In Part 1 of this series, we talked about using the phone to maintain a consistent brand and about using a friendly, helpful tone to attract clients. In Part 2, we continue this series on telephone etiquette and your business.
Actively Listen to the Caller’s Needs
Telephone etiquette will come naturally when you actively listen to callers’ needs. No matter how busy the office may get around you, you need to pay close attention to what the caller is saying. You can’t check email and give proper attention at the same time. Stop what you are doing the minute you pick up the call, focus your attention and take notes – and make sure your team members do the same. You’ll be able to deliver a high level of customer service – and may earn a repeat customer – all from the simple act of listening.
A Word About Using the “Hold” Button
If at all possible, you should try to avoid putting your caller on hold. Allow incoming calls to go to voicemail, or have someone else handling new calls on another line. No one likes to feel like they are being put aside for a more important caller.
However, it’s not always possible to avoid the hold button. For example, you could need to speak to a team member about the situation, or look up client information on the computer. In this case, ask if the customer can hold for a few minutes. If not, offer to call back with the information. The customer’s time is just as important as yours.
Etiquette for Outgoing Calls
It’s just as important to use proper etiquette on the outgoing calls as it is on the incoming ones. When you make a call to another party, you need to keep things brief and to the point. They are likely to be just as busy as you are. Start by introducing yourself and your company, then asking if they have time to speak. If not, then offer to call back at another time. This reinforces that you value them, their time and your relationship.
You should use the same positive, polite tone that you would use with incoming calls. Ask them how they are, listen, and then proceed with the issue you’re calling about. Keep the call quick and polite and your calls will always be welcome.
Maintaining the right telephone etiquette is critical, especially in the digital age. With so many companies taking an online, impersonal approach, the phone skills of your company can make you stand out. Whether you’re working with an answering service or trying to handle calls on your own, telephone etiquette is an essential and valuable part of your business.
Contact Answering Service Care today for professional, courteous live operators and answering services that will help you earn repeat business and increase your level of customer service.