As a business owner, you understand just how important customer perception and brand loyalty are to the success of your company. You always want to provide your customers with the best experience possible and, many times, that will come down to how their phone calls are handled. This is why proper phone answering etiquette for business is so crucial. If your operator fails to demonstrate appropriate telephone etiquette when answering calls, your customer may reevaluate how they feel about, and their relationship with, your company. Fortunately, there are several ways your company can mitigate the risk of disgruntled customers that stem from poor phone communication.
Phone Answering Etiquette Tips for Businesses
The key to any business lies in customer satisfaction. Your customers and clients are far more likely to continue purchasing your products and/or services when any direct interaction they have with your company proves to be a pleasant experience – especially if it’s regarding an unpleasant matter. Phone calls placed to your business should always be helpful, friendly, and efficient. You can ensure they are by following these virtual receptionist and business etiquette tips.
Answer in Three Rings or Less
One of the most important rules for telephone etiquette is to answer calls as quickly as you can. Ideally, the phone should only ring a maximum of three times before it’s answered. Should a customer be calling with a problem or issue their facing regarding your business, the last thing you want is to give them the impression you’re unavailable to help rectify the problem. Answering quickly shows your customers and clients that their call is important to you.
The first thing you’ll want to do upon answering a call is to immediately introduce yourself and state the business’ name. Your caller should know straight away whether or not they’ve contacted the right business.
When it comes to phone calls, several issues can make the conversation difficult. There could be a bad connection, the caller could have a hearing problem, or maybe they’re just in a noisy area. Whatever the case, the last thing you want to do is make it even more difficult. Be sure to speak clearly and concisely, using proper enunciation and an appropriate volume.
Don’t Speak Too Loudly
While speaking clearly should be a top priority, that doesn’t mean you should shout into the phone. Always keep in mind how loud you’re speaking on the phone. Your caller won’t appreciate being yelled at, nor will your surrounding coworkers.
Use a Positive Tone
Remaining friendly is easy when dealing with a pleasant customer, but that won’t always be the case. There will be many times when you answer a call to your business and the caller on the other end is frustrated, angry, or rude. When this happens, it’s important you keep calm and continue to speak using a positive tone. You may be able to win them back over and prevent the company from losing a customer.
Ask for Permission to Put the Caller on Hold
No one likes being put on hold during a phone call but it’s often a necessary step in solving a caller’s issue. If you must put a caller on hold, be sure to ask them whether or not they mind briefly being put on hold and explain to them why you need to do so and how it will help their situation. Callers are more likely to be okay with being put on hold if they understand exactly why it needs to happen.
Don’t Interrupt the Caller When They’re Speaking
It’s very important to never cut off or interrupt a caller when they’re talking. Even if the explanation of their problem is going on longer than it needs to, let them finish what they have to say. This will help show that you’re taking their issue seriously and want to get all details just right.
To provide your customers with the level of assistance they expect, make sure you’re actively listening to what they have to say. Notes can be very helpful to refer back to when interacting with the customer or if you have to transfer the call to someone else who needs to be briefed on the situation.
Speakerphone may seem like an appealing option at times, but it can negatively impact sound quality on the caller’s end and make it much more difficult for them to hear you. Only use speakerphone if you absolutely must.
Respond to Voicemails in a Timely Manner
Should you receive a business-related call while you’re away from your phone, the caller may end up leaving a voicemail. Be sure to check your messages regularly and respond to them as soon as you’re able.
Try VoiceNation Free for 7 Days
When you sign up for a virtual receptionist plan with VoiceNation, you never have to worry about losing a customer due to a bad phone call again. Virtual receptionists receive comprehensive phone answering etiquette training to ensure each call we handle is a pleasant and helpful experience for your customers and clients.
You can find out for yourself how impactful proper virtual receptionist etiquette can be for your business with VoiceNation’s 7-day free trial. Your free trial includes 24/7 live answering, basic message taking, and instant activation without the need to sign any contract. Sign up now!