How Do You Properly Take A Message?
Despite the prevalence of automated voice mail and telephone answering systems, many companies still rely on human beings to respond to phone calls. The receptionists and administrative assistants responsible for answering calls, welcoming visitors and receiving messages are often the first point of interaction between the company and the customer. This critical role requires courtesy, professionalism and competence when it comes to relaying information from a caller to a company representative.
Below are some tips on how to properly take a message:
- Setup of Workplace
If you are the employee responsible for making phone calls, set up your workspace to make your phone and message delivery convenient. Make sure the ringer is loud enough that you can hear it when you're away from your desk. Use a spiral-bound carbon-copy page message book to record messages. The copy will provide a permanent record of your message, including the date and time of your call.
- Answer Courteously
Answer a call with a courteous greeting and state your company's name. Use your organization's preferred greeting, which may be something like "WXY Company." How can I make your call? "When you speak to a visitor in person, start with a pleasant greeting, followed by 'How can I help you? "Speak clearly and don't eat , drink or chew gum while talking to people, on the phone or in person.
- Respond Professionally
Exercise professional courtesy in all interactions. Ask the caller or visitor whether he'd mind being held up or waiting while you're in touch with the person he 'd like to talk to. QuadVergent recommends a number of tactful reactions. Rather than "She's out," "I don't know where she's," or "She's in the ladies' room," a more professional answer would be "She's stepped out of the office. Would you like to leave a message with me? "Instead of" She's busy, "or" She doesn't want to be disturbed, "just say," She's not available at the moment.
While your caller is on hold, don't keep him waiting for a convenient period of time. If you're holding out for his party to get on the phone, let him know and give him a chance to leave a message or call again later. Tell your caller if you're going to have to transfer him to another line. Stay calm and courteous, even if the caller is rude or irritated.
- Write the Message
If the caller wishes to leave a message, write down the information, starting with the caller’s name. Ask for the correct spelling if you are in doubt. Write the caller’s phone number, including the area code and extension, and the company’s name. Ask about the nature of the call and add that information to the message, if the caller wishes to provide it. Also, ask whether there is a good time to return the call, to avoid playing phone tag. Finally, write the date and time of the call and your own initials. See that the message is delivered to the proper person.
- Deliver the Message.
The last thing to do is to ensure that the message is delivered to its intended target in an efficient manner (which means no more than a few hours after the call).
Good customer service skills and follow-up questions should help ensure that the messages you receive are useful and can be returned quickly. At the end of the day, keep in mind that if this is a new opportunity worth pursuing or your previous client, the caller should be willing to leave a brief message.
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.