I came up with these tips after putting some thought into my own experiences calling companies and receiving business calls. It doesn't take long to realize which phone behaviors build a strong image and which ones create a negative perception. We have all experienced the good, the bad, and the truly annoying when it comes to phone etiquette!
- Answer all business calls with your name, company name, and an offer to assist the caller. Have your staff do the same. Something like "this is John Smith with ABC company, how may I help you?
- Focus on the caller and actively listen to what they are saying. Use a pleasant and interested tone, the only clue the caller has to your mood is your tone of voice.
- Make sure you and your staff never transfer, put callers on hold, or send someone to voice mail without asking first.
- Outgoing calls are important also, use the tips above for outgoing calls and respect the time of those you call. Ask if it is a good time before jumping into the reason for your call and schedule outgoing calls when you can avoid interruptions.
- Leave professional voice mail messages. Speak slowly. Leave details about the reason for your call and when leaving a call back number at the end of your message say the number clearly and then repeat it one more time. We have all had the frustration of receiving voice mails from callers who fly through their call back number or even worse don't leave one.