7 Tips to Improve Your Phone Etiquette

As administrative assistants we spend a lot of time of the phone.  Whether it is answering calls or making calls there is no doubt that phone work is a big part of our job.  We are often the first voice that people hear when they call so it is often our voice that is associated with the company.

Here are some tips for having great phone manners:

1. Introduce yourself.  I like to know who I am talking to when I phone a company and I like to know that I’ve dialed the right number.  “Good morning.  ABC Company.  Danielle speaking.”  It is quick and to the point assures them that there is a friendly person waiting to help them.  
2. Find out the name of the person you are speaking to and use it.  People like to hear their name – it makes the conversation more personal.  It also makes them feel like you matter to them.   If you’re the one who made the call and have something to request they are more likely to feel that they should comply.  It is amazing how something as simple as using someone’s name can help you get what you want.
3. Listen.  I’ve heard people say that you should spend 1/3 of a conversation talking and the other 2/3’s of the conversation listening.  By listening you will need to say less and what you say will be more effective.
4. Use tone, pitch, and inflection to communicate.  In person to person conversations people look to your body language to determine the message you are trying to convey but on the phone we don’t have that advantage.  Instead, use tone, pitch, and inflection to stress important points.
5. Slow down.  Most of us are fairly fast talkers and on the phone it can be more difficult to understand fast words.  Slow down a bit – but not so much that the person on the other end thinks that you think they are not smart enough to understand!
6. Enunciate.  Make sure you are fully enunciating your words.  Don’t let the ends of words slide away.
7. Smile.  Yes, I said smile. I know that they can’t see you but believe it or not, they can hear you smiling!  Try saying something negative with a smile on your face.  Difficult isn’t it?