Many of us take the act of speaking on the phone for granted. That is to say that we tend to think that it’s such a common thing to do that we assume we’re experts at it. When you’re conducting business over the phone, however, it’s extremely important to remember that it’s not like any old conversation.
Not only do you have to exchange “What’s up?” for “Good afternoon, how can I help you?” when you greet someone, but there are other important-to-remember phone etiquette tips that will help boost your brand’s reputation.
Here are four:
1. Use your mouth for speaking only.
This may sound like a strange tip, but you’d be surprised how many people eat and drink during their business calls. If you’re under the impression that the person you’re speaking to can’t tell that you’ve just taken a bite or a sip, you’d be mistaken. Be sure to give each caller your full and undivided attention by giving your mouth only one job – speaking. Keep to a strict rule not to eat, drink or chew gum while conducting business over the phone.
2. Be an active listener.
Remember that half of the conversation involves your ears. Try not to speak over your caller, but instead, provide ample time for him/her to ask questions and/or express his/her concerns. Be sure to respond by addressing what it is that was just said to you. Repeating back information proves that you’ve been listening and also ensures that you’ll be able to adequately answer questions and address customer needs.
3. Use your caller’s name.
You’d be surprised how important it is for people to hear their names. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Would you prefer to be addressed by your name or “sir/ma’am”? By using your caller’s name, you develop more of a personal and comfortable rapport. Boost your brand’s reputation by being a people person over the phone. However, be sure to determine whether or not it’s okay to use a person’s first name over his/her last name.
4. Remember the “ask, don’t tell” rule for hold times.
There’s a big difference between “Hold please” and “May I place you on hold for a minute or two while I look into that for you?” One is abrupt and discourteous. The other conveys respect. Be sure to ask if you can place your caller on hold instead of simply demanding that he/she wait. As well, when you return from the hold, be sure to practice the “appreciation/apology” technique: “Thank you for holding, I’m sorry for keeping you waiting”.
At MeloTel, we don’t just recommend practicing excellent phone etiquette in order to grow your company, we also recommend the use of VoIP telephony. Our cloud-hosted Commercial Phone Services come with a rich-set of features that can change the way you conduct business over the phone. We pride ourselves on bringing Fortune 500 communication products and services to small and medium size businesses at an incredibly low cost!
For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!