Telephone Tips: Steer Clear of Common Mistakes That Damage Relationships

A Suttle ShiftWhen you’re handling a serious conversation on the telephone, the rules change.

Your client can’t see you taking notes while hanging on his every word. Your friend isn’t seeing your head nod to know you’re right there with her.

Listening on the phone is different. Without realizing it, you could make a poor impression, and even be damaging  relationships. On today’s video you’ll learn a simple telephone tip that will leave your customers, colleagues, and even your kids certain that your really there for them.

Are you a noisy listener on the phone? Here are a few more phone tips:

Reset Your Mood. When the phone rings, it’s not always easy to let go of the frustration of the moment and offer a pleasing welcome. Your mood shows up in the tone of your voice. Select a trigger to help remind you to be fully present – like a sticker on your phone, comic strip on your bulletin board, or imagine a mood reset button that is activated when your hand touches the phone.

Start with a Warm Greeting. A personalized greeting sets the tone for the conversation. For example, instead of “Hello” try something like, “Good morning. Suttle Enterprises. This is Marilyn.”

Transfer without Abandoning. When a customer calls with a long, complicated problem, you may discover that it needs to be handled by a different person or department. Reassure the caller that you will not abandon them. Offer to patch them through and explain the situation to the next person in the chain. Make sure that your final words create a lasting positive impression. When you’re busy, it’s tempting to short change the end of a conversation. Instead, thank them for the call, and express that you’re leaving them in good hands.”

Don’t be aloof or saccharine sweet. When your tone is flat or gushes insincere interest, you push people away. After a call you’ll have either deepened that relationship, made no impact on the relationship or damaged it. Genuine interest, curiosity, and a natural conversation style will deepen it.

Let clients control waits. Instead of making people wait, take a moment to ask for their permission to wait. After they’ve agreed to wait, they’ll find it a bit easier. Ask, “Would you mind waiting?” If it will take longer than a minute or two, offer to call the person back so they don’t have to stay on hold too long. One minute can feel like forever to the person on hold.

Don’t take a phone message without confirming you got it right. Communication breakdowns can be diverted by taking the extra step to ensure that the message is accurate.

Do you have a phone tip to add to the list?

Share in the comments below.

 

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