You Use To Call Me On My Cell Phone

I had an interesting experience the other day…

I sent a text message to a new contact of mine, and the next thing I knew my phone was ringing! I don’t know about you but in this day and age of modern technology and text/online messaging along with emailing, I feel that actually having a conversation with someone on the phone, even a friend, is a rare occurrence. As a result of this, the new generation has really lost touch with the pleasantry of phone calls. There are a growing amount of online businesses who do everything over the internet, but for most businesses using the phone is still a necessity. So herein lies the problem: some people aren’t confident with telephone courtesy and customer service.

Here are the 4 Golden Rules of Great Telephone Etiquette

Answer the Phone as Quickly as Possible

If you don’t answer the phone after five or six rings, some people may hang up. However, if they don’t and you answer on the twentieth ring, you can be sure they will not be in a good mood on the other side of that phone. It should never take more than three or four rings to answer the phone. In any industry it’s all about being fast-paced and people don’t want to wait for service.

Rehearse Your Lines

You can’t wing it. You need to practice or at least know what you are going to say when someone calls. There should be a standardised greeting that you use, that is polite and informative. Give a welcome greeting and let the customer know who they are speaking with. What you’re going to say isn’t the only thing to think about, you also need to consider how you are going to say it. Having a polite tone of voice is very important while practicing good telephone etiquette. Practicing your tone of voice will help you when you need it the most, especially if you’ve had a busy day and politeness is the last thing on your mind. Always keep it calm and friendly. And try to talk with a smile on your face!

Listen Actively to the Customer

This is one of the most important techniques in telephone etiquette. When someone calls, listen for the content as well as the intent, usually the customer will tell you both in their opening comments. Once you have actively listened to the customer, you can then respond with a statement that assures the customer that you heard them. When addressing them, be sure to use their name to make the experience more personalised.

Make Time for a Proper Ending

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been able to help a customer or not, ending your call needs to be done the right way. It’s all about being polite and warm to your caller. Don’t rush it, and make sure that there is nothing else that you can assist them with. Thank them for calling and wish them a pleasant day. Always remember that is is proper phone etiquette that the customer hangs up the phone first.

So how would you rate your company’s telephone courtesy and customer service?

CTO offers a one-day Telephone Courtesy and Customer Service Training course to help your employees professionally manage complex customer telephone calls.

Remember, investing in employee training gives employees a feeling of value, and when employees feel valued, they value their customers.