How to Answer the Phone Properly at Your Business

How to Handle Phone Calls Professionally

How your business answers the phone can play a critical part in delivering an amazing customer experience. But do you know what steps you can take to make sure your team members are answering the phone properly?

Use these 10 tips to start or improve how phone calls are managed in your business.

Steps to Handle Phone Calls Professionally

Promptly Answer Calls

How many times should you let the phone ring when answering? Answering on the first ring can actually catch people off guard. Waiting too long, and there is a chance the person will hang up. Try to answer the phone at your business on the third ring.

Be warm and welcoming

How fast and high or low you talk can determine how friendly your voice comes across. Use strong breaths to control your voice. Use kind words and remain respectful. Taking the time to ask the person’s name can also make the call welcoming.

Introduce yourself and your business

Give your name and business so the caller knows where they are calling and who they are speaking with. If you have a direct line to a specific department within a business, be sure to identify the department the person is calling.

Speak Clearly

Letting the caller understand your words is key to successfully communicating with a caller. The first step to speaking clearly is to take a deep breath. Slowly begin to speak so you can focus on each word. Then gradually speak faster until you are speaking normally.

Do not use slang or buzz words

Every professional knows you can’t use improper language on the phone. Common mistake businesses make is using vocabulary callers are not familiar with. For instance, in the medical field, people are not familiar with the name of procedures or medication. In instances like this, it is important to use vocabulary that callers will understand.

Ask before you put people on hold

If you need to put a caller on hold, it’s important to set expectations with the caller. As an example, in the instance you need to transfer the caller, let them know you are putting them on hold and who you will be transferring them to.

Don't just put call through

When you go to transfer a call, don’t simply put a call through. Like participating in a relay race, it’s critical to have a smooth handoff. First, make sure the person you are transferring to is available. If they are available, let them know who is on the line and make sure they can take the call. You can then put the call through or take a message as needed.

Be prepared for your calls

When you answer a call, having the caller wait while you organize yourself can cause for a poor call experience. Take the time before answering calls to prepare yourself. This can include having access to the tools needed to manage calls. An example is having your appointment scheduling software available.

Take messages properly

When taking a message, be sure to collect all the information you need to help satisfy the caller's needs. In some instances, you simply need a phone number and the reason for the call. Other times you will need to collect more specific information to help solve their problem. Take the time to verify the details. Finally, let the caller know what will happen after the call is over. Will they get a callback? Will a support ticket be opened? Whatever the case is, let them know what to expect.

Summarize the call before it ends

Before the call is over, verify with the caller that the information you collected is accurate. Repeat the information to the caller. If you need to make a correction, you can quickly make the change.

Follow these 10 tips on how to answer the phone properly at your business. Taking these steps will put you on the path to delivering a better customer experience.