According to the Central Intelligence Agency, as of 2007, there were over 100 million active landlines and double the number of cell phones. The significance of phone communication is growing and changing the way we get to conduct business and management. Clear communication with your clients is important as it establishes or reinforces a relationship with them. Proper phone techniques are the only way to ensure you’re creating a positive effect on your clients, so they continue dealing with your firm. The following are tips on phone etiquette.
Identify Yourself Properly
When answering or making a call on behalf of your company, identify yourself and the company you represent. Doing this lays a foundation of trust between you and your client. Once the client has introduced themselves to you, accommodate them by ensuring you use their name whenever possible. It also shows that you are a good listener and gives the call a personal touch.
Pace Yourself Well
Avoid speaking too quickly. Your client might not be able to follow you and could get confused by the details you’re flooding them with. Similarly, do not speak too slowly. Your customer is likely to take it rudely. Be clear and polite, and ensure your customer is following your information or instructions. Use supportive language and phrases that puts their concerns first and be patient when giving explanations. Your client will appreciate your sense of consideration.
Have Recording Materials
Be ready to take notes during phone calls. Always have a pen and notepad on standby. Your client may need to leave a message for a specific person. They may also give you information that you’ll refer to when responding to their request. Taking notes makes it easier for you to follow up on requests and keep records for future reference. Check off items as you address them to avoid repeating yourself.
Know Your Material
Clients call with all kinds of requests and queries that they expect you to be able to address comprehensively and within the shortest time. Keep yourself constantly updated on details concerning the company you are representing. You should know the products and services you offer, and always have contact details for the people in charge of the various departments in case you need to refer clients to them. You’ll only be able to give swift and accurate information with these details on hand.
Listen More and Talk Less
Your business is all about your client, therefore, give them time whether they want to address a concern, lodge a complaint or request information. Listening enables you to get as much information about their needs as possible and attend to it appropriately. It is not wrong to ask them questions so that you are able to better understand their concerns; this gives them the opportunity to be more open with you. Also remember not to interrupt them while they’re speaking.
Whenever handling any call, you should assume that someone is listening to your call as it helps you maintain a professional tone. Your tone is an important factor since your client is unable to gauge you through your body language. You may find yourself dealing with an unpleasant client, but you always have to keep a pleasant tone.