The telephone is an indispensable communication tool for any business. Therefore, it is imperative to know the rules of acceptable conduct while talking on the phone. It provides an impression of the organization to the outsiders. A professional setup will always ensure that basic telephone etiquette is taught to all its members. Here are some points to remember when you make or receive a call.
Greet and Introduce Yourself
When you pick up the phone, greet the person depending on the time of the day. Then you should introduce yourself and provide the name of your organization. Use short phrases and simple words as much as possible so that the other person gets a proper chance to follow you. Long-winding sentences will lead to disinterest and poor comprehension in the listener. Avoid the use of casual words and slang. If you receive a sales call, it is not mandatory to hear out an entire sales pitch. You can politely express disinterest in the product, and request your number to be removed from the calling list.
Employ a Reception Desk
There should be a screening of calls by a receptionist before forwarding it to the concerned person. There should be a facility to leave voice messages if the person is not able to take the call at that particular time. If the call gets disconnected due to some reason, then call back the person right away. Also, it is better to avoid multitasking like handling multiple phone calls at the same time.
If you dial a number that is wrong, apologize promptly and disconnect. One ought to dial carefully to avoid calling a wrong number and causing inconvenience to others. Etiquette demands that both the caller and the receiver should note down information when required. Before making a call or taking one, be sure to have something to write upon. In case the conversation is confidential, you should speak from a private room where no one else is present. In case this option is not available, speak softly so that you are not audible to neighboring colleagues. Ideally you should not put a person on hold without taking his permission.
Don't Eat or Chew Gum
You should never eat food or chew gum while talking on the phone. It causes unpleasant sounds and could possibly irritate the user. Do not talk on the phone while driving. This is not only dangerous but will also divide your attention. Make sure the volume is not very high, but you should be able to hear the other person talking. The correct way to answer the telephone is by saying 'hello'. Simply answering 'yes' is an inappropriate and terse response.
Don't be Rude
You should never be rude to a caller no matter whatever be the provocation. Speak clearly and slowly on the call. You should not mumble or have slurred speech. Keep phone calls brief and friendly. You ought to be mindful of different time zones. Try to call during the day as far as possible. Calls before 9am and after 9pm should be avoided. You should also be sensitive to cultural differences; certain words or phrases may be considered derogatory in other cultures.
Following good telephone etiquette is the responsibility of every person in the organization. These are simple and inexpensive yet effective methods to maintain professionalism in telephone communication.