Answering telephone calls is an important and crucial part for any business. Sure, web enquiries, social media and email have their place, but the telephone still remains the primary point of contact for many customers. Professional telephone etiquette can impact a positive first impression, which more often than not, influences the caller’s behaviour and actions towards your business.
Follow these ten tips to learn how to answer your phone calls professionally and win business successfully:
- When you’re answering a telephone call, welcome the caller to your name and company – By utilising a welcoming script your customers will feel at ease and will ensure they have reached the right company/ department from the offset. For example an approachable and friendly greeting would be: “Good morning, you have reached Global Company Ltd, this is … how many I help you?”
- If a call has been transferred from a colleague to yourself, answer the phone call promptly with your name – This will enable a personal and friendly greeting so the caller can gather whom they’re talking to straight away.
- It’s essential that you speak in a clear and understandable manner to allow for your caller to hear and relate to what you’re saying – If you talk too fast, you will sound anxious and the caller may feel you’re rushing them along. Speak appropriately and slowly for easier comprehension.
- When you learn of the callers name, remember whom you’re speaking to throughout the call – By referencing the caller’s name, the caller will feel more comforted that you’re pro-actively listening and attending to their needs. If the caller doesn’t provide their name, don’t be afraid to ask for it during the duration of the call.
- Within the first minute of speaking to a caller you should have learnt their name, company, organisation and purpose of call – If they don’t provide any of this information then it’s your duty to ask for it. This will ensure that the call is short, sweet and provides for the query to be dealt with efficiently.
- Always require the caller’s permission when putting them on hold – By asking for the caller’s permission, the caller feels in complete control of the conversation. Ensure that you tailor your dialogue appropriately as some may deny you the authorisation to put them on hold.
- You should ONLY place the caller on hold during situations when the caller has no interest in being apart of your actions – (for example: when you need to pay close attention to a file or another colleague). Only put the caller on hold when completely necessary otherwise stay with the caller.
- If you’re unable to resolve an issue over the telephone, provide the caller with relevant contact information and an approximation of when this enquiry will be resolved – In doing so, the caller will feel that their time hasn’t been wasted and that you’re doing everything in your utmost power to find the relevant information.
- Before ending a phone call, make sure that the provided information and contact details are correct – This shows that you value the customer and are dealing with any issues appropriately.
- Train everybody who retrieves the telephone to answer phone calls in the same manner – If you run a home-based business you should train family members. Monitor your business’s phone is being answered professionally and appropriately at all times. If an employee doesn’t pass the test, go over these telephone answering tips.
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