Avoiding Awkwardness: Ending Calls The Professional Way

Submitted by Dan Faraldo in Customer Service, Industry News, MeloTel Features

We’ve all been on the phone with talkative customers. And, as we mentioned in our last blog, we love them! To be perfectly honest, we’d be thrilled to keep our friendly conversations going for hours. But we can’t. We have to get off the phone at some point. And we all want to avoid awkwardness while doing so. So what’s the best way to do so in as professional a way as possible? Let’s look at a few more tips, shall we?

Confirm there’s nothing more to speak about.

The last thing you want to do is get off of a call that hasn’t been completed in the mind of your customer. Have you answered every question? Have you satisfied every request? It’s important to make sure you handled all business appropriately before ending your call. Let’s put it this way:  make sure there’s nothing more to say before it’s time to move on with your day!

According to Alex Case on UsingEnglish.com, “ending calls more smoothly is easiest if the receiver starts the process with a phrase like ‘So, is there anything else (that) I can help you with today?’ or ‘Okay then. Was there anything else (that) you wanted to know?’ Hopefully, the caller replies with something like ‘No, that’s all, thanks’ or ‘No, I think we’ve covered everything, thanks’ and you can finish the call with just a few more sentences.”

Give a heads up about your availability.

One of the best ways to ensure you get off of a phone call without any awkwardness is to communicate, at the beginning of the phone call, that your time is limited. Naturally, it pays to say this in the most polite way possible: “I’m glad you called today. I do have a meeting scheduled in ten minutes, but I’d be happy to help you out with whatever  you  need in the meantime.”

On TheBalanceSMB.com, James Bucki provides another suggestion about how to inform a caller that your time is short. “Here’s a way to make sure you find that balance between polite chit-chat and wasting time,” he writes, “When you are sure the business portion of the call is ended, look at the clock or call timer on your phone. Give the caller another three or four minutes to wrap up before you start winding things down.”

Be polite and pleasant, never pushy.

In many MeloTel blogs of past, we have strongly heralded the need to maintain a polite and pleasant tone of voice when on the phone. Here’s another reminder that facial expressions, hand gestures and other types of body language can’t help you communicate your messages to a caller. So, no matter what you choose to say when you’re ready to end the call, be sure that it’s done without being curt or impolite.

“Choose what you say carefully; again, you don’t want the caller to feel like they’re getting the brush-off,” advises Bucki, “Don’t be condescending in your words or your tone of voice. But at the same time, try to avoid making statements or asking questions that will prolong the conversation. Be assertive, but avoid being rude or impolite.”

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