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Telephone Etiquette Can Save the Day

Most companies have grievously taken for granted the importance of telephone etiquette towards any customer, discerning or otherwise.  TalkShop, the leading training institute for personal effectiveness encourages business managers and owners to pay attention to the company’s branding and professional image by training call handlers on the critical skills of handling queries and complaints over the phone.

Before any business manager or owner learns about the potential sale from 20% of the callers, at least 80% have already been entertained or turned off by the receptionist or operator who has the first say on any matter the customer is concerned about.  Problems happen when the caller is not heard well, misinterpreted, or worse, disregarded by an indifferent personnel. This first impression can cost the company a lot of money and even incessant bleeding in the long run.

phone-call
Image credit: connemarauk.wordpress.com 

Telephone etiquette in its basic level means that the employee should see to it that proper introduction is made and that he gets the caller’s name and finds ways to repeat it at least twice during the initial conversation (i.e., Good morning Ms. Pilar. How may I help you today…Let me now transfer your call to the Front Desk Ms. Pilar).

To avoid these situations, TalkShop CEO Sheila Viesca recommends the following tips:

  1. Brief all personnel to handle all calls as a potential sale.  It doesn’t matter if the one calling is a persistent collector or a repetitive complainer.  It will also help to consider that most callers are rushing to get the answer to their queries.  Anyone representing the company over the phone, regardless of the department, should not take what may seem like a harsh tone too personally.
  2. Train personnel to give standard greetings that give any caller a positive impression of the company.  Standard responses to usual questions must be familiar to all.  At the same time, there should also be enough room for the employees to practice flexibility in their replies while ensuring that the company standards and protocol are observed.
  3. Be able to return all calls and respond to requests whenever this should be done.  All incoming calls must be completely recorded for the reference  of management and perusal of the concerned department.  No customer should be made to wait  for a return call longer than what is committed to him (i.e., If you say you will have the manager call the customer in an hour’s time, by all means make it happen.  If in case of emergency it becomes impossible, the one who took the call or a company representative should notify the customer of the situation and the possible alternative).
  4. Phone calls can initiate or end a sale. They are matters of concern in both meetings and training.  Never leave any stone unturned when looking into the possibility of giving awesome customer service.   Most businesses make the mistake of investing in great marketing efforts that amount to nothing the moment the interested customer is met by an indifferent or untrained personnel over the phone.
  5. Set up measures to determine the effectiveness and productivity of personnel who handle calls, both incoming or outgoing.  Gone are the days of purely personal meetings to create the right first impression or to close the sale.  Most transactions these days are done either online or over the phone. Be able to assess if those who represent the company to phone callers are adding value by increasing customer satisfaction and | or company revenue.  If not, then they re costing you a lot more than you are paying them.

It pays to devote attention to Telephone Etiquette for all Personnel.  TalkShop trains everyone in the company to be a valuable asset by becoming well versed in giving excellent customer service whether in person or over the phone.  For public workshops and in-house training, call your TalkShop Consultant at (632) 894 588 or visit www.talkshop.ph for more information.

 

Posted by TalkShop
Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO and Director of Communication finished her bachelor degree in Literature, masters in Entrepreneurship, and doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology. She designed the Philippines' Language Competency Benchmark for the Department of Education and pioneered Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) in workshop designs and corporate communication training. You can follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google+

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