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It’s All In The Name …

November 11, 2012
Mary Jane Copps

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How you answer your business telephone – be it a land line or a cellphone – tells your customers a lot about you and the service you provide. If you want to deliver “awesome” follow the simple guidelines below:

1)     Express your desire to be of service. Don’t answer the phone in a distracted manner or, even worse, in a moment of panic. This clearly tells your caller they are unimportant, an inconvenience. When your phone rings, visualize that you are about to extend your hand in greeting. This will put “welcome” into the tone of your voice.

2)     Speak clearly and slowly. A rush of words that are mumbled together is disorienting for a caller. It can create a moment of uncertainty, as in “Have I called the right number?”  This is not conducive to good communication, to inspiring conversation and sharing information.

3)     Use your name – every time. A person’s name is the most important aspect of any welcome. As in the example above, visualize extending your hand to someone. Would you do that and say “Hi, I’m ABC Company.”  I don’t think so. While the company name matters and there’s value in a phrase like “How can I help you?”, the highest priority when you answer the phone is your name. While we all give our business to companies, it is people we trust and work with. Remaining nameless on the other end of a telephone doesn’t build relationships or engage customers.

For more tips on answering your telephone, check out my recent article in the The Coral Wire, a wonderful newsletter published by Coral Business Communications Inc –  http://www.icontact-archive.com/g63M-UXK75L7bqrg4e_siKWUQT_xpZPx?w=1 

And since you’re here, why not leave your comments on answering the phone. What works best for you when you answer the phone – or when someone takes your call?

One Last Thought (this one really had a big impact on me)

Inspiration exists – but it has to find you working. Pablo Picasso

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Debbie Brady says:

    This post interests me, as most of your articles do. I was wondering if you have any comments or advice for people who work from home and do not have a dedicated work phone number? In my situation for example, there is just my husband and I here now. So I don’t have concerns about offspring answering the phone. I have call display but that’s not always helpful as some business calls come from numbers that say private caller or simply the owner’s name. Do you recommend answering all unknown caller calls by stating “Hello! Debbie Brady speaking” for example?

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Yes, Debbie, that’s exactly what I recommend. It will seem a bit awkward at first, and some of your friends and family members that call will find it a bit strange, but they’ll understand. Having said this, if your business fits within a structured time frame, then you can answer the phone (or leave it unanswered) outside those hours. For example, a call coming in at 8 pm when your clients mostly work 9 am to 5 pm, could be answered with a simple “hello” or allowed to go to voicemail.

  2. Kathy Betts says:

    I love reading your articles as they are so well written and make so much sence (common sence that is). I use your articles as refresher training to be the best business women I can be.

    Thanks so much for the reminders

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