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Edu-cat-ing front line employ-ees on appro-pri-ate tele-phone eti-quette is imper-a-tive for all train-ers and man-agers. Pre-sent-ing a pro-fes-sional image over the tele-phone is the first step to build-ing great rap-port with new cus-tomers, and keep them com-ing back for your prod-uct or ser-vices.

Phone Eti-quette: Vocal Skills

Voice reflects atti-tude. Even if the words are cor-rect and intended to be polite, tone could imply the oppo-site. Voice is made up of five dis-tinct ele-ments: tone, inflec-tion, pitch, rate and vol-ume. Your voice con-tains spe-cific per-cent-ages of each ele-ment that makes it uniquely yours. How-ever, there is a best prac-tice range within which your voice sounds con-fi-dent and most impor-tantly professional.

  • Tone is the most impor-tant vocal skill in great tele-phone eti-quette. Tone expresses your over-all atti-tude and lets the per-son you are com-mu-ni-cat-ing with know how you feel about them.
  • Inflec-tion refers to the way you high-light cer-tain words and phrases. When used well, a rep-re-sen-ta-tive can use inflec-tion to stress the impor-tance of cer-tain words and keep the caller engaged and on track.
  • Pitch refers to how high or low your voice sounds. Gen-er-ally higher pitched voices sound abra-sive, while low deeper voices tend to be more soothing.
  • Rate refers to the speed and cadence of your voice. Remind your front line staff to speak slowly and clearly, and/or adjust their rate to match the customers.
  • Vol-ume refers to how soft or loud you speak. Vol-ume is the eas-i-est ele-ment to con-trol. How-ever, many peo-ple are unaware that they speak too softly or too loudly and will need to be coached to use an appro-pri-ate level when tak-ing a call.

Tele-phone Eti-quette Guidelines

Tele-phone eti-quette can eas-ily be addressed dur-ing cus-tomer ser-vice train-ing ses-sions. Use the tips below to remind rep-re-sen-ta-tives on how to pro-vide good phone etiquette:

1. Use for-mal greet-ings. When answer-ing the call use a for-mal greet-ing and clearly state your name. It is con-sid-ered best prac-tice to use sir or ma'am to address customer's if names are unknown.

2. Speak clearly. Tak-ing the time to speak clearly and in a pos-i-tive, pro-fes-sional tone will put the caller at ease.

3. Hear & under-stand. Train your rep-re-sen-ta-tives to lis-ten care-fully to cus-tomers and let them fin-ish their thoughts with-out inter-rupt-ing. Ask ques-tions that clar-ify infor-ma-tion and con-firm that every-one is on the same page before mov-ing forward.

4. No food or bev-er-ages. This may seem like com-mon sense, but stress the impor-tance of refrain-ing from con-sum-ing food or bev-er-ages while tak-ing a call. The last thing your cus-tomers want to hear is slurp-ing and crunching.

Good Phone Eti-quette Increases Cus-tomer Satisfaction

Tele-phone eti-quette is one of the key com-po-nents to cus-tomer sat-is-fac-tion. Cus-tomer ser-vice rep-re-sen-ta-tives need to be well versed in prod-uct or ser-vice knowl-edge and pos-sess the skills to pos-i-tively share that infor-ma-tion with cus-tomers. Rep-re-sen-ta-tives who do not have good phone eti-quette are a lia-bil-ity and will neg-a-tively impact sales and cus-tomer reten-tion. How-ever, rep-re-sen-ta-tives who have good phone eti-quette will decrease esca-la-tions, increases sales and improve cus-tomer satisfaction.

Tele-phone eti-quette is an inte-gral part of cus-tomer ser-vice train-ing and a key indi-ca-tor of not only cus-tomer sat-is-fac-tion, but employee satisfaction.

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