Originally posted at: http://darlamittler.com/blog/2011/11/business-telephone-tips
The telephone is an integral tool for business. They are everywhere. Sadly, the proper use of this business instrument appears to be somewhat lacking. Adept use of the telephone can keep clients with your company and encourage new clients to use your services.
Here are some tips to keep your business in tip-top telephone shape:
1. When you answer the phone say, “Good Morning” (or ‘good afternoon’ or ‘good evening’ depending upon the time of day). Avoid simply saying, “Hello.” If you use your personal telephone line for your business, your personal callers will understand. Answering the phone with ‘yeah’ or ‘what’ sends the message that your company is not professional.
2. After the initial “Good Morning” be sure to identify your company. (‘Good Morning, Darla Mittler Virtual Services.’) Even though the caller input the number, it is reassuring to them if they know immediately that they have reached you.
3. Once you have identified your company you may wish to add your own name and the query, “How may I help you?” This is completely optional. Some callers may not want to wait that long to start telling you why they called.
4. Speak clearly. Open your mouth wide enough to get the words out and make full use of your lips and tongue.
5. Speak at a reasonable level. Whispering or shouting will not endear you to the caller.
6. Keep your mouth clear of obstacles. Eating, drinking, or chewing on pens, etc. will inhibit your ability to communicate. Those activities will also annoy your caller.
7. Speak in a light, bright, professional manner. Keep your tone cheerful and helpful.
8. Use words that everyone understands. Slang expressions and swear words are to be avoided. Likewise it is best not to try to impress the caller with your bountiful vocabulary.
9. Listen attentively to what the caller is saying. Focus on the caller’s concerns. Steer clear of becoming distracted by events unfolding around you.
When you are calling someone on behalf of your business it is a good idea to:
A. Identify yourself
B. Identify your company
C. State who you are calling for
D. Remain discreet about the reason for the call if someone other than the intended person answers the telephone.
Use tips A – D above if you have to leave a message on an answering machine. Your message should be as brief as possible and should also include:
E. The date and time of your call
F. The best time of day for the person receiving the message to return your call.
By keeping these telephone tips at the top of your mind you will show that your business is professional, courteous, and willing to listen.