Sometimes, a telephone conversation gives an associated party the first impression about a business firm. It is, hence, necessary that proper telephone etiquette is always followed.
Here are some tips on good telephone etiquette for your small business.
Instead of beginning an incoming telephonic conversation with an abrupt ‘Hello!’ and then letting the other person speak, the person receiving the call should introduce the firm and himself to the caller. Later, the caller should be asked what he requires.
Such an introduction makes a caller feel welcome, sets the tone for him to come straight to business, and also helps in the branding of the company – clearly stating the company’s name in the beginning of every call helps it stay in the caller’s memory for at least a while.
A structured close is as crucial to a business telephone conversation as is a good introduction. The firm’s representative should thank the caller for calling the firm, thank them for their business or for the aspect involved.
This, again, helps in the branding of the firm, and makes the caller feel welcome.
Pleasant and polite tone
The person who receives an incoming call should maintain a pleasant and polite tone throughout. He/she should be calm and confident, and convey the same through their voice. It is also essential that the receiver portray, through an enthusiastic voice, that you are eager to help the caller in whatever way he/she can.
In case of an incoming call, it is essential that the receiver listen attentively to the caller, and completely understand all the points that he/she has to make. The receiver must focus his undivided attention to the caller, and ensure that this gets through to the caller as well. It is a good idea to take notes of the points made by the caller, for future reference and for the purpose of providing the best possible help to the caller.
In case of outgoing calls too, it is necessary that the right business etiquette be followed. Such calls should be made at a convenient time, possibly after a prior confirmation with the other party. The caller should be very punctual in making such calls.
The caller should ensure that his outgoing calls convey a professional and positive impression about the firm. Hence, as in case of incoming calls, it is essential that the caller listen to the other person thoroughly and take notes as and when required. A brief introduction of the firm and himself, as well as a structured close to the call, would be of great help in this regard, too.
Whenever there is a need to make the other party wait, the firm’s representative should clarify the same to him/her. The reason behind putting the call on hold should be clearly communicated to the other party, asking him/her for permission to do so.
If the holding period turns out to be longer than intended, the representative should ensure that he/she checks back periodically with the other party, to ensure that they do not feel ignored.
Once the call is back on track, it is good etiquette for the firm’s representative to thank the other party for his/her patience and time, and get back to the task at hand.