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Phone manners revisited

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Did you know that you can feel someone’s smile through the telephone lines? Listen to the next several calls you receive or make and observe the emotions of the people through the phone lines.

All business phones should be answered with such enthusiasm that the caller should be able to feel the smile through the lines and that should apply to all employees and not just the front desk staff. There are always excuses as to why proper phone etiquette is not used. Here are a few:{{more}}

• The caller caught me off guard.

• I thought it was an internal call.

• I’m tired; you don’t know how many calls I had today.

• I already sound professional for the kind of people I deal with daily.

• That phone script is too long; people will cut me off.

• This place is too small; I’m not giving my name on the phone.

We are now moving into an era in business where the above excuses will no longer be acceptable. The telephone is to be respected as a business tool and used as such. Proper use is a direct reflection on the business and an individual’s ability to project a professional image. As a refresher, review the phone tips below and practise one each day.

1. Answer on the second or third ring.

2. Answer in a businesslike manner: “Good Morning/Afternoon, (Give company name). This is John Smith. How may I help YOU?” (Too many people do not include the YOU. It makes the greeting more personal). This way the caller is sure of what company he/she has reached and with whom is he/she speaking. Remember to speak in an audible voice. Don’t race through.

3. Speak in a moderate tone of voice. Don’t announce to the world that you are on the phone.

4. Keep background noise to a minimum. That includes not holding conversations with other people in your office while on the phone. This is rude to your caller.

5. Sound pleasant.

6. Don’t take calls right before going into a meeting; you’ll arrive late and the caller will be hurried. Change your message if you are going to be away on vacation or out of the office for long periods.

7. Return calls within 24 hours.

8. Keep your message professional.

9. Use speakerphone only with the permission of the other caller.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT
on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to info@workplacesuccess.com

Visit online at www.workplacesuccess.com

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