4 Tips For Answering the Phone at Work

by | May 15, 2017 | Work Health & Safety

Answering the phone at work is an essential, yet often neglected skill in many businesses.

No doubt we’ve all experienced a time when we’ve phoned a company regarding their product or service, to have that call impatiently placed on hold, or answered with a frosty or insincere greeting.

How inspired were you after that experience to do business with that organisation?

Customers like to feel that they are dealing with highly skilled and professional organisations.

And whenever you pick up the phone at work, as far as they are concerned, you are the organisation.

So those impressions left by your interaction with them, can often set your organisation apart from others.

Even in today’s digital world where there’s a vast array of options for clients to make contact, the phone remains the primary point of contact for many businesses. So it should be an integral part of your organisation’s customer service training.

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So here are 4 simple tips to remember when answering the phone:

1. Answering the phone on the third ring

Nowadays, with the emphasis on quality control and excellent customer service, people expect incoming calls to be answered on the third ring.

Once you are past three rings, you are really keeping the caller waiting. And the longer that happens, the greater the chance of an anxiety or stress build up.

Customers waiting for a call to be answered, will paint a mental image of the entire organisation being slack, rather than a busy or slow receptionist.

By answering too soon, on the first or second ring, you run the risk of catching your caller unprepared which could make your caller anxious or uncomfortable.

2. Focus on the call

On the first ring, you should stop whatever it is you are doing and focus on the job at hand, and that is answering the phone.

People can tell when you are distracted or preoccupied on the telephone, and remember you are about to portray an image!

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3. Sit Up

Obviously what you say on the phone is important, but how you say it is critical in establishing rapport with the caller.

Slouching down in your chair will make you sound a bit tired and disinterested, whilst sitting upright will make you sound alert, enthusiastic and most importantly… interested in the caller and his or her problem.

Use the second ring of the phone to remind you to sit upright and be enthusiastic.

4. Smile

The most important prerequisite when using the telephone is to smile.

We all prefer to deal with warm, cheerful people, don’t we?

Give the callers to your workplace that opportunity.

And believe it or not, the most inexperienced phone user can usually detect a lack of warmth or enthusiasm on the other end of the line.

So the third ring should be a reminder to smile.

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If you do need to place a caller on hold for any reason, it’s a good idea to mention why, and how long they can expect to wait.

A customer will remain far more relaxed if they feel that they are in charge of the call, so you can give them the option of hanging on or not.

So there you have it, a few simple tips for answering the telephone at work, which you can easily incorporate into your arsenal of telephone communication skills.

Make sure you use them every time.