I know what you’re thinking. Who cares about phone etiquette anymore when everything is online? Business may happen more and more online but last time I checked, most offices have a phone. And the person answering that phone is still the face (and voice) of the company.

There’s no greater way to turn a potential client off your business than having them be greeted in an unprofessional manner. You have clearly already made a good impression to prompt this person to pick up the phone and call you.

Here are some tips on how to wow them even further over the phone and ensure they’re knocking on your door to do business with you:

  1. Smile
    It sounds silly because the person on the phone can’t see you but smiling actually has a hugely positive impact on your tone of voice and delivery of speech. Remember also to hold your head up while speaking on the phone. Slouching or ducking your head down will change the tone of your voice and make you sound less enthusiastic.
  2. Make a ring rule
    Make an office rule as to how many rings you allow before answering a call and then stick to it for every call that comes through. Two to three rings is ideal so as not to have a person wait too long on the other end of the phone.
  3. Provide honest, efficient information
    If someone is out of the office and can’t take the call, let the person know what time their call will be returned by your colleague. If you’re running out the door to a meeting, tell the person you have to go but will return their call and agree a time for this to happen. And make sure it happens.
  4. Find solutions
    If you don’t quite know how to handle the person’s enquiry, explain that you don’t know the answer to their question but you will find out and get back to them or will connect them with someone in the office who can help. It’s not impressive when a person pretends to know something. Ultimately it causes confusion and can leave a bad taste in the mouth of the caller about your business.
  5. Look away
    It won’t kill you to look away from your emails for just a moment while you deal with a call. It’s very easy to hear in a person’s tone of voice and their responses that they are distracted. Always provide callers with the courtesy of your undivided attention.

If a phone call is someone’s first impression of your business, make sure it’s a great one.

Agent Ailish