10 Important Phone Answering Tips for Small Businesses
The telephone is still a very important tool for business and answering the phone professionally is vital for small businesses. It may seem fairly insignificant, but it isn’t. Indeed, in some cases, how the phone is answered may provide a potential customer with their first impression of your company.
As a company that specializes in music on hold and messaging on hold, we deal with phones on a regular basis. With over 15 years’ experience in the industry, Sold on Hold has developed an impressive knowledge not just of on hold practices, but also of telephone etiquette.
With that in mind, we’ve shared a few “phone answering tips” on our Facebook and Twitter accounts over the last little while. So far, we’ve shared five, so for this blog post, we thought we’d compile a list of the tips we’ve shared so far and add in a few more for good measure. Here goes…
Phone Answering Tip #1: Always answer the phone with a smile – you can hear a smile!
Phone Answering Tip #2: Always answer the phone quickly – preferably before the third ring.
Phone Answering Tip #3: Study the phonetic alphabet, so that you can confirm/check spellings in a professional manner.
Phone Answering Tip #4: Mention your company name when answering the phone, so that callers know that they’ve reached the right place.
Phone Answering Tip #5: When taking down information during a call always read the information back to the caller to confirm accuracy.
Phone Answering Tip #6: If you must take down the caller’s information and call them back, give them a timeframe on when they can expect you to call back.
Phone Answering Tip #7: Stay positive and professional at all times, especially in the unfortunate event of dealing with a complaint.
Phone Answering Tip #8: Try to avoid using speakerphone as it may give the caller the impression that you’re multitasking while talking to them. Don’t work on other tasks while talking to a caller! You must give the customer your full attention.
Phone Answering Tip #9: Keep a couple of working pens and a pad of paper close to your telephone, so you can write things down quickly, if necessary.
Phone Answering Tip #10: Always try to make sure the caller is having a better day at the end of the call than they were at the start, no matter their reason for dialing. In other words, leave them happier after having dealt with you than they were beforehand.
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(Author: Vincent Jones – Head Writer/Account Manager at Sold on Hold)