As easy as making and receiving telephone calls can be, many still do not know that there are rules that guide telephone conversation, especially in the professional context. Business communication is a very important dimension of every organization. It can set the tone for many business activities involving clients and customers as well as other businesses. Even in an informal situation involving friends and family, there is always a certain level of etiquette that should be observed by both parties.
Business Telephone Calls
Telephone calls play a major role in the day to day operations of many businesses. This is due to the fact that businesses need to contact potential customers, clients, and vendors, as well as receive telephone calls from customers who need to make inquiries about products and services.
The importance of business telephone calls explains why many businesses invest heavily in their communication department in terms of personnel and equipment. Both small and large businesses invest in call forwarding services to enable them to keep the lines of communication open at all times. Call forwarding websites like Global Call Forwarding make these services available to businesses globally. They offer a variety of business communication solutions like SMS forwarding, virtual assistants, and much more for seamless business communications.
The Importance of a Proper Work Phone Etiquette
Having a good work phone etiquette is beyond your ability to speak fluently and offer pleasant greetings. It is more about leaving a good and lasting impression on the caller, or whoever it is you are calling. Since your next phone conversation could be your initial contact with a client, customer, or even your superior, you are presented with an opportunity to make a good and lasting first impression.
Having the proper phone etiquette for business calls is a necessity for every business that takes its image seriously. Have you ever contacted a business’s customer care department only to be greeted by a person representing the business who seemed rude or uninterested? Did that type of response make you want to look to another business for your needs? This is where having stellar telephone etiquette plays an important role in supporting your customer service sector. When a poor first impression is given, many businesses suffer as it often leads to a loss of customers and low sales conversions.
How a business communicates with its customers and clients will determine how they will be perceived. Therefore it becomes very important that businesses invest in training their employees on how to answer or initiate telephone calls. Also, it is important to know when a telephone call is the best means of communicating with a client, customer, or a business contact.
Employees must understand their audience and the most appropriate method to communicate with them. This can be determined by the nature of the situation surrounding the information intended to be communicated. In some cases a phone call is appropriate. In other cases an SMS will be preferred, and at others, email is best.
Tips For Work Phone Etiquette
Here are some tips for business phone etiquette that every employee should exercise when communicating with clients, customers, business contacts, and vendors.
- When answering a work or business phone, it is important that you do not allow the phone to ring for too long. Three times is the ideal number of times that a business phone should ring.
- Ensure that you identify yourself at the beginning of every call. When within the walls of your office, answer the phone by saying, “Hello” or “Good morning; customer support department, Jane speaking”. When placing a call, state your name and the name of the person you are calling.
- The phone should be held at a distance of about 2 fingers away from your mouth for clarity. You do not want to keep repeating the same thing over and over again. The other party might become uninterested and hang up.
- The tone of your voice can tell the other party a lot. Therefore ensure that you are sensitive to your tone when speaking on the phone. Avoid sounding nervous, aggressive, or with a bad attitude. Speak with confidence and authority. It is important that you sit up in your chair when receiving phone calls, as it can help you maintain your composure. You can stand if it will be more comfortable.
- When placing a call, ensure that you have thought through what you want to discuss. You can write your talking points down on a notepad so you do not leave anything out. This will help you to be direct and precise should your calls be forwarded to a voicemail.
- You are obliged to listen to a caller without interruption. Under no circumstance should you interrupt a caller while they are passing on their information.
- If you must transfer a call, you must inform the caller before doing so. Also, you must explain to the caller why you are transferring their call. First confirm that the person you are transferring the call to is available to attend to the caller. Also, let the caller whose call is being transferred know who their call is being transferred to.
- If you have to put a caller on hold, you must seek their permission to do so first. You can also give them the option to leave a voicemail message. When you resume the call, ensure that you thank them for their patience.
- Always turn off your phone/ the ringer when in a meeting, business date, restaurant, and other places. It can be quite rude if your phone is loudly ringing while in the middle of a business meeting. This can be embarrassing and the worst could happen: leaving a bad impression.
- If you are going to be expecting a call about the same time you are entering a meeting, it is imperative that you inform the caller beforehand about your meeting and that you will return their call as soon as you can.
- When speaking to a client or business contact on the phone, ensure that you are far away from anything that can be a distraction. These include office desk noises coming from your computer, a key on your desk, rustling papers, eating, or chewing. If you have to take a phone call while driving, ensure that you make use of a hands-free device or a speakerphone for your car. Giving your caller your undivided attention translates to treating them with respect, which is the most important foundation of work phone etiquette there is.