Top 10 Telephone Skills

By: cathywarschaw
Great telephone skills are the building blocks of every business and it is easy to see why. Many of the important experiences that your existing, new, and potential customers are having are based upon the level of customer service they are receiving from your employees while on the phone. Employees that can use their telephone skills to effectively deliver excellent service will grow and maintain a thriving business.

Top 10 Skills

There are many tips and techniques available on the market to help your employees build great telephone skills; however, there are only 10 that can truly deliver. The following Top 10 skills have been gathered from the Telephone Training Program, an award winning resource that is entertaining and simple for any practice to use.

1. Telephone Responsibility - It is important to identify and clarify whose role it is to answer the phone to avoid confusion and chaos.

2. The Greeting - It is much more than a "hello" or "good morning." Use your greeting to warmly welcome existing and potential customers to your business.

3. Telephone Etiquette - It's not so much "what you say," but "how you say it," that truly matters to your customers - continue to provide important information but focus on the delivery.

4. Scheduling Appointments - Make sure your employees know how to schedule those appointments - don't take it for granted that they already know!

5. Placing Callers on Hold - Establish a customer - friendly manner to place callers on hold without offending the customer.

6. Transferring Calls - Don't leave the caller hanging: let him or her know when and why you are transferring their call to another employee.

7. Leaving and Taking Messages - Identify what an appropriate message is to leave for a customer, as well as, how to gather all the necessary information when taking a message for other employees.

8. Handling the Unhappy Caller - It is important that employees keep their own cool when talking with an unhappy caller and work towards a mutually acceptable answer to the caller's concern.

9. Handling Tough Questions - Recognize how much information is okay to provide and when it is time to seek the assistance of a more seasoned employee.

10.Personal Calls - There really is no time that is acceptable for employees to make and receive personal calls. This behavior communicates to the customer that their time is more valuable than the customer's - a big put-off!

You can provide your employees with these necessary phone skills in your employee manual and through hands-on instruction. Consider adding a web-based front office and/or telephone training program to supplement your own training. This will ensure that you cover all bases and give your employees the best foundation possible.

In Short...

Do not ignore the significance of an employee that possesses great telephone training. Review the Top 10 skills with your employees on a regular basis and train a new employee as a part of their employee orientation. Your business will continue to thrive with every ring of the telephone.
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