Improve your telephone manner

Improve your telephone manner

(Photo courtesy of zigazou76 on Flickr)

Communication – both internally and externally – plays a vital part in how a company operates on a daily basis.

Customers are the very lifeblood and many businesses deal exclusively with current and potential new customers via the telephone, meaning it’s crucial to make the right impression and communicate properly with them.

Talking on the phone, though, is a skill that some people find tricky to master on a business level, so here are a few things to remember the next time your phone rings at work:

Talk clearly and concisely

Introduce yourself in a polite and professional fashion and be sure to make a note of the name of the person you’re dealing with, what company they work for if applicable and find out what the purpose of the call is. This’ll ensure you stay on topic and can resolve the query quickly. Talk clearly and concisely, particularly if you have a strong regional accent.

Be attentive and proactive

Dealing with an irate customer on the phone can be testing at times, especially if you misunderstand the problem or if the issue remains unresolved. Be polite, be attentive and be proactive in getting everything sorted. If you can’t help in the matter for whatever reason, then make sure the call is quickly passed on to someone who can or get the relevant person to ring the customer back.

Stay calm and carry on

A disgruntled customer poses a problem when it comes to staying calm and courteous, but it’s worth remembering what difference negative word of mouth can make, so it’s important to stay professional and do what you can to turn a negative situation into a positive outcome.

Be patient and informative

The subject matter of a call may be second nature to you, but show a caring side if you need to explain something to a caller. Go out of your way to be informative and never just presume that the person on the end of the lines knows what industry-related jargon means in real terms.

Be open to feedback

Ask for feedback at the end of the call and take on board any points raised that you feel will help you to improve your phone manner.

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