What Should I Say When Answering The Phone?
Proper telephone etiquette is an important aspect of communication, because you represent not only yourself, but often your department and the university. Remembering to use the proper telephone label, whether answering or making calls, leaves your respondents a positive impression on you, your department, and Lehigh in general. The following suggestions are helpful in making your phone conversations more efficient.
- Answer a call within three rings.
If your position always means that you are available to callers, you should actually be available. This means staying focused and answering calls immediately. The last thing you want to do is keep a customer waiting for a string of endless ringing, or send them to voicemail when you should have been able and ready to reply.
- Immediately introduce yourself.
Upon picking up the phone, you should confirm with the person whom they have called. In personal calls, it's sufficient to begin with a "Hello?" and let the caller introduce themselves first. However, you want to allow the caller to know if they've hit a wrong number, as well as whom they are speaking with.
- Speak clearly.
Phone calls, while a great option for those who hate in-person interaction, require very strong communication skills. For one, the person at the other end of the line can judge you only on the basis of your voice, because they can't identify your body language and — hopefully — your kind smile.
- Only use speakerphone when necessary.
We all know the speakers' tests. It's easier for you, because you can use your hands for multitasking. But for the other caller, it's like trying to hear one voice from a crowd of taxis in Manhattan — impossible and frustrating.
- Listen actively, and take notes.
Speaking of paying attention to your customers, it is essential that you listen actively to them throughout the conversation. Actively listening means hearing everything they have to say and basing your response on their comments, rather than using a prescribed script. This proves to your customers that you are present and that you are empathetic about their inconvenience.It's helpful to take notes on support calls. You 're going to want to file a post-conversation record, and notes are going to be extremely helpful.
- Use the appropriate language.
There is a clear difference between professional and personal phone calls — language. It might be acceptable to use slang and swear when you talk to your friends on the phone, but this kind of language can make you lose your client 's life.
- Stay Cheerful.
You never know when the customer has a bad day. If someone is rude to you on the phone, your immediate reaction may be to put them in your place. First, though, take a moment to step into their shoes and see why they're so angry.
- Ask before putting someone on hold or transferring a call.
Often, nothing is more infuriating than being put on hold. After waiting for ten or fifteen minutes to talk to a real-life human being, you finally get to explain your problem. Then you are immediately put back on hold and then transferred to someone else to whom you have to re-explain the whole problem. Talk about being exhausting.
- If you don't know the answer, be honest.
You may need to hold a customer or transfer a call if the dreaded thing happens — you don't know the solution. Maybe you've tried everything you can, or you just don't know what they're talking about. Don't panic; the representatives of customer support are human, too, and it's okay not to be the omniscient voice of reason.
- Be mindful of your volume.
You may be so focused on your phone call to the customer that you barely pay attention to your current settings. Things can get pretty loud when working in a call center. You always want to be mindful of your volume and make sure that you don't interfere with your colleagues' ability to talk to customers and get their work done.
- Check for and respond to voicemails.
It's quite possible that a customer might be able to reach out to you when you're on a break or when you've left work for the day. If you can get voicemails, make sure you 're always checking for them. It's easy for a voicemail to slip under the radar, but the customer won't forget about it easily.
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