Brush up on these business etiquette hints when making or answering calls at work.
Customer service matters a lot more than some companies may think. According to one study, a bad customer service experience over the phone is enough to send 74% of consumers to a competitor. Don’t miss out on potential new sales and leads! Practice these simple office phone etiquette tips to ensure your quality of care is top-notch:
- Introduce yourself first and speak slowly
- Offer your assistance
- Be respectful
- Stay focused
- Use hold sparingly
- Be mindful of your volume and the noise around you
- Respond to voicemails
Keep reading to learn more about each of these business etiquette hints.
1. Introduce yourself first and speak slowly
Start each business call by stating your first and last name, your position, and your phone number, if relevant. If you present yourself over phone only with a simple “hello” or your name, the person on the other end may get confused and wonder if they dialed the wrong number – potentially causing you to lose out on a sale or customer acquisition. As you talk, remember that the person on the other end may be trying to write down your information, so take it slow and enunciate clearly. If you need to leave a call-back number, be sure to say each digit as slowly as it takes to jot it down. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so aim high from the get-go.
2. Offer your assistance
After introducing yourself, consider asking a question like, “how can I help you?” or “how may I be of assistance?” This simple gesture lets your callers know you are there to help solve their problems or address their concerns.
3. Be respectful
No matter who you are talking with, always remember your manners. Being respectful, even in difficult or frustrating situations, will ensure the other person doesn’t walk away with the wrong perception of you or your company. Practice empathy and listen carefully to what the customer is saying before you respond.
4. Stay focused
While doing other work while on a call may be tempting, refrain from multitasking. Give the person on the other end of the conversation your focused attention. It will help avoid miscommunication and ensure you provide them with the assistance they need.
5. Use hold sparingly
If you’ve ever waited several minutes on hold during a business call, you know how frustrating it can be. To spare your callers this inconvenience, try and use your hold button sparingly. If you need to place a caller on hold to check on something or transfer to another person, ask them first. Also, avoid keeping the caller waiting for longer than you need to and thank them for their patience when you’re back on the line.
6. Be mindful of your volume and the noise around you
Be mindful of your surroundings and volume levels when on a business call. Loud rooms can make it difficult for the person on the other end of the phone to hear you clearly. Ensure the noise in your environment is conducive to phone conversations before making or receiving the call. If they are in a loud area and require you to speak up, consider stepping out of the room so you don’t disturb your coworkers.
7. Respond to voicemails
Our last business etiquette tip for phone calls is to respond to voicemails promptly. Schedule a time every day to listen through entire messages before deciding how you’ll respond. Your customers will appreciate a prompt response to their lingering concerns and may be more likely to reach out to you in the future for sales inquiries or support.
These office phone etiquette tips can help you start every business conversation off on the right foot. Developing helpful customer service skills like these can gain you valuable new customers or leads.
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