Generally, we make loads of calls to different companies every day and usually they are answered swiftly and professionally and with great customer service in mind. Some companies have outstanding receptionists that really come across as though they are very happy to speak to you and are incredibly helpful. It's a positive delight to speak to them. They shine out like a beacon and make you feel glad you rang. You get a great impression of the company.
However, there are times when you are greeted by no more than a grunt, a sigh and a monosylabbic speech pattern that does nothing to inspire confidence that you have even reached the correct number or that they have the slightest interest in what you are saying or want to deal with your call. Grrrrr!
Luckily we don't encounter too many of these, but maybe a little more thought before answering the phone wouldn't go amiss.
At the end of the day, if you're a receptionist, or answering the telephone for your company in any capacity, then you need to give that all important first impression. You are an ambassador for your firm, so check out these tips to ensure you create a great first impression!
1. Always answer the call quickly. If this is new business, they have taken the time to look up your details and you certainly don't want them going elsewhere!
2. A cheerful "good morning/afternoon" followed by the name of your company and your name is the best starting point, followed by "how can I help you?"
3. Take full details from the caller. Their name and best number to ring them back on and a brief message. Always check spellings, particularly if the caller didn't sound very clear or there are unusual names or words! Names like Sara and Sarah, Clare and Claire and make sure any e-mail addresses are correct. .com or co.uk?
Learning the phonetic alphabet will also give you a professional edge.
4. Speak clearly and with the appropriate level of decorum. You are not talking to your mates, so cultivate a business like tone.
5. If you are asked a question and not sure of the answer, then just say "sorry I'm not sure, can I find out and come back to you shortly?". The caller will be pleased that you are interested and willing to help.
6. Try and give the caller an idea of when they might expect a call back and be realistic. Never ask a client to ring back - always, always, offer to ring them back!
7. Goes without saying, but never chew gum or eat whilst you are talking on the phone. Sounds disgusting and really unprofessional!
8. Finally, JUST SMILE! It really does make all the difference!
Image courtesy of inagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Merlin Team 08008778810