At Central Communications, our operators go through extensive training before they begin taking phone calls. As far as we know, most other companies do not provide any such training for their people. Until you have us answering all of your business calls, these hints will be very helpful . They come from the The Balance:
” 1) Answer all incoming phone calls before the third ring.
2) When you answer the phone, be warm, enthusiastic, and professional.
Your voice on the phone is sometimes the only impression of your company a caller will get.
3) When answering the phone, welcome callers courteously and identify yourself and your organization. Say, for instance, “Good morning. Cypress Technologies. Susan speaking. How may I help you?” No one should ever have to ask if they’ve reached such and such a business.
4) Enunciate clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, and speak slowly and clearly when answering the phone, so your caller can understand you easily.
5) Control your language when answering the phone. Don’t use slang or buzzwords. Instead of saying, “OK”, or “No problem”, for instance, say “Certainly”, “Very well”, or “All right”. If you’re a person who uses fillers when you speak, such as “uh huh”, “um”, or phrases such as “like” or “you know”, train yourself carefully not to use these when you speak on the phone.
6) Train your voice and vocabulary to be positive when phone answering, even on a “down” day. For example, rather than saying, “I don’t know”, say, “Let me find out about that for you.”
7) Take phone messages completely and accurately.
If there’s something you don’t understand or can’t spell, such as a person’s surname, ask the caller to repeat it or spell it for you. Then make sure the message gets to the intended recipient.
8) Answer all your phone calls within one business day. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Remember the early bird? The early caller can get the contract, the sale, the problem solved… and reinforce the favorable impression of your business that you want to circulate.
9) Always ask the caller if it’s all right to put her on hold when answering the phone, and don’t leave people on hold. Provide callers on hold with progress reports every 30 to 45 seconds. Offer them choices if possible, such as “That line is still busy. Will you continue to hold or should I have ________ call you back?”
10) Don’t use a speaker phone unless absolutely necessary. Speaker phones give the caller the impression that you’re not fully concentrating on his call, and make him think that his call isn’t private. The only time to use a speaker phone is when you need more than one person to be in on the conversation at your end. Ask the caller if you may put them on speaker phone before you do it.”