On the Telephone! On The Telephone
Contents How to wow them on the telephone Answering the Call
Good Communication Recording Information When you don’t know the answer Answering two lines Angry callers The Last Word
First Impressions On The Telephone Every call is a performance and you have a new audience every performance! Increase your energy level by ‘smiling’. A happy mood will be translated into your voice.
Making A Good Impression
On The Telephone Think of the telephone as the office lobby - the first place the customer visits. Have an objective in your mind before you answer the phone, ie ‘I want to help’ - don’t just answer it because its ringing. Speak with enthusiasm, as if speaking to a friend. Use inflection in your voice, lower the pitch. This conveys sincerity and confidentiality. Smiling is the one type of ‘body language which translates well on the phone.
On The Telephone Answering the Call Ensure that you don’t bang the receiver into anything when picking up the call. Answer the call within as few rings as possible. Speak clearly, identify the centre and yourself. Don’t start speaking before you put the receiver to your mouth.
Mind Your Manners! Don’t grab a ringing phone as it shows impatience and lack of interest in the customer. On The Telephone
Mind your Manners! Don’t bang down the receiver
On The Telephone Mind your Manners! Don’t bang down the receiver Don’t cut away in the middle of a conversation to ask a colleague a question Try and Stop ‘multi-tasking’ whilst talking on the telephone. This encourages you to find answers quickly and you don’t give the caller 100% attention
On The Telephone Mind Your Manners! Try not to make comments about your callers to other staff at reception - sooner or later another customer will hear you! Never, ever, talk about customers in a derogatory manner
And While You’re on Stage!
On The Telephone Speak clearly, try and use the customer’s name if you have it Let them ‘hear’ you smile Provide information, especially numbers, slowly so the customer can write it down Ask if there’s anything else you can help with Remember these are real people even though you can’t see them
Other Voice Tips Vary the tone Emphasise important words
On The Telephone Other Voice Tips Vary the tone Emphasise important words Use the ‘dramatic’ pause - pause after important points. This will stimulate attention and the customer will pay closer attention.
Good Communication Does the customer understand what you area saying ?
On The Telephone
How can I check he understands?
On The Telephone Ask questions Use pauses Spell out difficult words Ask him to repeat telephone numbers Don’t speak too quickly or use idioms Summarise the information given at end of conversation
How do you ensure YOU understand?
On The Telephone How do you ensure YOU understand? Concentrate and avoid listening to other conversations at the desk Acknowledge other waiting customers Hold your tongue - don’t ASSUME you know what the customer wants or jump to conclusions Don’t interrupt. Ask questions and use conversation cues - ‘Yes’, ‘I see’, ‘I understand’.
(Tourist Enquiry) Date Name & Address Information Required Any other necessary details Ask if they need anything else On The Telephone
(Message for Colleague) Date and Time Name and Telephone number Details Action required Signature Take responsibility for the message and make sure your colleague gets it! On The Telephone
When you don’t know the answer…
Never say you don’t know Be Honest and say ‘I don’t know but I’ll try and find out” Ask if you may put the caller on hold or take his number and promise to ring him back On The Telephone
When an absent colleague will know the answer...
On The Telephone When an absent colleague will know the answer... Always keep the customer informed as regards what you are doing Explain how you are going to find out the information - if necessary, tell the customer when you will ring him back Never use negative langage ie ‘um, er, I haven’t a clue’, ‘that’s not my job’
People are usually patient about waiting for an answer if they know it will be the RIGHT answer
On The Telephone
On The Telephone Answering Two Calls If you are on a long call and another line/two lines are ringing...
If another line rings persistently
On The Telephone If another line rings persistently See if another colleague can answer the call Ask the person you are speaking to if they mind if you answer the other telephone Politely explain to second caller that you are busy with another customer - take their details and promise to ring them back as soon as possible
Go Straight back to first caller
On The Telephone Go Straight back to first caller Apologise for interruption Thank him/her for their patience Continue with enquiry REMEMBER to call back the second customer and apologise for delay
Angry Callers On The Telephone
The Telephone ASAP technique
On The Telephone The Telephone ASAP technique Acknowledge the person’s feelings and apologise - ‘I’m sorry that happened’ Sympathise - ‘I understand how you feel’ Accept 100% responsibility for the call Prepare to help - ‘I’ll try and help’ - present willing attitude. Listen, jot down information, try not to interrupt. Remain calm
Remember the customer isn’t angry with you!
Don’t take their hostility personally On The Telephone
On The Telephone Last Words
Summarise at the end of the call
On The Telephone Summarise at the end of the call State what action you are taking Use customer’s name if you have it Ask if there’s anything else you can do Say thank you Say good-bye Try and let the customer hang up first
Role Play in pairs No eye contact! (Students face back to back)
On The Telephone Role Play in pairs No eye contact! (Students face back to back) Take a message from a client (with their personal details and work requests) to pass on to your colleague. Telephone a client to let them know about some delay in their account/order. Telephone a client about their overdue account. Take a call from a potential new client who is enquiring about your services. Include details about their needs and current provider.
On The Telephone Role Play – record your conversation Students to use their recording device (laptop / iPhone / iPad / Android) Record a message suitable for your answering machine at work (for your clients). Record a message on a client’s answering machine to let them know some information about their query. Record a conversation between you and your client where you need clarification about some details in order for you to complete work for them Record a conversation between you and your client in relation to the client’s complaint about a problem with their account or order with you.
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