In this age of texting, email and the like, it's refreshing to hear someone's voice at the other end of the telephone line. The telephone can be a powerful marketing tool for you if it is used properly.
This brings to mind problems with the way some people use the telephone at work.
- Putting someone on speakerphone without asking them.
- Ignoring the customer standing right in front of you in order to deal with the caller who interrupts by phoning in.
- Working on the computer or something else while on the phone.
- Eating or chewing gum while talking on the phone.
- Speaking so quickly or mumbling when you're leaving a voice message that the recipient can't understand your name or telephone number.
So how can you remedy this?
Before you call...
Get organized and be clear in your mind what you want to say to that person or in the voice message. Have ready any documents you may need to refer to.
Use the recipient's name and clearly state your name, company name. Don't run your last name into your first name. Then state the purpose of your call and say something positive like, "Is this a good time to discuss this?" not "Did I get you at a bad time?"
If you wish to put that person on a speakerphone, ask permission. Introduce anyone else who is in the room with you.
Don't linger on the phone. Conclude your business positively and distinctly.
If you're leaving a message...
Be succinct and articulate. Repeat your telephone number. If it's urgent that the recipient return your call within a certain time period, say so.
Wait a few days. If the person hasn't returned your phone call, then contact him again.
On your outgoing voicemail message...
If you're going to be away from the office for a length of time, indicate that; otherwise, your caller is going to wonder why you haven't returned his call and start becoming annoyed.
Leave your name on your voicemail. Many people won't leave a message unless they're certain they've reached the right person. You wouldn't want to miss a message from a recruiter or a new client, right? Some people will say, "Your call is very important to me and I'll try to get back to you within 2 hours."
Just say your name when you answer the phone. Don't say, "Penelope speaking." That's redundant because the caller knows you're speaking. Truly professional people will merely say their full name in an upbeat fashion.
When you pick up the phone, smile! It will come through in your telephone voice!
Check out Toronto Public Library's books on telephone manners.