10 Tips for Improving Your Telephone Skills and Etiquette
By Myron Curry
In this fast and furious age we live in, one of the more important issues being addressed in the workforce is a lack of effective and proper telephone skills and etiquette.
How many times have you been upset or put off by a call center or business representative who had no telephone etiquette? This professional deficiency will create a negative perception of your business and cause a loss of customers and revenue.
The following top 10 tips to improve telephone skills will help develop a positive and professional atmosphere with regard to your business:
- Speak precisely – the caller cannot see you to discern your facial expressions and it is therefore important you talk in a clear manner that is slightly slow with a positive effort.
- Do not shout – using a normal tone of voice is imperative in order to keep the level of stress at a minimum. Talking loudly will annoy the caller and create tension.
- No drinking, no eating, and no gum – the person on the other end of the phone line has no desire to listen to your chewing or gulping. It is rude and very unprofessional.
- Use proper language – do not swear or curse, stay away from slang words and improper language. It is offensive to many individuals and shows disrespect.
- Use their proper name – never address the caller by their first name as this will impart a familiarity that does not exist. Always use their proper (last) name and title when addressing them.
- Listen attentively – allow the caller to express their reasons for contacting you and listen to what they say. Restating what was said or repeating it back to them is a sign of a good listener. Plus it is always best to verify a message to ensure accuracy.
- Patience is a virtue – allow the caller time to vent their frustrations. Do not engage your emotions and become rude or snappish. Remain calm and speak with a low and monotone voice in order to assuage the caller’s rage.
- Incoming calls – always ask if you can place the caller on hold for a moment. Never set the phone down without asking or placing the call on hold. It is unprofessional and the caller may misunderstand something they overhear. Once you have placed the incoming call on hold as well, go back to the first caller and thank them for holding.
- Focus on the call – do not allow any distractions as it is critical to give the caller your full attention. If you allow someone in the office to pull your attention away from the phone call, the caller will become upset and angered.
- Properly Identify who you are – make sure you tell the caller your name and your company’s name so that they know who is on the phone with them and that they have called the desired place of business. When leaving a message, be brief, to the point, and clearly state your name, the company you work for, the call back telephone number and the date and time of your call.
Myron Curry is the President of Business Training Media, a leading provider of corporate training programs for employee development. For more management ideas, strategies and tips, subscribe to Myron’s free Online Management Tips eNewsletter today.
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