What is Phone Etiquette?
Phone etiquette is best described as the way you utilize speech and manners to represent yourself, business or brand to customers via telephone communication.
The Importance of Phone Etiquette
When it comes to business, phone etiquette is very important. Often times, how your staff relates to a person on the phone sets the tone for whether the person would become a paying customer or just an angry person who may never relate with your business again. Like the saying goes, first impressions matter and in this day and age, the first impression could be via the telephone, so it’s important for one to put their best foot forward when answering the phone. So now that we have addressed the importance of phone etiquette, let’s dive into the do’s and don’ts.
Do’s and Don’ts of Phone Etiquette
Answer the call within three rings: The last thing you want to do is keep a customer waiting after a string of endless ringing when you should’ve been able and ready to pick up their call.
Immediately introduce yourself: Greet the caller with warmth. When you pick up the phone be sure to greet him or her and introduce yourself first and state the company name if necessary.
Speak clearly: Since the quality of the network can be unpredictable, it is important to learn to project your voice when you speak. There is a difference between shouting and projecting, and it’s important to know the difference so you don’t give your customer the wrong impression.
Only use speakerphone when necessary: It is rare that you may need to make use of the speakerphone, so try to avoid it as much as possible. Instead opt to give the caller your full attention by not using the speakerphone option, this way you both can hear your conversations clearly and privately.
Actively listen and take notes: It’s important that you remain absolutely attentive when taking calls from your customers. Make sure to give them 100% of your concentration. Ensure to take notes while on the call so as to avoid missing important information. Taking notes will also help you jump into problem-solving mode, at the same time, the customer doesn’t have to repeat him or her self.
Use proper language: The clear difference between personal and professional calls is the language. Make sure to use the right language in the right setting. Avoid slangs and bad jokes, utilizing the wrong language can cause you to lose customers, and we don’t want that to happen.
Remain cheerful: There is no doubt that you will come across rude customers or calls in your lifetime. But if that situation ever arises, it is important to remain calm and cheerful at all costs. Try to navigate the situation with a sense of maturity and professionalism that will disarm the customer’s rude behaviour.
Ask before putting someone on hold or transferring a call: If you must put a customer on hold or transfer their call, always ask for their permission first. Explain why it’s necessary to do so, and reassure them that you or another employee are going to get their problem solved swiftly. By keeping your customer in the loop, they’ll be less likely to complain about a long wait time.
Be honest if you don’t know the answer: If you’re unsure about a particular question to situation, it’s okay to inform the customer or caller. It is also encouraged to help the customer or caller find an answer or solution. Humans make mistakes and are not all-knowing, so make sure, to be honest about your knowledge on a particular thing. Honest after all is the best policy.
Be mindful of your tone: Be mindful of how you speak to your customers on the phone. It’s important to be aware of how your tone can be perceived by other people. You don’t want a customer to think you aren’t taking their problem or question seriously, oftentimes that never ends well.
So there you have it basic tips that can help you with your phone etiquette, make sure to use them the next time you’re on the phone. If you have any tips of your own, do let us know in the comments below.