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TELEPHONE TECHNIQUES

 

v      Telephone is such an important communication tool. All office workers should be able to use proper telephone technique to answer incoming calls courteously & effectively.

 

v      The first impression of an organisation is often based on how we are treated by the person answering the phone. If the person is pleasant, courteous & interested in helping we, we probably form a good impression of the company.

 

v      Many companies’ use answering machine, voice messages system, as well as switchboard operators, to process incoming telephone calls.

 

v      The new technology however does not replace the need for good manners, courtesy & efficiency when handling telephone calls.

 

v      A difficult business caller is a person:

 

  1. Prevented from getting what he/she expected
  2. Who is by nature very demanding

 

v      Positive customer service and telephone culture is about how effective & efficient the frontline business professional’s work as a team.

 

v      It also about how effective & efficiency all the business employees work as a team.

 

 

The Important of Telephone

 

a.       Without telephone it is difficult to conduct business.

b.       It is probably responsible for most customer contacts.

c.       By using telephone professionalism it can show your true personality

d.       An effective telephone personality will help we win friends & create good will. Since the person can’t see we, we are judge only by the sound of your voice and your action

 

Telephone is one of the most useful inventions ever made. It is important to know how to operate is properly & effectively

 

 

How to Project A Warm Phone Personality

 

a.       Be attentive, and inject some enthusiasm in your voice when answering calls and queries.

b.       Try to be polite with everyone, including those who are rude or difficult.

c.       Try to personalise the call. When we use a person’s name, we are treating him or her as in individual & not just another faceless caller.

d.       When person for whom the call is intended is not in, apologise & then offer to help.

E.g.

a.       Would we like to leave a message?

b.       May I have your name & telephone number so that Mr. X could return your call?

Making A Good First Impression.

 

1.     Your Voice

 

Use your voice to convey the interest, alertness & courtesy normally exhibited in face-to-face conversation.

 

2.     Visualise the caller

 

Know what exactly what the person look through his voice

 

3.     Communicate Positively. (Speak with enthusiasm)

 

§         An animated voices (full of life) reflect interest in the caller.

§         A monotonous (one tone) voice suggest indifferent and inattention.

 

4.     Your Speech Patterns.

 

§         Pronounce each word distinctly

§         Speak at a proper speed.

 

5.     Your Vocabulary & Attitude

 

 

INCOMING TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION

 

Proper Telephone Techniques (How to answer phone calls)

 

a.       Answer promptly, great the caller pleasantly and identify your self, company etc.

b.       Be crisp and clear yet friendly and polite

c.       Call should be put to the right department; if there are more than one call

d.       Clarify which one the caller wants to speak to

e.       Before we answer the phone, try to put on a smile. Its helps to project a friendly pleasant voice over the phone.

f.       Make sure that your pronunciation is clear, and your intonation is natural

g.       A well-modulated voice is also very important.

 

Don’t

 

Do

 

v      What do we want?

v      Who’s this?

v      What? I can’t hear we?

 

 

 

v      How may I help we?

v      May I know who’s on the line, please?

v      Could we speak a little louder please?

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to put a caller on hold.

 

When a call comes in for a colleague who is on another line or who is away from his desk for a short while, place the caller on hold.

 

E.g.       could you hold on for a moment, please?

 

            Sound much better then the curt “Hold on”.

 

§         Try not to put a caller on hold for too long. If you must have the line to get whatever information the caller has requested, give that caller the option og holding or being called back.

 

§         If you have to keep the caller on hold for a long time, apologise for the delay.

 

 

How To Transfer Calls Effectively.

 

§         Explain the situation before you transfer the call. The caller will appreciate your effort & efficiency

 

§         Never transfer a call to another extension simply to get rid of the caller. When a caller is being passed from extension to extension, he will leave the line with a negative impression of your company.

 

How To Screen Calls

 

§         Sometime it is important that you find out the identity of the caller so that appropriate action can be taken..

§         At all time be polite: who shall I say is calling, please?

 

2 reason why certain calls need to be screened:

 

a.       To let the receiver know in advance what the call is about so he can handle it in a more efficient manner and can have minimal time wastage.

 

b.       It is as effective way to block out unwanted calls.

 

§         When someone calls up for assistance or specific information, determine who is the best person to help the caller.

 

§         Explain that the situation is best to handle by the department concerned and let the caller know to whom you are transferring the call.

 

§         Tell your colleague the caller’s name & the nature of call.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Take Down Message.

 

§         When taking a message note the names are correctly spelt. Verify the message by repeating. Repeat what you think the caller meant by a certain message so that inaccuracy or miscommunication is prevented.

 

§         If you fail to hear something, ask the caller to repeat or clarify the point. A poorly recorded message can lead to a negative impression of your company.

 

 

Guidelines to taking messages.

 

  1. Name of the caller
  2. Name of Company
  3. Telephone Contact Number
  4. Message
  5. Date / Time
  6. Initial of Receiver.

 

 

Take message using a computer

 

By using computer message screen offers:

 

a.       Less time is needed to key a message than to write it.

b.       The number of lost message can be reduced since messages can be transformed immediately to the intended receivers.

c.       Printed message forms are not needed.

 

All information are same as a hand-written message.

 

 

How To Deal With Problem Calls

 

§         Keep your voice cool when you have a rude or abusive caller on the other end of the line.

§         Instead of being thrown of track by angry or offensive remarks, focus on the problem (not the person) and think of a possible solution.

§         Try to keep your voice pleasant and convey to the caller that you are trying to find a solution for him / her. Let him know that you will put him through to someone else who can help him, if you are unable to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HANDLING OUTGOING CALLS

 

1.     Preparing to call

§         Make a habit of planning calls before pick up the receiver to place them

§         Verify the area code & number, name of the person and extension if needed.

§         Outline what you will include in the conversation especially more than one topic to be discussed.

§         If a file of correspondence may be needed during conversation, be sure this is on your desk before you place the call.

§         Planning on STD call in advance reduce the time (and cost) of the call and make it more effective.

 

2.     Making a call

§         Dial carefully. As soon as the telephone is answered, identify yourself and your organisation & state the purpose of your call.

 

3.     Time Zones.

§         If your place calls to cities and towns across the country, be ware of differences in time zone. You must calculate the difference in time before you make the call.

§         Consider the convenience and the availability of the person you are calling, especially lunch time, early in the morning and end of work hours particularly if you are dialling direct.

§         Remember to take daylight saving time into consideration when it applies

 

 

USING THE TELEPHONE DIRECTORY

 

§         It is valuable reference book

§         This directory useable when to find the telephone number of business or an individual in your local area.

§         The directory is arranged in two major sections:

 

  1. White Pages (alphabetic listing)

§         Its contain a listing of all telephones in our local calling area.

§         Did not show listings assigned after the directory was published or numbers that are unlisted at the subscriber’s request.

§         Are arranged according to the rules of alphabetic filling.

 

  1. Yellow pages (the classified directory)

§         Are used countless time a day.

§         There is an invaluable source of businesses, services, listed under descriptive headings.

§         The headings are designed to make it easy to find what you are looking for and provide & extensive system of cross – referencing for any additional help you might need.

 

 

 

 

Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD)

 

§         Long distance calls are dialled direct by the subscriber

§         The subscriber is changed for the duration of the call and not for a three minutes time segment as in operator – assisted long distance calls.

§         The area code must be dialled first and the required number.

 

Operator Assisted Calls

 

§         It is a call that requires the help of an operator.

§         This call is more expensive than those you dial direct.

§         Operator Assisted Calls is required for person to person calls, collect calls and conference calls.

§         Person-to-person calls are the most expensive type of Operator Assisted Calls.

§         Collect Calls – The charges for a collect call are billed to the telephone number being called, not to number from which the call was placed.

§         Conference Calls – When executive needs to talk to several people in different locations. Things that we should to know before making a conference call:

 

  1. What is the name of the person being called?
  2. Where are they located?
  3. What are their telephone numbers?
  4.  When is the conference desired?

 

By this information, The conference operator will then reserve the conference equipment and place the call at the appropriate time.

 

 

EFFECTIVE TELEPHONE TECHNIQUES

 

1.            Answer the telephone promptly, be courteous and pleasant and be prepared to take messages.

2.           Use the caller’s name frequently

3.           Offer to ring back rather than keep callers waiting.

4.           Screen calls politely, and be aware of staff availability by maintaining some system of noting staff movement so time is not wasted transferring calls.

5.           Take accurate telephone messages and follow through in seeing the message is delivered as quickly as possible.

6.           Ensure calls are returned as soon as possible

7.           Learn the terminology associated with the telephone.

8.           Use the local capital city and country directory efficiently and obtain directories for other areas if these are needed in the office.

9.           Check telephone number before dialling.

10.        Report any default or difficulties promptly.

11.         Maintain an up-to-date list of regularly called numbers and emergency numbers to save time when making calls. This is especially useful for anyone relieving on the switchboard or at your extension.

12.        Be familiar with operator services provided by Telekom Malaysia. These may be researched by checking the information pages of your directory.

13.        List business to be discussed before placing a call, particularly for long-distance or overseas calls.

14.        Dial STD calls whenever possible rather than place operator assisted which are more expensive.

15.        Become familiar with facilities and equipment available through Telekom or private telecommunication equipment supplies.

16.        Learn the basic operating techniques for the different types of communication equipment

17.        Keep personal calls to a minimum in the business office.

 

 

FIVE STRATEGIES FOR REACHING YOUR TARGET

 

When you want to get through to a busy person who doesn’t know you, it’s particularly important to be skilled in these time saving strategies.

 

1.     Used a confident tone.

 

When you use a confident tone of voice and communicate personal warmth, you’ll discover that people are much luckier to help you.

 

2.     Use confident terminology – delete all downers from your telephone vocabulary

 

The most common ones include:

 

            “He’s probably not in, but ……”

            “She may not want to talk to me , but ……..”

            “I’ve been trying to reach her for days, but she always out!”

 

      Confident terminology includes expressing appreciation of the person handling the call.

            “Thank you for taking my message, I appreciate your help in getting Mr X and me together.”

           

3.       Explain why you are calling and highlight benefit to the person called. The key is to focus on what you want to give not what you want to get.

 

4.     Be creative in your timing.

 

If you are having trouble getting through to someone despite repeated calls, phone before the start of the normal business day.

 

5.     Open the way with a letter

 

A letter often works when telephone calls alone want it. It can:

 

  1. Give you an opportunity to headline the benefit to your offer, demonstrates that you are serious about waiting to communicate with the person.
  2. Can serve a leverage when you make your next call.

 

Reduce call back confusion (Leave complete messages.)

 

a.         Give your first and last name, and the name of your organisation

 

b.         Give your telephone number automatically

 

c.         The pause pays off

 

d.         Say why you want the person to call you back.