So much of what we do every day just boils down to common sense, and that includes phone etiquette. It doesn’t take a PhD to understand common phone courtesy such as stop typing when you pick up a call or ask if there is anything else you can help with before ending the call. These are the courtesies we would like to have extended to us and we should always extend them to our customers.
Here are just a few tips to help with proper phone etiquette:
- Pay attention. Paying attention to the caller’s needs and understanding the phrases that might frustrate them is very important. When a caller is already upset, avoid phrases that may upset them further such as, “I’m sorry, that’s not my job.”
- Empathize. It’s important to remember the caller may be dealing with a difficult situation, so showing empathy and extending the same courtesy you would like extended to yourself will help you provide excellent customer service.
- Remember common courtesies. Remembering common courtesies such as “please” and “thank you” will make the caller feel that you care.
- Avoid jargon/slang. Avoid using company jargon or acronyms that will confuse the customer. It’s also important not to use slang like “yep” and “ain’t.” Use of slang can make us appear unpolished and unprofessional.
- Offer solutions/alternatives. Finally, offer solutions to the customer, even if it’s only to say that you’ll research the issue and give them a call back. The customer needs to feel confident that their issue will be handled. It’s OK to request more time to research, but always make sure to reconnect with the customer in a timely manner.