Even today, in times of e-mails, video conferences or instant messaging, the telephone is still one of the most important means of communication in the business world. And that’s not going to change anytime soon, because picking up the phone is quick, direct and uncomplicated. But correct telephoning needs to be learned. For this reason, we have put together a checklist for you with various tips for successful telephone calls.
How to make successful phone calls
There are two types of telephone calls:
- Outbound call : We call the person we are talking to
- Inbound call : We are called
For both situations, we have put together a short checklist for you on how to make the right call and go into both the preparation and the correct behavior during the telephone call. Finally, we have a tip for you on how best to end a successful conversation.
Tips when calling someone (outbound calls):
Prepare the phone call carefully
Before starting a phone conversation, you should:
- Find all the documents you need
- Write down important questions
- Have a pen and pad ready to write
- Think carefully about what you want from the caller
- Set clear goals for the telephone conversation
Greet your counterpart in a friendly manner
At work, things can get stressful at times. But even in stressful situations, you should always meet your counterpart in a friendly and calm manner. Greet your conversation partner with a greeting, give your full name and the name of your company and, if necessary, start with a short small talk. A short “How are you” or “How did you spend the holidays?” Shows empathy and helps lighten the mood. It’s also a good idea to have a spelling board handy in case someone asks about your name. In addition, you should always find out the name of the person you are talking to and address them directly by name once or twice during the conversation. In this way you show that you are listening carefully and leave a good impression.
Also Read: The Customer Area And Its Advantages
State your concern
Even if small talk is a good way to start a phone call, you should still make sure that you don’t digress too much and after about a minute get to the real reason for your call. Be brief and explain exactly why you are calling. You should also avoid asking questions like “Are you free to make a call?”. This gives the impression that your request is not that important and that you could call again at a later date. Once they’ve answered your call, you just have to assume they’re available. If not, he will let you know on his own.
Overall, you should keep your statements short and crisp, use simple sentences and avoid foreign words. In contrast to an online meeting , where participants can also observe gestures and facial expressions, the recipient at the other end of the line only processes the conversation through one sense (hearing). As a result, attention can quickly dwindle during long phone calls.
Speak clearly and distinctly
By recording only one sense, you have to shine with your voice. Be sure to speak clearly, clearly and not too quickly, and try not to sound monotonous, otherwise the call can quickly become tiring. You can give your voice more power by getting up from time to time.
Tips when someone calls you (inbound calls)
Answer the phone call promptly
Before you can even make a phone call, you have to make sure that you can be reached easily. Today, modern telephone systems from the cloud make it possible to be reached anywhere under the office number – whether in the office, home office or on the go via softphone . If you can be reached, you should always ensure that you answer the call as quickly as possible (preferably after the second or third ring). If the caller waits too long, there’s a good chance they’re already unnerved before you even answer the call.
Be sure to greet them in a friendly manner
Of course, you should always be friendly and courteous when you receive a call. In this case, you simply reverse the greeting process, ie you first state the name of your company, then your own name and finally end the introduction with a small greeting phrase.
Memorize the name and listen carefully
Again, you should have a pen and paper ready to hand so that you can write down the name of the customer or the caller so that you don’t have to ask for it again later. Listen carefully and also signal this, either with confirmation words such as “Yes,” “Ok,” “I understand” or by asking specific questions.
Ask if something is unclear
In any case, you should ask questions if you did not understand something correctly. This is the only way you can be sure that you know exactly what the customer expects from you and what you should do after the call. So don’t be afraid to ask and let the caller describe the request in detail again.
Keep calm and see criticism as an opportunity
Some customers not only express specific questions or concerns on the hotline, but also make complaints. Service employees sometimes have to endure a lot here and not everyone can handle it well. When the situation escalates, it is important to let the customer speak and remain calm. Take notes on the points raised and revisit them later. Realize that honest criticism gives you and the company an opportunity to improve. Suggest solutions or if you are not in a position to make decisions, guarantee the other person that the right contact person will get in touch at a later date.
Be positive & don’t forward without warning
Nobody can know everything. If you don’t have a satisfactory answer at hand, don’t be ashamed. It is only important that you are honest with your counterpart and do not pass on false information. You either get the information you need and get in touch again at a later date, or you connect the person you are talking to with another colleague. However, make sure to use positive wording at all times. This means that even if you don’t know something or if something is currently not available, under no circumstances simply say “I’m sorry, I don’t know” or “We don’t have it there”. Instead, use the positive phrase “I’ll put you through to a colleague who can help you right away” or “We’ll get back to you next week”.
Summarize the most important things
In order for your phone call to have a successful end, you should summarize all the important points before you hang up, especially in the case of longer phone calls. This way you can be sure that both participants have understood everything and are on the same page. Make sure the next step is clear and say goodbye politely. On this occasion, it also makes sense to address the other person by name one last time and thank them for the nice conversation.
Also Read: Communication Rules: What You Should Pay Attention To As A Project Manager