The phone rings. Is the stage set for a memorable caller experience? Here are five simple practices that will take your phone answering from ho-hum to WOW!
1. Greeting. Your phone greeting may be the first words a new client hears from your company—make ’em count! Take a breath before uttering your greeting, and speak slowly and clearly. And don’t forget to smile; it’ll add warmth to your tone of voice and boost your mood!
2. Practice great grammar. Speaking
good well sets your conversation up for success. Proper elocution, diction, and grammar clarify meaning and limit misunderstandings. Correct grammar also intones a certain amount of respect. You probably speak with a bit more poise when talking to your grandmother than your buddy in a bar; proper grammar is plain ol’ polite.
3. Use enthusiastic words! Which sounds better: “Sure, no problem,” or “Absolutely! My pleasure!” The former sounds dreary while the latter is energized, upbeat, and coveys a sense of genuine helpfulness. Substitute “absolutely” and “certainly” for “yeah” and “uh-huh,” and descriptive words like “fantastic,” “wonderful,” and “gladly” for that ubiquitous adjective “good.”
4. Create a custom spelling alphabet. Nothing is too small to make an impression! Imagine you’re on a call with a potential new client. Things are going well; you’re smiling, using positive phrasing, and sharing a few laughs while you answer their questions. Then, it comes time to verify the spelling of their name: “Is that R as in Romeo, U as in Uniform, B as in Bravo, Y as in Yankee?” A bit jarring after your snappy repartee, right? Try the Ruby Spelling Alphabet instead, or create your own based on your company’s unique brand!
5. Don’t leave callers hanging. When you don’t know the answer to a caller’s query, try this helpful phrase: “I’d be happy to….” There are limitless applications:
“Great question! I’d be happy to find out for you.”
“While our firm doesn’t focus on personal injury law, I’d be happy to give you a referral.”
“John is away from the phone at the moment, but I would be happy to let him know you called! May I take a message?”
Like magic, you’ve instantly turned a dead end into an opportunity to surprise and delight your customer.
How do you take ordinary interactions and make them extraordinary? Share in the comments below!