Phone Etiquette 101
Even if more and more customers nowadays are turning onto the internet for customer service and support, many still contact companies through phone. This is one of the major reasons why all employees should be knowledgeable of basic phone etiquette! You don’t want to upset or turn off your customer or potential client because of bad behavior on the phone. And most of the time, an employee’s behavior on the phone with a customer can make or break your reputation.
Additionally, there are still some workers who prefer talking or giving instructions through phone than on email. If your boss is one of them, then you have more reason to learn phone etiquette 101!
To help you out with better phone etiquette, we listed down several tips and tricks to improve your behavior and tone on the phone!
Tips and Tricks of Answering Calls
Always smile and be patient.
Before you answer any call, always put a smile on your face, no matter how difficult your day is! Remember that people can actually ‘hear’ smiles when they talk to others on the phone. Callers are usually upset or angry with services when they call. So you better put a smile on your face to sound nice, and be patient with your customer!
Don’t answer the phone if your mouth is full.
If you’re chewing or drinking anything, don’t answer the phone. It’s considered rude and distasteful if the caller hears you eating or drinking something while talking to them! So before you answer the call, swallow or remove whatever food or drink that’s in your mouth. Also, you should make sure that you act quickly! You should be able to respond to phone calls in three rings or less.
Never forget your greeting.
When you answer a call, always have a positive and warm greeting. Be conscious of the time the customer is calling, and greet accordingly (e.g. ‘good morning,’ or ‘good afternoon,’ etc.). You can then introduce yourself and your organization before hearing out your customers’ queries or comments. This might sound so trivial and simple, but warm greetings can make your clients feel more comfortable in sharing what they need to disclose.
If you’re used to speaking ‘slang’ in real life, you should never use it on the phone. While it’s important to sound friendly, you shouldn’t cross lines. Customers may find usage of slang inappropriate and unprofessional. Also: don’t ever, ever, ever swear on the phone! Not only will you probably anger your already upset customer, you might even be violating some laws when you do this.
Listen and don’t interrupt.
To understand your customer better, listen, and listen clearly. Give your undivided attention to your caller! You will be able to respond to your customer better if you listen to them properly. And no matter how tempting, don’t ever interrupt the caller. Let them speak, even if it takes quite a while. You should make your customers feel attended to. Always listen to them!
Conversations are not one-way streets. Whenever you talk on the phone, you shouldn’t “chew” on your words. Speak clearly so that your customer will understand you! You are representing your company, so your manner of speaking should be clear, formal, and concise.
This is an important tip that every worker should follow. Let your customer explain his comment, complaint, or suggestion. Then, you should inform them of what you would do to address their concern. This makes them feel that something is being done to address their problem, and makes them feel valued. Your customer should know what you’re going to do, even if it’s a simple ‘hold’ or ‘transfer’ of the phone!
This may be the hardest step to follow in phone etiquette, but arguably the most important. Always empathize with your customer or client. Most of the time, customers call because they experience problems, and some of them really get upset. Don’t fall into the temptation of getting annoyed or angry with your customer; instead, you should empathize. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. They are your priority, and they are the ones who are sustaining your business, so empathize with them! You can learn even more about your business, especially your strengths and weaknesses, when you listen and empathize with your clients.
Ready to Take Calls!
Since you now have an idea on Phone Etiquette 101, you’re now ready to apply them to the real world. Always remember our phone etiquette tips to achieve high customer satisfaction!