by Tina Lyding
Telephone Etiquette can be summarized in one word……..COURTESY
Always answer the telephone within 2 – 3 rings.
Speak clearly and directly into the handset.
Use a pleasant, congenial and friendly tone. Project an attitude that is enthusiastic, attentive and respectful. Put a smile on your telephone voice and let your personality shine!
Identify yourself and your organization – "Thank you for calling Voicecom Plus – Elaine speaking. How may I help you?"
Show interest in the caller and their problem.
Do not eat or chew gum while talking on the telephone.
Before placing a caller on hold, always ask their permission - May I place you on hold?
After asking a caller to hold, be sure to say – You’re welcome after their customary “thank you”. It shows that you are truly listening.
When placing a caller on hold, press the hold button. Don’t lay the handset on the desk or the caller will hear everything discussed in your office.
After placing a caller on hold; periodically check back to give them the option to continue to hold or ask do they want to speak with someone else that may be able to assist. The typical time to check back is between 20 – 35 seconds.
When placing multiple calls on hold, remember to return to the first caller you placed on hold first.
When returning to your caller, remember to thank them for waiting.
Before transferring a caller, give them the reason why you are transferring the call before doing so. Always ask if it’s okay to transfer their call.
Always inform the department or person where you are transferring the caller and make sure they can take the call.
It is not recommended to screen calls for good public relations. Screening calls is a delicate situation. It is critical not to offend or put your caller on the defensive with your voice tone.
If it is necessary to screen calls, respond by saying – Yes, he is in. May I say who is calling?
When making outgoing calls, be sure to identify yourself once you initially make contact.
If you must leave a voicemail message, always include your name, number, time and date you can be reached along with a brief description indicating why you are calling.
Avoid the forbidden phrases –
I don’t know. It would be best to respond - That’s a good question; let me find out for you.
I can’t do that. A better response would be – This is what I can do.
Hang on. – It would be more appropriate to respond by saying - May I put you on hold?
Who is calling? It would be best to respond – May I say who is calling, please?
I can’t hear you, speak up. It would be more appropriate to respond by saying – I’m having difficulty hearing you. Can you please speak up?
I don’t know where he is or when he will be back. A better response would be – I’m sorry; he’s not in the office. May I take a message or transfer you to voicemail.
Bye-bye. Callers appreciate hearing – Goodbye, have a nice day.
Taking care of your customers over the telephone and making them feel appreciated is essential. Good manners are good for business, while great manners can set you apart. Every caller is a potential customer. If you are courteous, you have an excellent chance of gaining a new client. If he is an existing customer, you’ll keep him for life!