Call greeting has evolved into a true art form in the modern workplace environment. Secretaries and receptionists are trained by company owners, who also provide them with standards for speaking to customers and educate them how to appear courteous. Which makes sense considering how precious each and every customer is in today's cutthroat business environment. Recent developments in the telecommunications industry, however, indicate that using a corporate call centre service rather than investing a lot of time and money in training a large number of employees is a better option.
Everyone, from CEOs to representatives of call answering services, must answer the phone well. When you answer the phone, you are speaking on behalf of your business, yourself, and maybe numerous others if you are using a virtual receptionist service. Business phone etiquette, however, can be challenging to grasp. You want to come out as personable but not inexperienced, and professional but not stuffy. How do we begin?
There are several words and phrases that, if never used again, can instantly improve your phone manner. Here are five phrases that you may have seen front desk agents use on television but that are best avoided in real life:
1. "I don't know" or "I'm not sure." Customers don't expect you to know everything; they understand you may be the virtual or actual receptionist or that you could only need to conduct some study to get the solution to their query. However, stating "I don't know" quickly casts your response in a bad light. Skip through to the important information and suggest connecting your caller with someone who does know: "Excellent query! Let me check to see if Kim is available to talk to you about it in our support department."
"What a fantastic question! The owner would be the ideal person to discuss that with. Please allow me to connect you with him."
2. "She's now on the other line," Anyone can understand how this may become problematic; you don't have to be a remote receptionist. Saying that someone is on the phone creates erroneous expectations, even if you are in the same office as them and can see the person on the other line. They could anticipate a call back as soon as she hangs up the phone, but she might be heading into a meeting, taking another call, or the call might go on for an additional hour. You're never sure! Another potential issue is that your caller can request to be put on hold until the other party answers. Things can get complicated if you don't know when she'll be accessible or if you work for an answering service like alivecall and must be ready for other calls.
3. "I'm not able to accomplish it." This could be the phrase that everyone in customer service despises the most. Have you ever contacted your cable company and received the response, "I'm sorry, sir/ma'am, I can't do that?" A dead end exists. Try to come up with something you can do and volunteer to do it to save your callers this annoyance. rather than
Caller: I want to revise my will. Can you assist me with it in any way?
Receptionist: "I can't. I'll give you the lawyer's attention."
Remove the "I can't" and reintroduce warmth into your response:
Receptionist: "Let me put you in touch with the attorney. He'd be delighted to have a conversation with you about changing your will. Please give me a moment."
5. "Please hold." In order to search up information, check someone's line, or take a (short) call, you'll occasionally need to put people on wait. Asking instead of lecturing will make your caller feel valued. A "May I place you on hold for a minute?" is a good way to get someone's attention. Since they feel cared for, your caller is likely to say yes. However, if they decline, you may either agree with them or provide a reason and another option. "It could take a few minutes for me to search that up in our database. If I call you back when I have the solution, is that okay with you?" The appropriate thing to do is always to be considerate of your caller's time.
Although these are great practices, if you accidentally use one of these expressions, it's still okay! Always bear in mind that being hospitable and prepared to go above and beyond for your callers will promote your company positively and keep customers coming back.