Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 1: Perspectives of Phone Etiquette
Many people do not realise they have little or no phone etiquette. When they realise this, they are often unsure about where to start. One of the initial steps to gaining or developing an individual’s phone etiquette is to understand the diverse aspects of it, such as phrasing and listening skills. Acquiring this knowledge can be a great beginner tool for many people and can help them feel more self-confident on the phone immediately.
- When speaking on the telephone, a distinct set of phrasing is used rather of our every day talking phrases.
- Tone of Voice
- Our tonality of voice in which we speak can represent a variety of emotions.
- Speaking Clearly
- Listen to the Caller
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 2: Using Proper Phone Language
Every situation we enter demands a different form of ‘language’. For example, we wouldn’t enter a team meeting with the same type of communication we may use in the break room. The equivalent is true for the telephone. Telephone language is distinct from our everyday language and can take some time to get used to its run. However, with the appropriate techniques, it can be easy to adjust in no time.
- Please and Thank You
- Using good etiquette is a way to show respect and kindness to those we interact with.
- Do Not Use Slangs or Singlish
- Slang is typically characterised as a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are viewed as very informal and are employed in everyday speech.
- Avoid Using the Term “You”
- When conversing with someone on the telephone, it can be comfortable to get lost in speaking with the caller and letting them know what they may require to do on their end.
- Highlight What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t
- When we are speaking with someone on the phone, for any purpose, it can be difficult to communicate what the caller requires or needs from the operator.
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 3: Reduce Phone Distractions
Distractions can be prevalent in an office environment. Since operators are not alone, it is vital to learn to adjust to the sounds of other people in the room, telephones ringing or even the ‘walk-in’ visitor into our work station. Nevertheless, if we let these distractions interrupt our telephone conversation, this will cause us to seem inexperienced and unprofessional.
- Avoid Eating or Drinking
- It is a standard practice to have something at our desk to sip on or snack on during the day.
- Minimize Multi-Tasking
- Eliminate Office Distractions
- Distractions are all around us, and we might not even be aware of it.
- Do Not Let Others Interrupt You
- When we work in an office setting, it’s not unusual to have coworkers around our workstation that may interrupt you.
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 4: Inbound Calls
For many organisations, inbound calls are a significant part of the business. Customer calls into the company for orders, consultations and even inquiring general information. Inbound calls may seem frightening at times since we are unsure of the questions that the other party may request for. However, understanding the right techniques of telephone etiquette can help the telephone operator throughout any situation.
- Avoid Long Greeting Messages
- For inbound calls, every organisation has its own set of greetings or scripting to use when they answer the phone.
- Introduce Yourself
- When a person calls into your office, they may not necessarily know who or even what company they are calling into.
- Focus on Their Needs
- One of the most crucial aspects of business is to maintain its customers, and one of the best ways to do that is to focus on the customer’s needs.
- Be Patient
- Inbound calls can be long and tiresome for the operator. In these calls, the client is calling into the organisation and will start making demands right away.
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa Part 5: Outbound Calls
Outbound calls can be some of the most difficult types of calls to make. They demand that the caller be fully prepared and be able to keep the ‘client’ engaged while attempting to deliver a point.
- Be Prepared
- During outbound calls, it is necessary to have all of your information prepared and available before you dial the number.
- Identify Yourself and Your Company
- Give Them the Reason for the Call
- Keep Caller Information Private
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 6: Handling Rude or Angry Callers
One of the most difficult, and somewhat scariest, situations is when a telephone operator has a rude or angry caller.
- Stay Calm
- Staying calm with an angry or rude called can be one of the hardest tasks a phone operator must do.
- Listen to Their Needs
- When we face rude or angry callers, our first impulse is to stop listening to what they have to say due to their bad mood.
- Never Interrupt
- When a person is interrupted while they are speaking, it can make them grow even more irritated or frustrated.
- Identify What You Can Do for Them
- When a customer is mad or upset, the last thing they want to hear from the organisation is what cannot be done for them for the issues that they are facing.
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 7: Handling Interoffice Calls
When handling calls with the general public, there are a set of guidelines and procedures that the telephone operator follows.
- Transferring Calls Correctly
- Placing Callers on Hold Appropriately
- Placing a caller on hold for too long can make them feel neglected.
- Taking Messages
- Although departments may not require employees to take a message down, the occasion may arise.
- End the Conversation
- Sometimes completing a call with someone can be awkward. Learn how to end the phone conversation appropriately.
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 8: Handling Voicemail Messages
Voicemails are an excellent tool to have in this age of technology, particularly since the employee may not be at their desk all the time, or maybe busy accepting calls from another customer. It is essential to understand how to retrieve and deliver these voicemails efficiently.
- Ensure the Voicemail Has a Proper Greeting
- When creating your own voicemail, it is necessary to have a proper greeting message for your callers to hear suitable for your business.
- Answer Important Messages Right Away
- A voicemail can carry many messages at once from various sources.
- Ensuring Messages Taken are Delivered to the Right Person
- Things To Take Note of Leaving a Message for Others
- Leaving a voicemail message for someone may feel difficult to do, especially for those not used to it.
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 9: Training Others Telephone Etiquette
While having excellent telephone etiquette is useful, it will not do any good if it is not trained to the rest of the telephone operators.
- Conducting Group Training Effectively
- One-on-One Training
- One-on-one training typically includes the employee being trained on an individual basis.
- Peer Training
- Although peer training is a program that is not used as often as other training methods, it is still a valuable tool when training a small group of telephone operators.
- Job Shadowing The Right Way
Telephone Etiquette Training Course in South Africa – Part 10: Correcting Poor Telephone Etiquette
- Screening Calls
- Many businesses that offer a telephone service have undertaken the support of some sort of call monitoring service.
- Employee Evaluations
- Individual employee evaluations are another excellent tool for evaluating and improving any instance of poor telephone etiquette.
- Peer Monitoring
- Peer monitoring is a method of assessment that is useful for improving telephone etiquette among employees.
- Customer Surveys
- Another system of evaluating employee telephone etiquette is through an employee-customer/client survey.