We all spend a lot of time on the phone at work, but may not be aware of the appropriate telephone etiquette. These top tips will help you to understand the etiquette of being on the phone and how to improve your phone technique to get the desired results.
Whether answering or making the call, identify yourself to the other person on the line. Use your full name where necessary and job role so that they can understand why you are speaking to them.
SPEAK SLOWLY AND CLEARLY
It can be harder to understand a voice over a phone line so make sure you speak slowly and clearly. This should ensure you are fully understood and don’t need to repeat yourself.
If you are making an important call, don’t try to do anything else at the same time. Focus on the call as if the person was sitting in the same room as you.
ASK BEFORE PLACING ON HOLD
If you need to put someone on hold, make sure that you have checked with them first. They may prefer that you call them back at a time that suits them.
DON’T FORGET TO RETURN A CALL
If you have promised to return a call on a certain date or time, ensure that you do. Put it in your diary or ‘to do’ list to make sure it happens.
Try not to interrupt the caller, in the same way that you wouldn’t interrupt them in person. It can be hard because of the lack of visual cues, but it is important to let them know they can speak uninterrupted.
GIVE VERBAL PROMPTS THAT YOU ARE LISTENING
The lack of visual signs means that it can sometimes be hard to tell if you are being listened to. Use verbal prompts to show the caller you are listening by confirming what they said or just saying phrases such as “I see”.
DON’T GIVE THE IMPRESSION YOU ARE RUSHED
If you don’t feel you have time to deal with the call, rather than appear rushed and disinterested, it may be better to arrange another time for the call.
TAKE MULTIPLE NUMBERS AND GET TIME OPTIONS IF REQUIRED TO CALL BACK
If you need to call someone back, make sure you get an appropriate number, or possibly more than one and agree a convenient time for the call.
If you smile on a call, the other person will pick up on your cheerful voice tone, which should improve the overall effectiveness of the call.
We all spend a lot of time on the phone, and these tips should help your calls be more effective.