7 Quick Tips for Answering Your Small Business Phone
by Karen Payne
Most people have had irritating conversations on the phone with businesses at some point in their lives. How do we keep from being like that with our customers and potential customers? The best answer to that question is to treat others as we wish to be treated. The following business phone etiquette tips should help you make a favorable impression when you talk on the phone.
1. Speak clearly.
Speak in a normal tone of voice. Speaking too loudly or too softly may irritate the caller. Do not talk too quickly. Speaking too quickly causes the caller to have a difficult time understanding what you are trying to communicate.
2. Don't be too stuffy or too casual.
When you answer the phone say your business name. Then clearly tell the caller your name. This helps the person calling to feel more at ease with you. Do not use slang or speak too casually. This could possibly demean your business and lower the caller's trust in you.
3. Do not eat.
When someone calls your workplace, do not to be chewing food when you answer the phone. Chewing gum is also not a good idea. Wait to finish your snack or lunch until after you hang up the phone.
4. Listen carefully.
Do not interrupt. Take notes if you need to do so. Taking notes of a complaint or other important information keeps you on top of things.
5. Don't leave the caller on hold for a long time.
Being left on the phone for a long time can be very irritating. If you can't talk, ask the caller if you can call back. If you need to put the caller on hold, ask the caller if that will be okay to do so. Then place the person on hold briefly. Placing your customer on long periods of hold creates irritation and makes a poor impression for your business.
6. Give correct information.
Write standard answers to standard questions and keep this information handy by your phone. Let the customer know if you need extra time to provide them with correct information. Then give the person a timeframe of when you will call back. This will let the customer know you care about giving correct information.
7. Check voicemail daily.
Listen to voicemails at least twice daily. Have paper and pen handy when listening so you can write down any information you may need to use when calling back. Try to call customers back as soon as possible. This will help build solid relationships with your customers.
Applying these quick phone etiquette tips will help you stay on the right track with your customers. Treat everyone with respect in what you say and do. This will help build trust in your business.