If I need the receptionist to answer the phone a certain way for my business, how do I ask politely?
The professional secretary/receptionist is there for you so asking them to answer in a certain manner should never be a problem. They are your link to the outside world and how they answer is always important. Here are some phone etiquette processes that should be followed by all businesses:
1. Preparation – Taking certain preparation steps will help you listen better and concentrate more fully on what the customer is saying.
2. A Strong Start – If a phone call gets off to an bad start, it can quickly turn frustrating. It is important to say “good morning” or “good afternoon” and be pleasant from the start.
3. Speaking Clearly – always be pleasant and speak slowly and clearly when answering the phone.
4. Proper Tone of Voice. This is one of the most important and vital features in phone etiquette. Remember, you are the link to the outside world for the tenant. If you are in a bad mood, don’t take it out on the caller — always be pleasant! Callers can sense moods depending on how you answer the call and they will mention it to the tenant.
5. Effective Listening. It is important to listen to what the caller is saying and what they need. You don’t have to listen to their whole “life story”, but interrupt them gently.
6. Positive Speech. There are certain words, phrases and attitudes that can “put off” a caller. Make sure you “care” about the caller, but conversely, you do not have to take abuse or foul language from them either. Tell them calmly yet firmly that you do not have to listen to that kind of language and then hang up.
7. Practice the Golden Rule – How would you want someone to answer the phone and treat you when you are the caller? Think about this as you answer the phone and treat the caller with the utmost respect.
Chris, Leasing Manager