Receptionist Etiquette Tip: 3 Must-have Habits

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What are the secrets of the Ruby® trade? Our virtual receptionist team has lots of little routines that help make each call breezy. If you’re seeking a few ways to wow your callers and coworkers, look no further! Here are three fab phone answering tips from the Ruby team:

Take a message even when your caller declines to leave one.

Ruby’s live virtual receptionists call them FYI messages, as in “Maria declined to leave a message. She said she’d call back later. Just an FYI.”

Here’s the funny thing: you know that caller who keeps trying to reach your boss, but says “Oh, I’ll just try back” each time, declining to leave a message? When that caller finally reaches the boss, they’re liable to say “I’ve called several times! Didn’t your receptionist tell you?” Zing! When a caller opts not to leave a message, play it safe and take one anyway.

Don’t make assumptions about solicitations. 

Think you can spot a telemarketer through a thousand miles of phone line? You may be right…most of the time. But one slip-up can cause big problems. Throwing an “I’m sorry, we’re not interested” at your boss’s colleague is sure to cause blowback.

Ruby’s suggestion: When a caller asks for someone by name, offer the call to that person. If a solicitor-y sounding caller asks for “the owner of the company,” or “the director of IT,” or some general appellation, politely probe a bit by asking, “May I ask if this is a solicitation?” If the caller replies with anything but a “Yes,” offer the call to the appropriate person, or at least offer to take a message. And before you do any of this, ask your team how they’d like you to handle solicitation calls — some folks like talking to telemarketers.

One final note: No matter how fishy a caller sounds, be nice. Solicitors are people, too!

Don’t count on your memory — write it down.

It’s embarrassing to go back to a caller and ask “May I have your name again?” and even more embarrassing to say “I have…oh, ummm, I forgot his name…on the line” when offering a call. Start taking notes when a call begins, and don’t break the habit no matter how confident you get. Have a pen and paper handy or keep a word processing document open throughout the day — whatever makes it easiest for you to note details as your callers rattle them off.

What are your standby telephone answering habits? Let us in on your secrets by Tweeting us @callruby!

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