Telephone answering service techniques are the cornerstone of every good contact center. How the operators do their job is the most important ingredient of a well run answering service.
Telephone skills are becoming a lost art. Today's generation was not raised on the telephone in the same way as generations past. People have begun to rely on text messaging, email, and instant messaging instead of telephone calls. With these advancements, telephone etiquette, protocol and techniques have suffered. Many do not know how to properly use the phone in a professional environment. With the telephone being the first impression of a business, it is important that employees are aware of the proper telephone technique.
Speedy Response Every telephone call must be answered immediately. No calls should ever ring more than three times. In addition when a call is transferred to an employee, the hold time should be minimized. Callers no longer have the patience for frequent rings, or long hold times. Eliminating the waiting process is the first step in ensuring proper communication.
Professional Image When answering the telephone, the recipient must act professionally. The greeting and handling of the phone call must be handled professionally. Answering the telephone is the initial image that is a direct reflection of the company. While it is important to be cheerful and friendly, there must be an underlying tone of professionalism. It is also important that the tone of the conversation mirrors what it is that your business does. A funeral home, or home care agency must be polite, but also extend the somber tone that is appropriate to the situation. A mechanical contractor may answer the phones in a more casual manner than an attorney's office.
Using Proper Grammar and Terminology Grammar is extremely important when speaking on the telephone. What you say is the only thing that the caller gets to judge your company on. The caller cannot see facial expressions, hand gestures, or the interior of your office. When on the telephone, you are alone on an island. Your only tool is the words that you use and how you choose to use them. "One moment, please" might be more appropriate than saying "hold on". "Yes" is preferred over "Uh-huh", and "Good question. Let me see if I can find that out for you" is a better response than "I don't know."
Always Answer the Phone with a Live Voice When a caller reaches your office, it is important that a live voice is always there to greet them. Automated answering loses roughly seventy percent of all calls. There is no company that can afford to lose nearly three quarters of business. Make sure that your office is properly staffed to handle all incoming phone calls. When it is not, make sure that a call center or answering service is in place to handle the phone calls.
Consistency In an office it is important that everyone is on the same page. In an office, everyone must answer the phone in the exact same way. This consistency must run through every member of the company. The receptionist and the maintenance staff must follow the same protocol and procedures. By laying out the format and policies of telephone etiquette, a uniform method of telephone procedures will streamline a company's communication system.
Telephone techniques are important to know and implement in any business environment. By knowing how to act while on the phone, your company has a competitive edge that is needed to survive in today's extremely competitive business environment. Utilizing these necessary skills are can make any employee a more valuable part of your communications team.
Specialty Answering Service is a nationwide answering service and small business answering service provider. We answer for each client 24 hours a day and follow their instructions to handle each inbound or outbound communication perfectly.