A friendly voice over the telephone still is one of the best ways to advertise your business. It doesn’t matter whether you work at the reception, assist your supervisor or communicate with customers and business partners – the importance of the right phone etiquette should be a no-brainer. Your caller will surely appreciate that. Since business calls are such an everyday occurance that we tend to do it automatically, we have put together a checklist so that you can know about the things you possibly need to change. Maybe there is room for improvement.
1. Don’t let the phone ring for too long before you take the call. Ideally, it shouldn’t ring more than three times before you answer. Whatever the caller wants to know or discuss must be important to them and therefore they will be displeased with waiting.
2. Greet the caller in a friendly and polite manner and keep smiling while you do it. Your facial expression won’t be seen at the other end of the line, but your sunny attitude will be noticed. Start with stating your company’s name followed by your own. The first spoken information is oftentimes lost on the caller, which isn’t that big of a deal, since they know where they have called.
3. „How can I help you?“ – this simple question suggests that you are treating the inquiery with due respect. Listen carefully to your caller and keep your answers clear and simple. Write down their name and use it in the conversation. You should never say „I don’t know“. Should you really not know the answer to their question, offer to redirect them to somebody who might.
4. Take notes during the call, so that you can remember the conversation later. Or maybe you’ll be asked to take a message. And in case a business partner calls und the two of you agree on any terms, these should definitely be written down. In this scenario, it is best if you summarize the discussion points in a short e-mail that you send out to your caller afterwards. This way, you will keep misunderstandings to a minimum.
5. End the conversation on an equally positive note by sending the caller your best wishes and using the appropriate good-bye.
Always keep in mind that you could be the caller at any time as well. And you will surely wish that your inquiery will be handled by a friendly, polite and helpful employee!