How many times have you spoken with someone on the phone and thought how unprofessional he or she was? Make sure others are not saying the same about you by following these simple steps listed below:
- Answer the phone in as few rings as possible. No one likes to be forced to wait.
- Prepare yourself with a pen and paper while taking a call so you can note down the information of the customer.
- Identify yourself and the company you work for (if at work) as soon as you answer. For example, say, “Thank you for calling Phoneall Inc, this is Daniel speaking.” Likewise, ask the caller who they are and where they are calling from if they do not offer those details to you, especially if your company has a strict policy on receiving unsolicited calls. Taking control of the call from the beginning will let the caller know you’re a professional.
- Here is an Example of Solicitor:
- Caller: Can I speak to Aden?
- Respondent: “May I know who is speaking?”
- Caller: “Jack”.
- Respondent: “Where are you calling from?”
- Caller: “San Diego”.
- Respondent: “The company name, please?”
- Caller: “Oh it is a personal call”.
- Respondent: “Is Aden expecting your call?”.
- Caller: “No”.
- Respondent: “OK let me try his line for you.”
- Take control of the call and ask the right questions. By doing so, you will gather as much information as possible before transferring a call. It has removed the chance of an unsolicited call, but also you are able to supply ‘Aden’ with the information he needs before accepting the call.
- Assume someone from your organization is listening in on the conversation. Organizations adding this ability in will usually announce it AFTER they have installed and used it.
- Ask before putting someone on hold, and wait for a reply.
- Check the intended recipient is happy to take the call. If somebody asks if they can speak to someone specific, tell the caller that you will “try their line” before putting them on hold and checking the recipient is
- a.available and
- b.ready to speak to them.
- Use correct grammar. Always remember to say “Jane and I” for your subject, and reserve “Jane and me” when you are the direct object (that is “Jane and I went to the store” vs. “He talked to Jane and me”). Do not leave the word “at” dangling at the end of a sentence. For example, “I do not know where it is at.”
- That old adage, “the customer is always right” holds some truth – however not all the time. The one thing you can count on, though, is that you will never win an argument with a customer. When the customer is wrong, gently explain the correct “truth”, positively. If the customer gets upset and his tone changes to one of annoyance or anger, do not mirror him. Keep your pleasant tone! “Reflect” his or her feelings back, so that s/he feels you have really heard the complaint; saying things like, “I can hear how frustrating this is for you, and I’m so sorry for that” can go a long way toward soothing an irritated client. If the customer is not satisfied, ask what he or she would like done. Consider it and accept it or tell the customer why you cannot accept. Offer alternatives, if possible.
- Try to solve the problem within the call time.
- Phone conversation lacks the obvious input of body language; the recipient on the other end will receive your true intentions through the tone of voice you use during the call. Your tone will say more than the words that come out of your mouth. Having said this, smile when you speak on the phone! This point of smiling hit home with the senior management of a call center, and they placed little mirrors at each of the Agent’s stations that said: “What you see is what they hear.”
- Use the caller’s name, whenever possible. It shows that you are a good listener and adds a personal touch “I’m sorry John, but Mark isn’t available at the moment. Can I help you with anything or take a message?”
- Identify yourself first when calling another person. For example, say, “This is Mary Hunter calling for Louis Meyer, please.”
Close your conversation with a professional closing. End your conversations with a sincere “Good day“, or “Thank you“.
- Do not chew gum, eat, or drink while on the phone with a caller.
- Avoid “Ah,” “Um,” “Like” and other meaningless ‘filler’ words or sounds.
- Avoid using the mute or hold button when serving a customer; this should only be used when additional help is needed from a supervisor or ‘coach’.
- Remember that not everyone understands the ABC’s of professionalism. Give courtesy even when you do not receive it.
- Remember that after you have handled the problem caller, the next caller is another person. Stand up, stretch, and greet them as if nothing had happened before.
- Customer representatives must take a break for 5 minutes after a hard or a tough call.
Article Courtesy: WikiHow
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