Must-Know Phone Etiquette for Business Calls
Even in the age of chatbots, phone calls still have a primary role in business communications.
When your customers call, whether to buy your services or seek support, it’s crucial to engage with them politely and professionally. 86% of customers surveyed would disengage from a brand if they were to receive a negative experience, which you may or may not have been accidentally practising yourself.
Here’s our list of Do’s and Don’t’s to help provide optimal customer service and land new customers.
1. Do lead with “hello”. Set a good tone for the call with a friendly interaction.
2. Do be concise. It’s become trendy to use catchphrases or slogans to answer the phone, and many people still respond with long-winded phrases, such as, “Thank you for callingX. My name is Y. How can I help you?” It’s far better to say hello (see point above), mention the company, and cut the rest, e.g. “Hello, you’ve reached Company X, Susan speaking.”
3. Do be consistent. Train your people to answer in the same way each time someone calls. The format named above is more than acceptable.
4. Do smile and keep a happy face. Just as stress can carry through the phones (and customers can’t see your face or read visual cues), so can a pleasant attitude.
5. Do give longer time estimates. If the problem needs two minutes to fix, tell the customer you need five. When you get it done “sooner,” the customer will feel like you worked extra hard to please them.
1. Don’t interrupt customers, ever. Always listen fully to their question or complaint before responding. If you interrupt, you risk missing important information that might affect your answer.
2. Don’t cover the mouthpiece to speak without the customer hearing. Whether they hear your pulse or the conversation you’re having with coworkers, they’ll hear something they shouldn’t be hearing. Use the hold or mute button.
3. Don’t put on hold without telling the person. That’s just common sense. And be sure to thank them for holding when you pick the call back up.
4. Don’t tell an angry person to calm down. Actually, don’t tell anyone to calm down. It just makes things worse. Instead, lead by example. Learn how to modulate your voice and speak in a calming fashion that will make the customer feel heard. It doesn’t hurt to express solidarity with the customer, e.g. “That does sound incredibly frustrating.”
5. Don’t let it ring more than three times. You don’t want to seem too busy to take a customer’s call, plus some customers will hang up if their call is not answered in that timeframe.
Now that you’re a pro at phone etiquette, you should take the rest of the call-related stress off your mind by choosing Omni for all your phone needs!
Omni provides a landline number and operates completely on smartphones. It comes with extension lines, customised call menus, call recording and many other advanced features from only RM69/month!