Improving Your Businesses Telephone Etiquette
A good proportion of us hates the phone. We send personal calls to voicemail, or purposefully miss them and send a text back later. We avoid calling to book appointments or sort out issues, and we’ll always take a text communication if the option is there. We get nervous, we rehearse what we want to say, and we panic as soon as the phone starts to ring.
This means most of us are out of practice. We text, email, and chat online a lot more than we use the phone. You might not even like speaking to close friends and family on the phone, even if it means that you can have a longer and more personal connection.
In your personal life, this is fine, there are plenty of alternatives to the phone, and you can avoid it most of the time. Your smartphone might never have to be used as a phone. But, in business, there are still many advantages to having a phone line, and you might need to use yours to make a receive calls every day.
If you are out of practice; however, you might find that your telephone etiquette is awful. That you don’t know how to speak to people that call you, you don’t get anything out of your calls, and you even put people off your business. So, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can improve your telephone etiquette.
Know Who You Are Speaking To
A business line gives you a few advantages over just using your cell. One of these is that you can manage and filter your calls using menus. Phone menus mean that before you speak to someone, you know who they are, and why they are calling. This gives you a chance to prepare for the call, instead of going in blind and having to ask awkward questions. Read this blog article about phone menus, to help you direct and manage calls in the right way.
Yes, they called you. But, that doesn’t mean that they know exactly who you are, or about your role in the company. Even if they do, it’s polite to say hello and quickly introduce yourself. It’s nice than just leaping into a conversation and gives everyone a second to catch their breath.
On the phone, when we can’t see someone face to face, many of us are guilty of being a little pushy. You might not even realize it, but saying “I’m going to put you on hold now” or “I’ll pass your details on” is steering the conversation and can come across as rude. Instead, ask permission. Say, “can I put you on hold?” “Is it ok if I pass your details to a colleague?” And you’ll give the caller a sense of control and trust.
Highlight the Next Steps
At the end of the call, don’t just say goodbye. Let them know what is going to happen next. How will you deal with their issue? Will you be speaking to them again? Are you going to look into their questions and provide answers? Give them clear expectations, so they feel as though their call was worthwhile.
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