How Do You Answer A Professional Phone Call?
Anyone in your company needs to be able to respond politely to the call, not just the receiver or the customer representative. You never know if the person who will answer the phone can't do it and someone else should handle it (especially if you're running a house business). Even in these days of texting and email, the phone is still the primary contact point of most businesses with customers, and the way your company's phone is answered will make your customer's first impression of your business.
When the phone call receiver is unprofessional, it may also be the last impression of the customer. Here's how to respond correctly and win business rather than lose your phone.
- Be Prepared.
Preparation is the first step to becoming a pro on the phone. Before starting taking telephone calls, you will need to learn the lay of the land, particularly if you have a newly installed telephone system.
Take a while to get to know the phone system. Learn how to hold callers without losing them, print a cheat booklet with important phone numbers and extensions and become an expert in the transmission of calls (including blind and participated call transfers).
In addition, if you need to pass a message, you will want to be ready to receive notes. Keep your helpdesk, CRM and other customer support tools open so that you don't struggle to find them while on the phone.
It is also a good idea to ask for the caller 's name and information when taking notes to record what is being called. Make sure you have their best contact number or e-mail if your caller needs follow-up.
- Answer Right Away.
The average length of a single ring is about six seconds, so if you let your phone ring five times, you 're looking for a 30-second wait — which may make your callers feel frustrated.
On the other hand, answering a call on the first ring can catch people off guard. If possible, aim to pick up the third ring. Chances are that you'll be away from your desk phone at some point throughout the day. This doesn't mean you're going to have to slow down to answer calls or even miss them completely.
- Announce Yourself
When you answer the phone, welcome callers by greeting them and introducing yourself and the organization, it lets people know that they've dialed the right number — rather than answering with a simple "Hello?"
Instead, try something like this: "Good morning, this is [Name] of [Company]. How can I help you with that? "It's a simple phrase, but it goes a long way to convey a sense of warmth through the wires.
- Be an Active Listener
Nothing is worse than calling a company with a question or concern, and learning that they haven't paid attention to it. One general rule for good phone etiquette is to listen more than you speak, especially if you have answered your incoming customer service call. While you may already have the answer because of your experience, let the caller finish what they say before you jump in with the suggestion.
- Consider Your Tone
Keep in mind that your voice on the phone may well be a customer's only impression of the company. When you answer the phone, make a point of speaking with a friendly tone of voice — regardless of how you feel that day — some say that smiling as you talk can make you sound more cheerful. Your tone on the phone is like your face to face body language. Keep your voice at a medium level, and speak slowly enough to make it easy for the caller to understand what you're saying.
- Don't Use Speakerphone
Skip the speakerphone, unless absolutely necessary. Not only does it pick up extra noise from the background, but it also gives callers the impression that you're not listening to it with your full attention.
- Summarize Key Points Before Hanging Up
Before you sign off, make a point of summing up your call. The benefit here is twofold — for one thing, this builds some goodwill between you and the caller, as this shows that you were listening to what they had to say. Summing up is also a great way to make sure nothing important has been missed and give them a chance to clarify the message if they need to.
- End on a Professional Note
After summarizing the bullet points of the call, make sure you finish things on a professional note. Here, your goal is to make sure that the caller is happy with the service they have received and that they leave with a positive impression.
Does Your Business Need a Reliable Telephone Receptionist?
Reliable Receptionist helps small to mid-sized businesses enhance their professional image, improve customer service, manage workload and convert callers to become loyal clients. At Reliable Receptionist, we not only provide simple answering services but you can be confident your company’s incoming calls will be immediately answered by one of up to five trained representatives assigned to your account. These virtual telephone receptionists are professionally ready to answer questions about your business, provide directions, capture critical lead information, schedule appointments, and forward calls to the appropriate department depending on your set guidelines. Let's Work Together! For more information or to request a quote and free demonstration, send us a message or call us today at (925) 627-4200.