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How to speak on the phone professionally

How to speak on the phone

We’ve all grown up with access to telephones or at least the option of being able to speak on the phone – whether that was straight into the mobile phones era or starting off on the good old landline. But nobody exactly prepares you for when the time comes to speak on the phone professionally. Suddenly our casual greetings and farewells need to be moulded into appropriate phone etiquette – but how? When do we learn how to speak on the phone professionally? Our handy phone etiquette tips can provide you with some advice on corporate receptionist-style telephone etiquette, and how to get it right.

Receptionist Phone etiquette tips

  1. Answer promptly – if possible, answer the phone call within three rings. Depending on the nature of your specific role, and whether it’s your job to always be available to take calls, ensure you are focussed on answering the calls immediately. Customers or clients won’t want to be kept waiting, so be alert and ready to take your calls. Fact: if the phone rings 6 times, that is equal to 30 seconds – which seems like quite a long time to wait for a call to be answered!
  2. Introductions – introduce yourself on the call immediately and give off a warm and welcoming vibe. Introduce the business you are working for, your name, and ask them how you can help. For example, “Good morning, this is Brenda speaking from Grosvenor House, how can I help?” Simple, yet extremely effective, and it should lead them feeling like they are in safe hands. There’s nothing worse than calling up a business to be greeted with a simple “Hello?”, leaving you question whether you have called the right number.
  3. Diction and enunciation – speaking clearly and properly is extremely important for demonstrating good telephone manners. Remember to slow down and speak up if you are feeling tongue tied. Be careful not to use slang or buzz words, or lingo that your customer might not understand, as this could lead to an unsatisfactory customer experience.
  4. Transferring calls or putting on hold – one of the most frustrating things for callers is to be put on hold without being informed first. It can lead to confusion, and even result in them ending the call. Be completely transparent in what you’re doing – whether that’s putting them on hold for what could be about 5-minutes, or transferring the call to another member of the team.
  5. Summarise your call – before the call ends, be sure to summarise the outcome of the call, any next actions and anything that the customer needs to do in the meantime. That will also reassure callers that you were listening the entire duration of the call, and you have understood their query.

How Grosvenor House can help with business phone etiquette

However, sometimes, despite our best efforts, some of us just aren’t that comfortable with speaking on the phone professionally. We can get tongue tied, panicked and just generally have phone-fear. That’s where Grosvenor House can help.

With our call handling services as part of our virtual office solutions, we can alleviate the professional calls you’ll need to take by answering your company calls for you. Our internal receptionist will spend time getting to know your business, the services you offer and provide familiarity to customers who call up frequently. Some of the benefits of our call handling services include:

  • Never missing a call again – our internal receptionist has all calls covered. Calls can either be forwarded to your mobile phone, or we can advise the caller you are engaged and that you’ll call them back shortly.
  • Save money on hiring receptionist staff – with our call handling service, you could save anything from between £15,000 – £25,000 a year from not having to hire a receptionist for your business.
  • Allows you some downtime – especially as a start-up business, you may have many of your calls coming directly to your mobile – which can cause you to feel as if you’re never really able to switch off. With our call handling services, clients and customers can call through to your registered office number instead, and the calls can be handled from there – allowing you some downtime and a break from the daily grind.

Learn more about the benefits of call handling from our detailed guide. For more information on our premium business package for call forwarding and personal messaging, get in touch with the friendly team here at Grosvenor House today for more information and support.