Often, your prospects first impression of your company will be via the telephone. Have you ever ‘secret shopped’ your own company and rated how your team answers the phone, takes down information and in general, treats the person calling in?
It is vitally imporatnt to train your team to be professional and helpful to everyone who contacts your company. Curtious and professiona telephone etiquette is your company’s “Front Line” of the outstanding customer service you need to offer.
Here is a quick list of “Basic To Do’s” when you and yopur team answers your company’s phone calls:
1. Speak clearly & SMILE
- Yes, they will feel the ‘warmth’ and concern when you smile. It will make the caller feel welcome. Make sure you speak slowly and clearly.
2. Answer the phone call Professionally
- Greet the customer according to the time of day (e.g., “good morning,” “good afternoon,” “good evening”). Thank them for calling. Being curtios is part of being professional.
3. Ask them “how can I help you?”
Ask the customer how you can be of service when greeting them. After listening to the customer’s reason for calling — and you can’t be of assistance — attempt to transfer the consumer to the appropriate department.
“Do” Listen to the Caller’s Request
Listen carefully to the caller’s request. Ask the customer applicable questions to determine how you can help. Don’t interrupt when the caller is speaking.
“Do” Ask to Place the Caller on Hold
Before you place a caller on hold, ask permission first. Once you’ve pressed the hold button, quickly work to address the customer’s problem as quickly as possible.
“Don’t” Talk with Your Mouth Full
Don’t pick up the phone with your mouth full. This makes it difficult for the caller to understand you — and is frustrating– especially if the call is urgent. Answering the phone at work while eating gives an unprofessional impression.
“Don’t” Speak too Loudly or Softly
Answer the phone in the volume that you normally speak. Speaking softly will make it challenging for the caller to understand what you’re saying. Talking softly may confuse the caller, unsure that he has dialed the right number. Answering the phone too loudly sounds harsh and abrasive, which is an unappealing to the caller.
“Don’t” Leave the Caller on Hold
If you have to place the caller on hold, don’t leave the person calling on hold for a long period of time. Check back every few seconds to keep the caller informed on your progress.
“Don’t” use Slang Words
Using slang or shortened words during phone conversation is inappropriate and unprofessional. For instance, if you have to check on something for the customer, say “just a moment,” not “hold on a sec”.
‘Don’t’ Answer the Phone Casually
At home, answer the phone with “(family last name) residence”; greet the caller according to the time of day. Instead of simply saying “hello” when answering a business phone, state the name of the business or state the company’s slogan immediately.