Are you handling phone calls like a professional?

Phone calls are a part of everyday life in the workplace, and some days it seems the phone never stops ringing. Keep in mind that the way you handle a call can reflect positively or negatively on you as a businessperson—and even on your company’s reputation.

Keep these 8 tips in mind:

  1. Be prepared.
    Make sure your work environment is conducive to listening and concentrating on what the caller is saying. Also, make sure you’re not in an environment with a lot of distractions.
  2. Start off strong.
    Provide a consistent and appropriate greeting to help build good rapport. Clearly state who you are and the company you represent, then invite conversation.
  3. Build rapport.
    Listen to the caller and what he or she has to say. Rephrase and repeat the information back to the caller to verify your understanding of the message.
  4. Watch your speech.
    Enunciate and speak clearly to make sure the caller can understand what you are saying. This will help keep you from repeating yourself and experiencing—or potentially causing—frustration.
  5. Be clear and upbeat.
    Your tone of voice is the nonverbal component of your telephone personality. Treat each phone call as a separate “performance,” making sure your caller can hear your smile and enthusiasm.
  6. Be positive.
    The language you use can make or break a call. There are certain words and phrases (such as slang) that can quickly turn off a caller. Make sure your word choice is always professional and appropriate.
  7. Listen effectively.
    Research studies confirm that people ignore, misunderstand or simply forget at least 75% of what they hear. Make sure you listen, verify and take detailed notes.
  8. Practice the Golden Rule.
    Treat your callers as you would like to be treated—with courtesy and respect.

How do you come across to others? Your tone of voice is key. Learn why tone matters in this blog post from Dardis Communications.