Want to deliver better telephone customer service? Professional telephone communication involves greeting your customers in a friendly manner, listening to their concerns and communicating your message in a clear way.
Let’s explore 7 essential telephone etiquette skills for good customer service.
What is Telephone Etiquette at Work?
Telephone etiquette is having a respectful conversation with the person you are talking to. It means being considerate to other people whilst creating room for clear communication over the phone.
Good telephone etiquette involves creating a pleasant impression including visual impression over the telephone despite not seeing your caller face to face and only using limited body language.
Ultimately, it means choosing your words wisely and using the right tone.
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List of Best Practice Telephone Etiquette Skills
Follow these 7 effective telephone etiquette tips and tricks to help you create more meaningful conversions within your business and to your customers.
1. Greet Your Customer Professionally
When handling customer telephone calls first impressions will greatly influence the direction of the call. Get off to a positive start by adopting a positive, enthusiastic and attentive tone.
Ensure your greeting is professional and pleasant to the caller. How? Start by greeting the caller based on the time of the day.
For example, ‘Good Morning sir, or Good afternoon Madam, this is Victor from the London call centre, how may I help you.’
2. Answer the Phone Promptly
Time has a major impact. Avoid placing the caller on hold for a long period. Make it your organisational goal to answer telephone calls by the second or third ring to reduce the frustration of your caller.
For example, when you call a company and the dial tone continues to ring, your mood and mentality can change from feeling happy to feeling frustrated.
You will be surprised how many businesses fail to implement this This telephone etiquette skill. If you are operating an automated call system, do not let your clients linger on hold for a long time. It is wise to continuously monitor the calls and answer them promptly.
Related: What is Customer Service?
3. Value A Quiet Environment
Nobody like interference or background noise! Answer calls in a quiet environment. Avoid chewing or drinking while on phone. Likewise, proper telephone etiquette requires that you converse in a quiet environment for clear communication.
There is nothing more annoying when your communicating over the phone with constant noise in the background. Aim to make telephone engagement pleasant for your caller.
4. Be Sincere and Genuine
Have you ever called a call centre and the person who handles your call is so scripted the sound like a virtual robot? Whilst professional telephone etiquette is important, being genuine and sincere in your communication to others allows for building great customer rapport.
Related: Why is Customer Service Important?
5. Listen to Your Customer’s Needs
Don’t shout over your caller or pre-empt what they are saying. Allow them to be heard and ask the right question to extract the right information.
Good telephone communication is a two-way process, always keep that in mind.
6. Handle Conflict by Removing Emotion
In a business environment, unhappy clients often vent their frustrations to the person they encounter when they call the company.
As a call handler, should you experience telephone conflict, it is wise to be kind to a rude client by removing the emotion from the call. This is one of the best ways to manage conflict and to ensure excellent customer service.
7. Leave Your Customer Satisfied
Ending your call on a positive note creates a stronger chance of repeat business, even if it means staying calm when handling customer complaints over the phone.
How do we end the call professionally?
Confirm the customer understands the information you have provided.
Ask if there is anything else you can help with.
For future contact, mention the best times they can call back if required.
Following the above telephone etiquette techniques provides clear structure and support for the caller.
Why is Telephone Etiquette Important in Business?
In a business environment, telephone etiquette is very important. Remember, a phone call is usually the first contact that a prospect has with a business.
Customers who receive calls from businesses expect a warm and professional response, failing to effectively engage and communicate with your customer will drive them closer to your competitors.
Based on how you handle your clients, the impression you make will determine whether they will stay or look for an alternative service provider. Therefore, it is vital that you practice good telephone etiquette to build long-term and beneficial relationships with your clients.
A key benefit of displaying good telephone etiquette is you can also increase the revenue levels of your business by improving customer loyalty.
Short on time? Scan our best tips to deliver good telephone customer service:
Greet clients using a positive tone.
Listen to the caller’s words carefully and clarify their exact needs.
Answer calls in a quiet environment.
Handle your calls in a sincere and genuine manner.
Use a language that your clients understand best to create a natural conversation rather than communicating over the phone using a rigid script.
Use complaints to repair client relationships rather than create conflict.
Aim to leave your customer satisfied.