message you intend to convey is the one being delivered.