5 essential business phone etiquette tips

How to handle phone calls professionally at your business

For 90% of Americans, customer service is an important determining factor when deciding whether or not to do business with a particular company [1].

Professional business phone etiquette plays a huge part in delivering quality customer service—and it’s something that can make or break your business.

Learn these 5 business phone etiquette tips to help your business thrive:

  1. Answer the phone promptly with a friendly, professional greeting

75% of customers think that contacting a live agent takes too long [2].

Avoid a negative customer experience by answering the phone within three rings with a professional, positive greeting. Your greeting should start by stating who you are and the name of the organization, and end with asking the caller how you can assist them.

  1. Speak clearly, properly, and politely

Ensure that your volume is at a regular level, speak slowly, and enunciate. Avoid using casual language including slang words, jargon, and filler words such as “um” and “like”.

  1. Actively listen and take detailed notes

Show your customers you value them by empathizing with their concerns and fully engaging in the conversation. If you need to take a message, be sure to take detailed notes and ask clarifying questions as needed.

  1. Let the caller know what’s going to happen next

Abruptly placing the caller on hold or transferring their call can be confusing and frustrating.

If you do need to place them on hold, be sure that it’s only for a brief period of time. On average, a caller will wait on hold for 11 minutes before hanging up [2].

  1. Summarize the call before you hang up

Before ending the call, summarize the important points and provide the necessary information regarding next steps.

Doing so assures the customer that you were listening and gives them the confidence that their problem will be resolved. It’s also a good chance to gain any missed information.

Business phone etiquette is a key aspect of good customer service, especially considering that 48% of customers prefer communicating with companies via telephone [1].

My top advice: coach all of your employees on these business phone etiquette tips to ensure consistent top-notch customer service across the board.

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[1] Hubspot

[2] Help Scout

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