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TELEPHONE SKILLS

Telephone-talk has become a part of today’s modern life.  In professional life talking to clients, colleagues and various people is unavoidable because in most jobs, telephone talk has become part of the job.


Persons who are courteous, helpful and friendly and in addition possess good telephone skills can increase customer satisfaction and are a great asset to any business.   Hence, telephone skills and telephone etiquette are very important for everyone’s career.

TWO TYPES OF TELEPHONE TALKS:

1)  Personal

2) Professional

Possessing Telephone skills and applying them in your professional and personal life, enhances your inter-personal communication and relationship with others.

COMPARISON BETWEEN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL TELEPHONE TALKS:

Personal Telephone Talks: -
1.    Not bound by any rules.
2.    Not purpose is required to call.
3.    No introduction required.
4.    No greetings required (but preferred).
5.    Time constraints not seriously observed (but preferred).
6.    Voice modulation is not observed (but preferred).

Professional Telephone Talks: -
1.    Bound by rules.
2.    Some purpose is required to call.
3.    Introduction required.
4.    Greetings required.
5.    Time constraints are to be considered.
6.    Voice modulation is required for effective communication.

       TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE TELEPHONE SKILLS
               
       During the call:

·       Greetings:  Say “good morning” or “good afternoon” or the appropriate one.
·       Identify yourself:  Say your name and if possible, company’s name, too.  If you just say ‘hello’ and don’t say your name, the caller won’t understand who you are.  It is very important to know the correct spelling or pronunciation (in case of foreign names) to be able to contact the person when required.

·       Purpose of the call:  Explain the purpose of the call. 
·       Ask if he/she could spare the time:  If not, fix up another suitable time.
·     Be friendly:  Express your friendliness with a clear smile and friendly voice.
·     Be concise:  Don’t explain the whole story.  Their time is as valuable as yours, too.
·       Ending the call:  Thank the other person for having spared his/her time for the call and say, “have a nice day”, or “have a nice weekend”, or “Thank you very much for your business with us, Mr. Smith”.

TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE CONVERSATION:
 Make notes of all the points you want to talk before going for a telephone conversation.Be prepared with the message to leave in the ‘Voice Mail” or to pass on to others in case the desired person is not available to take your call.
·         You have to be a much better listener and your concentration level has to be higher during a telephone talk than in person because you don’t see the other person physically.
·        Make a telephone appointment when you want to talk for 15 or more minutes or to discuss some serious and important matter.
·         Listen carefully and respond to the person appropriately.  Don’t do any other activity, which distracts your attention from the talk.

TIPS FOR TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE
When redirecting the call:
   If   you are not the person whom the caller wants to talk to, ask the caller, “Will you please stay on                                                   the line while I connect your call to the appropriate person?”  Don’t directly connect without     
  saying anything.

·       When placing the caller on hold:
If you want to place the caller on hold ask for permission.  “May I put you on hold?” If it is likely to take more time to get back to the caller on hold, tell the caller that you would call him/her back.

·       When eating:
Never answer the phone with food in your mouth.  At least, stop eating for a while.  The sounds of drinking and eating will sound irritating to the caller.

·       Sneezing and coughing:
Don’t sneeze and cough over or near the telephone microphone.  If you have to do it, close the mike with your hand.  These sounds may disturb you but irritates the other person.

·       Returning a call:
Return all the business calls within 48hours and a private call in 24 hours.

·        Neither low voice nor loud voice:
If you speak in low voice, others cannot hear properly.  Hence speak moderately without being too loud.

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