What Are the Ways to Improve Business Phone Etiquette?
In recent years, technology has taken over much of the customer service experience. A lot of businesses are slowly transitioning to a more digitized way of handling their customer service needs. Some business owners even argue that telephone customer service is a dying art and that it’s no longer necessary to train employees when it comes to business telephone etiquette. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Technology may have changed the way customers and businesses interact, but it hasn’t changed the importance of good customer service phone etiquette. In fact, in a world where we are constantly bombarded with marketing messages and sales pitches, a live person on the other end of the line who is patient, polite, and helpful can be a breath of fresh air. It can also mean the difference between a repeat customer and a one-time buyer.
Below is a list of some useful telephone etiquette tips that will help you deliver excellent customer service over the phone:
Smile When Answering the Phone
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to smile when they answer the phone. A smile can be heard through the tone of your voice and it will immediately put your caller at ease. Just as sitting or standing affects your voice, your facial movements impact the sound of your voice as well.
So, if you’re attempting to sound friendly but you’re not smiling, it can come across as very monotone and simply not a sincere attempt at providing professional phone etiquette. Whether you are answering personal calls or business calls, be sure to smile and always answer the phone with positivity and enthusiasm.
Take Your Business Phone Calls Quickly
Customers who call your business do not only expect you to observe proper telephone etiquette but also to take their calls quickly. No one wants to wait on hold for hours, especially if they are calling with a complaint or inquiry. The goal is to make your callers feel like they are your top priority, so whatever phone system you are using, try to answer every phone call within three rings.
Understandably, your company may be receiving tons of phone calls, which can hurt your proper phone etiquette. However, simply taking the time to answer customers’ phone calls and letting them know you will be with them in a few minutes can do wonders. If calls are coming in too fast, you can always outsource your phone answering needs to a trusted 24/7 answering service like AnswerHero.
Speaking Clearly is Essential
Great customer service begins with speaking clearly. When answering a business call, make sure to speak at a moderate speed and use a clear voice. Enunciate your words properly and avoid using slang or jargon that your caller may not understand.
The best way to keep the information as clear as possible is to avoid thinking out loud or mumbling. Many of us tend to speak to ourselves when we’re thinking, but this isn’t a good thing while you’re on a call, as it can create a lot of confusion. If you do need to outweigh certain options, it’s best that you write them down instead of saying them out loud.
Please and Thank You Go a Long Way
If you want to provide a positive customer experience, “please” and “thank you” should become your new best friends. Remember to use them often, especially when taking care of phone calls. Whether you’re asking your caller to hold or you’re thanking them for their patience, these words can really make a difference.
Saying “please” and “thank you” can make customers feel appreciated, which is exactly what you want. After all, happy customers are more likely to come back and do business with you again in the future. Conduct business with respect and politeness, and you will reap the rewards in no time.
How One Stands or Sits is Important
Picture a friend talking to you about how he just had the worst day ever. If you had to describe the scenario, it’s likely that you’re going to describe that person as slumped over. When it comes to customer service and providing a professional service, customers can always tell how you’re sitting or standing by the way you’re speaking.
It’s best to sit or stand up straight while on the phone, as it will immediately affect the way you sound. You will come across as more confident, which is always a good thing. Furthermore, make sure to avoid any sort of fidgeting, as it can be quite distracting for the person on the other end of the line. Excellent call handling starts with paying attention to your posture and body language, so be mindful of the way you’re sitting or standing the next time you answer the phone.
Practice Active Listening
If you want to improve your communication skills, you need to learn how to practice active listening. This involves giving your full attention to the person you are speaking with and making an effort to understand what they are saying. It also applies in real life, such as listening to a friend or family member when they are sharing something important with you.
When you are on a business call, make sure to put all distractions away. This means turning off your computer screen, TV, and any other device that could take your attention away from the conversation. Once you have eliminated all potential distractions, it will be much easier for you to focus on the person you are speaking to.
Go Above and Beyond When It Comes to Customer Service
In today’s world, it’s not enough to just meet customer expectations – you need to exceed them if you want to stand out from the competition. This is especially true when it comes to phone etiquette, as customers have come to expect a certain level of service.
The demands of customers have changed over the years, so it’s important that businesses adapt and improve their phone etiquette accordingly. After all, first impressions are everything, and you want to make sure that your business is putting its best foot forward at all times.
If you are looking for a fast and easy way to take your customer service to the next level, consider outsourcing your phone answering needs to AnswerHero. AnswerHero offers responsive and reliable 24/7 phone answering services to businesses of all sizes. We can help you improve your phone etiquette and make sure that every customer call is handled professionally at all times.