Croft’s top tips for business phone etiquette
Ever been put on hold and felt like you’ve been forgotten? Poor phone service is all too common in every industry – but it could cost you your clients. Keep customers happy and deliver service with a smile, with our top tips for business phone etiquette.
Don’t keep people waiting
Aim to answer incoming phone calls within three rings. If you just have the one phone line, use the Call Waiting feature so you know when someone is trying to get through to your number. Some multi-line phone systems also have customisable ringtones – so you can hear immediately when an important customer is calling.
Let them know who they’re speaking to
Start the call on the right foot with a professional greeting. Whenever you answer the phone, you should introduce yourself and the company, and ask how you can help. Get everyone on the same page, so there’s a professional and unified feel to your customer service.
Check your voicemails
It can be really frustrating when nobody calls you back. Make sure you have a system to check your messages and get back to people in reasonable time.
Listen and respond
There’s nothing worse than an overly scripted call that doesn’t actually answer the caller’s concerns. By all means, stick to a basic structure in your conversation, but it’s important to be human, and hear what they’re saying, too. It goes without saying (we hope) that you should never interrupt.
Tell the caller what you’re doing
Long silences don’t work well on a business call. If you need some time to look up the caller’s details or transfer them to another person, always be sure to let them know what’s happening. If it’s appropriate, this is a good time to make a joke or a bit of small talk. Anything to make them feel valued and connected.
Be professional when working remotely
With the rise of remote working, many business calls are now taken at home or on business mobiles. Sometimes that’s tricky – it’s hard to be professional when you’re on a busy train, or a small child is clamouring for biscuits. If it’s a really awkward time, just be honest – tell them you’re on a mobile and you’ll call them back as soon as you can.
Use the latest technology
Nothing can replace basic courtesy when you’re on a business call, but you can make your customer service even better with the right tech set-up. Modern business phone systems do all sorts of things to serve callers better.
- Record your calls for quality control. This is great for training purposes and to make sure everyone’s giving the best service they can. Always make sure customers are informed that their call may be recorded.
- Stay connected when things don’t go to plan. Hosted telephony systems like VoIP and SIP trunking make it really easy to re-route calls if your main phone lines can’t be used. For example, if there’s a fire in your office, or staff are working from home during lockdown.
- Get call statistics to improve your service. Find out where people are calling from, who’s answering the most calls and how long the calls last on average. All these things can help you to improve your customer service.
- Check voicemail on the move. Never miss an important business call again – just dial in to check your messages, wherever you are.