The first – or only – contact a potential customer may have with your organization is a phone call. If things go badly, that expensive advertising campaign on which you've worked so hard could be nothing but wasted money and energy.
Good telephone etiquette goes beyond saying "please" and "thank you." It includes not leaving callers on hold too long, forwarding callers to other employees gracefully, and using polite, friendly greetings and closings. To impress callers with your organization's good phone manners, you and your business's employees should:
- Have the equipment you need to handle your call load,
- Have a prepared script that includes a proper greeting,
- Handle incoming calls and returning calls promptly and helpfully.
Use technology to help you field incoming calls politelyNobody likes to be put on hold over and over. A message that grabs incoming calls, lets the caller know that they're next in line, places them on hold, and keeps them entertained can help you provide interruption-free service and move more quickly from caller to caller.
Train for phone mannersHiring a consultant for a live session or showing an etiquette video can help reinforce good phone manners office-wide.
Reinforce training with remindersKeep phone etiquette top of mind for your customer service staff.
- Don't let callers wait on hold for more than two minutes without at least giving them the option of leaving a message and receiving a call back.
- Smile when you answer the phone. It automatically makes your voice sound brighter and friendlier.
- Greetings should include the name of your business, the name of the person answering the phone and something friendly like "Good morning" or "How can I help you?"
- Take thorough, accurate messages – and make sure they're returned promptly.