Working for yourself gives you the freedom to do what you want and when you want. Because of this, small business owners quickly forget that the rest of the world works within a corporate environment, where company policies enforce them to sound and act accordingly.
As a small business, we must also sound and act similarly. Here are the top 8 telephone etiquette practiced by the corporate firms.
1. Have a professional company greeting
A company greeting or auto-attendant can easily identify and verify to the caller that they called the correct business. It also provides instructions on where or what they need to press.
2. State your business hours whenever possible
If you are a store or service company, customers would like to know when the regular business hours are or even, where you are located. Information boxes through the auto-attendant can direct these callers easily.
3. Answer and return all calls during regular business hours
Work when your customers and suppliers work. It may be normal to work after hours, but receiving and making calls at 11pm may not be advisable.
4. Make sure you speak clearly and are smiling
In the call center world, they say “the customer can hear you smile”
5. Always identify yourself when answering calls
Identifying yourself allows the caller to know they called the right party or department immediately.
6. Have an informative voicemail message
Advise your callers that you are here today and will call them back within a predetermined time. You may also want to leave a backup or mobile number for emergency use only.
7. Do not let the phone ring more than 3 times
Have the voicemail pickup the call within 3-5 rings – you do not want them to wait on the phone if you are not there. Even better, if you are to leave your desk for lunch, put your phone on Do-Not-Disturb, that way the call is answered by voicemail immediately.
8. Always hang up last
You never want to hang up a call before the other party, for the simple fact that they may want to say something at the last minute — they may have just changed their mind and wanted to buy now.
Happy talking 🙂