By Victoria Rollison
We’re so used to using email these days, the phone can seem like a foreign object when it rings. But never fear, RESCU will reacquaint you on the finer points of phone etiquette.
Consider first impressions
We take great care to look our best for the office, refining our style until we are giving just the right impression to our colleagues and clients. But how often do we think about the impression we are giving over the phone? You will often speak to important contacts who you will never meet!
Here, RESCU helps you to improve your phone etiquette so you sound as professional as you look:
Picking up the phone
No matter how busy you are, always answer the phone with a tone that sounds like you are absolutely rapt to be speaking to whoever is on the line.
Smile as you speak as this will make you sound friendly and relaxed. Speak clearly and as slowly as possible as you introduce yourself with either “Good morning, this is Victoria speaking” or “Good afternoon, this is Victoria from RESCU speaking, how can I help you?” Choose a greeting that you are comfortable with and stick to it; it will soon become habit.
Taking a message
If the caller wants to speak to someone else in your office, request their name so you can inform the person they are asking for. Be sure you know how to put them on hold. Even if the person they want to speak to is sitting next to you, it’s better to announce who is calling without your hand covering the receiver.
Try not to scream across the office that someone has a phone call; instead, use an internal phone line. If you can’t find the required person immediately, take a message. As well as their name, organisation and phone number, check when it will be convenient for them to be called back.
Conversing over the phone
When you are speaking on your office phone, try to keep your voice loud enough that the caller can hear you, but not so loud that everyone in the office is disturbed by the noise. Avoid raucous laughter or loud jokes.
There is nothing wrong with being chatty, but generally, the office phone is not a place to socialise. It is fine to ask the caller how they are, but try to get down to business as quickly as possible; they may be really busy.
Leaving a voicemail
When you make a call, always be prepared for what you will say if you need to leave a voicemail. This means knowing exactly why you are calling, having a number ready for them to call back, and being clear and concise in giving your details. It is easy to get ruffled when you only have a limited time to get your message across and this is why it is important to be prepared.
Being professional on the phone is another tick in the skills box of your CV and gives you brownie points with your company; a good phone manner is a win-win situation.
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