10 Tips on Telephone Etiquette
Taking care of your clients over the telephone and making them feel well informed and appreciated is an essential practice in business, if you want new and retain exisitng business.
1) ANSWER PROMPTLY
Do not permit the phone to ring more than three times. If you let the phone ring too long, they might have already hung up and taken their business elsewhere!
2) TONE OF VOICE
Smile…yes smile it makes a difference to the tone of your voice and clients pick up on that. Be positive, polite, upbeat and slightly animated.
3) INITIAL GREETING
A warm, friendly, professional greeting such as company name and the person’s name who answers the call.
4) LISTEN TO CALLER
Listen for both the content as well as the intent. By listening actively to the client’s opening comments, you can then RESPOND with a statement that assures the client you HEARD what was being said.
5) DO NOT APPEAR RUSHED
Never interrupt the person while he/she is talking to you, this is rude, annoying and shows impatience. If you are busy, it is better to return the call when you can give the person the time they need.
6) DO NOT CHEW
Never chew gum o eat when you are answering the phone. It sounds extremely unprofessional and gives an immediate impression of a slack, sloppy uncaring organisation.
7) CORRECT PRONUNCIATION
Forgetting or mispronouncing the caller’s name after they have provided it will put the potential client off immediately. If you happen to mispronounce their name, ask them how to pronounce it properly, tell them you want to get it correct.
8) TRANSFER A CALL
Find out the name of the caller and ask what the call is regarding. Ask permission to place a caller on hold. Stay on the line until the other staff member answers. Provide the staff member with the caller’s name and nature of the call. Then transfer.
9) OFFER SOLUTIONS/ALTERNATIVES
If you know you can’t do what the client is asking, just tell him/her what you CAN do. There are usually alternatives IF you just take time to offer!
10) ENDING THE CALL
It’s also good practice to let the caller hang up before you do if that is not possible hang up the phone, gently.
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