How to Answer The Phone Professionally
Despite modern advances, a phone call is still preferred by most UK customers. Have you ever called a business only for it to be answered in a way you didn’t expect? Doesn’t that immediately put you off? It’s true what they say: that first impression will last.
It will influence any decision about whether or not to use that business. That means you’ve got to make sure your business is getting it right. Here’s our top five recommendations for how to answer the phone professionally.
1.Stay on Brand
At The Office Genie, we spend our days answering phones on behalf of a number of different businesses. Some are very corporate, others more friendly and personal, so you need to decide how you want your business to be perceived. Obviously, there are fine lines, but the important bit is to match your brand and be consistent.
2.Smile and Sit up Straight
I know I sound like your mother, but this really does make a huge difference. The vast majority of communication is nonverbal. That means when your voice is all you’ve got, you’ve got to make the most of it. Do everything you can to get your personality through to the caller.
3.Let Them Know Who They’ve Reached
This might seem silly, but there’s nothing worse than your callers thinking they’ve reached someone else. Make sure you greet your callers with more than just a cursory hello. For most businesses, it’s good idea to decide this in advance. You don’t have to get fancy. Including the business name is a must. “Hello. The Office Genie, Jacqui speaking” or similar will usually do just fine (but obviously you need to put your own name and business in there)
4. Use the Phonetic Alphabet
You might feel silly when you start using the phonetic alphabet, but you’ll look a lot sillier when you say “D, as in D for . . . ” and then pause for five seconds to finish with “dog”. Or worse going with a word that doesn’t even start with the right letter. The simple truth is that when you can’t see a person’s lips lots of letters sound the same. It’s just how our brains work.
5.Repeat The Information
It’s important to correctly capture your caller’s details. Imagine you try to call back later to take payment and you’ve written the phone number down wrong! The caller’s name and number specifically are the two most vital pieces of information to get right so repeat these back at all times. Also, don’t forget to use the caller’s name. This can feel a bit unnatural at first, but using their name shows you’re listening and helps build a relationship quickly.
6. Speak Clearly
This should be a given, but it’s the first thing to go when you’re looking for a pen or trying to shoo the dog. Not only will it give the impression that you aren’t engaged, but it can lead to miscommunication and everything taking twice as long.
But the most important thing is doing, and it can be hard to form new habits in the moment. Why not print our 5 top insights on how to answer the phone professionally? Stick it on your phone or close by to serve as a reminder.