Business Telephone Etiquette: Tips and Tricks
Internal and external telephone conversations are not just about the exchange of information; while that is unquestionably the primary aim, it’s important to note that they also provide a strong indicator as to the competency of the individual and/or business on the other end of the phone. In other words, ensuring that everyone in your business follows appropriate etiquette rules at all times during phone calls will go a long way to ensuring that your business continues to be trusted and well-liked by customers!
In this article, we’ll take a look at the key aspects of business etiquette that can convey the sense of competency and expertise that you would expect from a fellow business, so that you can engender them in your business as well!
Get yourself heard
It may seem obvious, but good telephone etiquette requires that the person on the other end of the phone can understand what you are saying! Speak clearly, ensure that you're speaking at the right volume (elderly people, or those with a bad connection may struggle to understand otherwise!) and don't talk too quickly.
The final thing to bear in mind is that employees shouldn’t waffle; if they are unable to clearly and concisely convey information, the call has wasted the time of everyone involved.
Courtesy and politeness are essential
It’s easy to forget in the thick of a phone call, but while there are plenty of signals for a person’s emotional state when you talk to them face-to-face, it’s much harder to get a such a reading on the phone. Therefore, it’s even more important for employees to leave no ambiguity in their tone; if a client is even mistakenly left with an impression of rudeness due to a lapse in telephone etiquette, they make take their business elsewhere.
At the end of the day, politeness is always a good idea, regardless of the way in which the person at the other end of the line is conducting themselves; whoever picks up the phone becomes the mouthpiece of the business, and their telephone etiquette must reflect this.
It would be unfair to expect all employees to know every aspect of your business, but it’s certainly not out of the question to expect employees to be organised. If a customer asks a question over the phone that an employee doesn’t know the answer to, that’s fine; but the employee should have the means to find the answer. Whether it’s in the form of a physical ‘answer’ crib sheet, a document on their computer screen, or ready access to a more knowledgeable employee, whoever answers the phone should have a clear route to answering any customer query. Business meeting etiquette dictates that you should never show up unprepared, phone calls should be no different.
To maintain the strength and quality of your brand, training is essential
It would be unfair to expect even the most polite and charming employee to be an expert on the values and aims of their company; especially in a manner that accurately conveys said values to the customers on the other end of the line. In order to maintain the integrity of your brand during company phone calls, it’s crucial that employees are given telephone etiquette training; to both enhance the skills detailed above, and ensure that they are best able to serve the interests of the company as a whole, during every phone call! By training your employee’s telephone etiquette to evangelise your company, customers will soon be evangelists themselves.
Why not take our business etiquette questionnaire!
We want to hear what you think is important to your business when making and receiving phone calls!
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