by Bob Negen, Retail Expert

Tip #20 - Ten Telephone Tips to give great customer service on the phone:

1. Focus on the phone call you are about to take. Make a conscious mental shift from your last customer, task, or conversation. Don't answer the phone while you are still talking to someone else.

2. Take a deep breath, exhale and SMILE before you answer the phone. Your smile will come through in your voice even though your caller can't see you.

3. Put a mirror by the phone (if possible) to remind yourself to smile and sit or stand straight.

4. Always give your business name and your name when you answer. The caller wants to know they have reached the right place, and who they are talking to.

5. Speak slowly and articulate your words, especially your greeting. Make sure it doesn't sound like you're too rushed to talk.

6. Use proper English and avoid slang. You're not addressing your buddies, but your business contacts.

7. Be sure to say “Thank you” at the end of every call. There's always a reason to thank a customer for making the effort to contact your company.

8. The “Goodbye” is as important as the “Hello.” Make sure your caller has finished everything they want to say before you hang up. Wait for them to say goodbye and hang up before you do.

9. If you are leaving a message on anyone's voicemail, it's especially important that you say your name and the company name clearly. You may even want to spell it if there is any question.

10. When leaving a voicemail, leave your return phone number, even if you think they already have it. Make sure you say the number distinctly and SLOWLY. Remember, they are writing this number down, and it’s annoying to have to replay the message several times to get it.
Another good trick is to say your name, company name, and telephone number at BOTH the beginning and the very end of your message.

Information provided with permission by Whizbang! Training.