Statistics show that 75 to 80 percent of business today is conducted over a smart phone or a company landline. Many times you may not even meet the person whom you are dealing. With this being true, business owners must come to the realization that their company has two front doors. Most businesses today get far more phone calls then walk in visitors. Business owners must recognize their landline is an important entrance into their business.
The person greeting your guests on the telephone, sets the tone of professionalism of your office. She/he can enhance your business or be a handicap that you cannot afford. I once read, “Your business is only as good as your worst employee.” This possibly being the case, it is essential to teach your team and not assume that people know how to answer or interact professionally on the office phone. In today’s world, many people only have smart phones. The way we answer a business phone is not the same as a personal smart phone.
Teaching your entire team how to use the office phone in a professional, proper and custom manner, which includes not only the greeting. This is a critical component of consistently delivering excellent customer experience.
The ability to make the caller feel he/she is the most important caller your company will have that day is an art and the sign of a true professional.
Here are some thoughts to help you in that endeavor:
- First impressions are made in person, as well as on the telephone. Of the message portrayed by the person answering the phone, 70% is based on the vocal quality and 30% based on the words. For vocal quality, I suggest people put a smile in their voice by putting a smile on their face while speaking, which enables them to speak in a pleasant manner.
- Answer the telephone within 2 to 3 rings.
- Minimize the background noise when answering the telephone.
- When answering the telephone, say:
“Good morning, ABC company, this is Jane Smith, how may I help you please?“
“Thank you for calling, ABC Company, this is Jane Smith, how may I help you please?.”
- Before placing a caller on hold, ask permission to do so.
- After placing them on hold, try to avoid leaving them for more than 30 seconds.
- If you answer the phone at someone else’s desk, give his or her name and then your
name. Good afternoon, Jane Smith’s office, Donna Jones speaking.
- If you get disconnected, the caller is the one responsible for calling back. Not calling
back is like walking out on someone while they are speaking.
- If you must return a call, return the call as soon as possible, responding after 24 hours is considered impolite and requires an apology.
- When you are placing a call, identify yourself: Hello, this is Jane Smith of ABC Company, may I speak with John Doe, please?
- When you reach the desired person, ask if it is a convenient time to talk.
- Be aware of your time, talking too long is the same as over staying your welcome. You can monitor your calls with a clock if this is an issue for you. When you reach a reasonable time, politely thank the caller for calling, and end the call on a positive note.
Professional telephone etiquette is a valuable component of sales and customer service that is too often overlooked. Statistics also show that indifference by an employee towards a client is the largest reason why customers leave you; an indifference that could happen before you even get the chance to do business. The training of your team should be as important as product development, marketing, advertising, etc.
Proper telephone etiquette is a significant component of greeting guests through this entrance to your business…the other front door.
To learn more on Professionalism in business please click here.