Telephone Etiquette – Get it Right!

Posted: 24 February 2017 at 9:00 am | Author: Alison German

When was the last time you had to make a call at work? They say that first impressions count, and a picture paints a thousand words, but the caller on the other end of the line can only go by your telephone manner when it comes to forming an opinion about you and your organisation. In this respect, the importance of an effective telephone protocol cannot be underestimated.

Tone
Ultimately you’re representing the company and your telephone manner has an impact; even when making internals calls. You don’t want to give the impression that callers are bothering you, as this looks bad on your character, as well as hinders team morale. A voice that is too loud, quiet, anxious, bored, aggressive or grumpy is not going to impress who you are speaking to; speak slowly, clearly and professionally. Try being more sensitive to the sound of your voice; you could do this by recording your conversations so that you can evaluate how you sound to other people.

Preparation
When making calls, especially if you’re calling for a specific purpose such as for a quote or business contact, there’s nothing wrong with pre-planning the basic structure of what you’re going to say. Providing you’re not reading from a script robotically, jotting down some notes about what you want to achieve from the call, such as the items you would like to discuss or the questions you would like answered, will actually help you to avoid wasting time and achieve your aims faster.

Common Courtesy
Speaking over people. Eating or drinking while you’re talking. Busying yourself with other tasks in someone else’s company. You wouldn’t do any of this in real life, so why should it be any different over the phone? It’s best to give the person you are speaking to your full attention and follow common courtesy in relation to telephone calls, such as making the caller aware of when they are on speaker phone or when they are being put on hold. Always introduce yourself, and let the caller know where you are calling from when making external calls.

Helping Out
Everyone in the workplace is busy with their own roles, but everyone has a responsibility towards upholding company reputation and good customer service in the workplace. If you can hear a phone ringing and nobody is available to answer it, answer it! Don’t refuse to take calls that are within your job remit; whilst you may be busy, so is everyone else and we all have a responsibility to help out.

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