When you work in customer service, you know that answering the phone is the bread and butter of your job. A frontline worker is usually employed because of their excellent communication abilities. Answering the phone is a part of everyone’s daily routine at work, regardless of their position. As a result, it makes sense to give it your all when taking a call. This article will show you some Perfect Telephone Etiquette ideas to help you improve your skills.
Many of us nowadays prefer to send emails and instant messages rather than pick up the phone and dial a number. While writing down your thoughts gives you a record of the conversation and time to consider what you want to say, there are occasions when a phone call is preferable. Telephone calls allow for a more personalized approach, lower the possibility of miscommunication, and are a more successful way of establishing trust and rapport.
As a result, especially in our professional life, the telephone remains a crucial and effective tool for communicating with others. Unfortunately, because many of us do not make calls on a daily basis, we do not always present ourselves in the best light.
It takes a lot of practice to gain confidence and learn how to use the phone properly. Next time you’re tempted to send a short text or send an email, pick up the phone instead and follow these phone etiquette recommendations to guarantee you’re sending the appropriate message to the person on the other line.
Let’s take a look at some
- Remain cheerful.
- Ask before putting someone on hold or transferring a call.
- Actively listen and take notes.
- Answer the call within three rings.
- Check for and respond to voicemails.
- Speak clearly.
- Be honest if you don’t know the answer.
- Only use speakerphone when necessary.
- Use proper language.
- Be mindful of your volume.
1. Remain cheerful.
It’s impossible to predict when a consumer is having a terrible day. When someone on the phone is nasty to you, your first instinct may be to put them in their place. Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes and understand why they’re unhappy.
The aim is to always be cheerful and friendly, even when things aren’t going well. Your positive attitude might just be enough to turn a bad phone call around. Remind yourself that the last thing your consumer wants to do on a Saturday afternoon is spent time on the phone with customer service. So, make that call as good as it can be, and you might just gain a loyal, lifelong customer.
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2. Ask before putting someone on hold or transferring a call.
Nothing irritates people more than being put on hold. You eventually get to express your concern after waiting on hold for ten or fifteen minutes to talk with a person. Then you’re put back on hold and transferred to someone else, to whom you must explain the entire situation again. This Is stressful, to say the least.
If you need to put a consumer on hold or transfer their call, make sure you get their permission beforehand. Explain why this is essential, and reassure them that you — or another staff — will quickly resolve their issue. Customers will be less likely to complain about a long wait time if you keep them informed.
3. Actively listen and take notes.
When it comes to paying attention to your consumers, it’s critical that you listen to them actively throughout the interaction. Instead of following a script, actively listening involves hearing what they have to say and responding based on their opinions. This shows your customers that you’re aware of their problems and are sympathetic to their aggravations.
Taking notes during support calls is beneficial. After the conversation, you’ll want to keep a record, and notes will be really beneficial. It also means that you can scribble down the essential points and go right into problem-solving without having to ask clients to repeat themselves during long-winded explanations.
4. Answer the call within three rings.
If your job requires you to be available to callers at all times, you should actually be available. That includes remaining focused and responding to phone calls as soon as possible. When you should have been able and ready to respond, the last thing you want to do is keep a customer waiting after a string of interminable ringing or send them to voicemail.
This rule should be reasonably straightforward to follow as long as you’re active and on your phone at all times – excluding breaks. However, to give yourself enough time to get in the zone and prepare for the call, we recommend replying within three rings. You can be flustered if you pick up the phone right away.
5. Check for and respond to voicemails.
It’s likely that a customer will contact you during your lunch break or after you’ve left the office for the day. If you have the option of receiving voicemails, be sure you check them frequently. It’s simple for a voicemail to go unnoticed, but the consumer will remember it.
Check your voicemail at the start and conclusion of each day. It only takes a few minutes and can help you avoid losing a customer support request. Your consumers will appreciate your prompt response, and you’ll be able to focus on what you do best: providing educated and polite assistance.
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6. Speak clearly.
While phone calls are a great choice for those who dislike face-to-face engagement, they do necessitate excellent communication skills. For one thing, the person on the other end of the line can only judge you based on your voice because they can’t see your body language or, hopefully, a friendly grin.
You want to communicate as clearly as possible at all times. Without yelling, project your voice. You want to be heard without having to say anything twice. A confident, strong voice can increase a customer’s faith in you and your help. If you have poor cell service or are unable to hear or be heard, ask to be disconnected and call back right away.
7. Be honest if you don’t know the answer.
If the worst happens, you might have to put a customer on hold or transfer their call because you don’t know what to do. Maybe you’ve tried everything or simply don’t understand what they’re talking about. Don’t worry; customer service agents are people, too, and it’s quite OK not to be the all-knowing voice of reason.
Rather than creating excuses or offering fake answers, it’s better to admit when you don’t know something. Tell them, however, that you’ll do everything you can to discover an answer and will get back to them as soon as possible, or that you’ll find a coworker who does know the solution. Customers don’t expect you to have all the answers right away, but they do expect you to be honest.
8. Only use speakerphone when necessary.
We’ve all experienced the difficulties of using a speakerphone. It’s simpler for you because you can multitask with your hands. For the other caller, though, it’s impossible and frustrating to hear one voice through a blaring mob of cabs in Manhattan.
Avoid using the loudspeaker and give your customers your whole attention. This will allow both parties to be heard and guarantee that you are paying attention to them. When it’s a conference call or you’re trying to troubleshoot over the phone, you may need to use speakerphone on rare occasions. While using a loudspeaker may be convenient during times like these, it’s always preferable to use a headset to keep your hands free.
9. Use proper language.
The language is a clear distinction between business and personal phone calls. When conversing on the phone with your pals, it’s fine to use slang and swear words, but this kind of language can cost you a customer for life.
When you’re on the phone, always be mindful and considerate. It’s better to use the formal language since you never know who might be offended by something you say. It’s fine to use humor when it’s acceptable, but never tell a joke that could offend a customer.
10. Be mindful of your volume.
You can be so preoccupied with your phone conversation with a customer that you don’t notice your current surroundings. Working at a call center may be quite noisy. You should always be aware of your loudness to ensure that you’re not interfering with your coworkers’ ability to communicate with clients and do their duties.
Step out of the room and chat with them separately if you’re on a call that requires you to speak loudly owing to a faulty connection or a hard-of-hearing consumer. Your customers are always your top priority, but you don’t want to jeopardize other employees’ work ethic.
Now that we’ve seen some rules of perfect telephone etiquette. Let us find out ways you can perfect your telephone etiquette.
Ways to Perfect Telephone Etiquette
- Get your greeting right
- Be efficient
- Develop your listening skills
- Always be respectful
- Don’t forget your body language
- Speak clearly and professionally
- Get to know your frequent callers
- Finish on the right note
1. Get your greeting right
If you’re answering the phone in a professional situation, your greeting is especially crucial. A muffled ‘Hello’ or a sharp ‘Yes, can help you?’ are unlikely to make a favorable first impression when a potential customer or client contacts your company for the first time.
Instead, use a cheerful tone of voice when answering the phone and say something like, “Good afternoon, thank you for calling [the name of your firm].” “My name is [your name], and how may I be of assistance to you today?”
2. Be efficient
Recognize that others are just as busy as you, so make business calls brief and considerate of their schedule. If a phone meeting is scheduled to last an hour, stick to the time limit. Finish the call on time, if possible.
3. Develop your listening skills
You must improve your active listening abilities if you wish to master telephone etiquette. First and foremost, keep distractions to a minimum. If you’re scrolling through Instagram or reading your email at the same time, you won’t be able to pay attention to what the other person is saying.
Don’t put your trust in your memory. If anything seems unclear, take notes and ask questions. Repeating what the speaker has said is a wonderful method to show that you are paying attention. This also gives the other person the opportunity to clarify their point if you don’t understand something.
4. Always be respectful
As you might not realize who you’re talking to. If you’re talking to a potential client or a new employee, a phone conversation could be the “first and last” image they get of your firm. A simple phone call might help them feel at ease (or not).
5. Don’t forget your body language
The fact that the other person can’t see you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t communicate nonverbally. When it comes to transmitting your mood and feelings over the phone, body language is crucial.
Your voice will sound lighter and more cheery if you smile and sit up straight. Avoid slouching since it can suffocate your voice’s vitality by restricting your breathing.
6. Speak clearly and professionally
Your voice is a highly crucial instrument for developing perfect telephone etiquette for obvious reasons. A confident, strong voice will aid in the development of trust and rapport. Speak as plainly as possible without shouting, and project your voice.
When conducting a professional phone conversation, it’s also important to use polished language. Swearing is not acceptable, and you should avoid using slang or overly familiar phrases like ‘mate,’ ‘buddy,’ or ‘darling.’
7. Get to know your frequent callers
Remembering their names and what they might be calling about is flattering and communicates that you value their business.
8. Finish on the right note
Finish the conversation by summarizing what was stated and outlining the next steps you’ll take. “I appreciate your concerns regarding the matter.
Before hanging up, ask if there is anything more you can do for them and tell them that you will be available if they have any additional questions following the conversation. Always express gratitude for the person’s time and wish them a pleasant day, evening, or weekend.
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These guidelines should offer you and your staff fundamental telephone etiquette guidelines, and if followed correctly, your company’s customer experience should improve significantly.
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