Despite the emergence of digital platforms, the telephone is still the most important avenue of communication in a business environment and how you handle incoming calls says a lot about you and your company. Your phone lines should always be manned, even when the office is closed and gone are the days when callers are happy to be greeted with a taped message. The global business climate demands a round-the-clock phone answering service and if you are unsure about your phone etiquette, here are some useful tips on how best to answer the phone.
Smile When You Answer the Phone
You might think this is not important, after all, the caller can’t see you, right? The fact is, your voice reflects your current state of mind and smiling when you answer the phone does make a difference. Focus on maintaining an upbeat tone when talking on the phone and speak clearly, but not too loudly, as this comes across as very professional. If you would rather outsource your call handling, check out the best phone answering service Australia can provide, which is affordable for all.
Answer All Calls Promptly
Ideally, every call should be answered within three rings and if you think this is asking too much, perhaps it is time to consider outsourcing your call handling to a third party. Most call handling companies boast a 5-second answering service, whatever the time of day or night and there’s nothing more irritating than listening to the ring tone over and over.
Ask Permission When Putting a Caller on Hold
While no one likes to be put on hold, a caller will feel much better about it if you ask their permission first, and don’t forget to thank them as well. Here are some useful tips for answering the phone in a business environment that will likely help you maintain a first-class phone answering service.
Repeat the Information
When taking a message over the phone, make sure you repeat the message to the caller, which ensures you have the correct information. It also tells the caller that you are thorough and have attention to detail. This is especially important with reference and telephone numbers and always ask for confirmation from the caller that you have the information correct.
Never Interrupt the Caller
This is very important, and if the caller is relaying something, listen patiently and wait for a pause before answering. It is acceptable to add a few one-word affirmatives to show that you are in fact listening, such as “OK” or “I understand” and when the caller has finished speaking, you can make your reply.
Remain Calm and Collected
There will be times when the caller is upset and this is clear from the tone of their voice, yet it is crucial that you remain cool, calm and collected, no matter how emotional the caller might be. It is oh so easy to get wrapped up in another person’s emotions and this only adds fuel to the fire. Be sympathetic and reassuring and always tell the caller that you will personally follow up to ensure the matter is resolved – and make sure you do just that.
Most businesses outsource their call handling as it is the most cost-effective way to ensure that all calls are handled in a professional manner. An online search will put you in touch with a local call handling provider who has a wide range of essential services for the business user.
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