For most businesses around the world, be it a multinational company operating in different companies, small-to-medium scale enterprises, or start-ups, the major chunk of operations happen through the telephone. For instance, many MNCs in India have to connect with clients located in the U.S., U.K. or some other far-off country. This is done through teleconferencing. One also needs to contact vendors, business associates, and potential customers using the phone, which is the preferred mode of communication for most.
The difference between a good business and a bad one lies in their telephone etiquette. A poorly trained employee with barely an idea of what passes of as acceptable telephone etiquette can cause significant damage to your business while someone acquainted with good etiquette will boost your business.
Here are some important telephone etiquette that should be definitely followed:
1. Identify your name and business at the start of the call
If you are handling a business operation then you should mention your name and the name of the business whenever you receive a call.
E. g. “Hi, good morning. This is Jordan from Pep Talk India. How may I help you?”
2. Do NOT indulge in side conversations while on the phone
Your priority should be the person with whom you are talking to on the phone. Do not engage in conversations with people who just happen to pass by or some colleague asking for a random query. It is highly unprofessional.
3. Put on an affable disposition and control your tone
This will help your voice sound more amiable on the phone. A positive body language translates into a positive outcome for your voice- so if you are angry then your voice will also be all shaky, aggressive, and pushy. This can sound alarming to the person on the other end. Take up a call when you are calm and composed. Your tone is extremely important for the conversation.
4. Your leaving messages should be slow and clear
When you are ending a phone call, you should speak slowly and clearly and leave your number, email ID and address (if required).
5. Switch off your ringer whenever you enter a meeting, a movie hall, a restaurant
Keep your phone on silent or vibrate mode if you are entering places such as a business meeting, a movie theatre, or a restaurant. Avoid disturbing others and if the phone call is necessary, excuse yourself to leave the meeting and return the call.
6. Transferring a call
When you have to transfer a call, inform the person on the other end politely that you are doing so and mention the particular department or person.
7. Do not interrupt
Allow the caller to complete their talk without any interruptions. It is rude to cut a person when they are speaking on something and it may break their chain of thought, and probably lead to a breakdown in communication.
8. Always follow-up on a call
If you have explicitly stated that you will return a call, then be a man of your word and do so.
9. Holding etiquette
There comes a time when you have to place a caller on hold. For that, you need to request politely so that they are willing to hold.
For example: “Can you please hold the line while I check that information?”
Also, if the hold goes on longer than expected, then don’t make the caller feel abandoned. Keep checking with them, saying:
“I am so sorry for the delay, but this will take a few more minutes. Thank you for your patience. Can you please hold on a bit longer?”
10. Be punctual and considerate of other’s time
A positive and professional impression comes not only from the way you talk but also in the way you conduct yourself. You need to be punctual whenever a telephone call or conference is held, and respect the time of other people.
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