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How do you talk on the phone?

10:03 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How do you answer calls? How do you end calls? How do you talk to the customer during calls? How do you put the customer on hold? How does your phone system answer and direct calls?

I started out answering the phone, "This is Phil with Widget."

But after some practice, I now answer the phone, "Thank you for calling Widget.com, this is Phil, how may I help you?" And I think it sounds much more professional.

I've never addressed the customer as sir or maam, but rather by their first name. Not even last. Just first.

When the call is over, they say "ok thanks" or "thanks for your help", I just say "Thanks, Bye". I think I should say something like "Have a great great day" and wait for them to hang up first.

When calling my 800 number, you are greeted by "Thank you for calling Widget.com, your source for custom widget products. For sales please pless 1, for support press 2, or for the operator press 3." If it is past business hours (which are not official - it is just whenever I am awake :) ) "Thank you for calling... Our offices are now closed however you may always place your order 24 hours a day at our secure site at Widget.com"

So how is your (or your phone representative's) phone ettiquite? What kind of language do you use when a credit card is approved? What do you say when it is declined? How do you get their order information? How do you ask if that is all they want to order?

11:02 am on Aug 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Try to answer the phone on the second ring. Speak clearly and slowly and keep pace with the caller. Remember your smile even shown through the phone line.

Close the call when it's going to over with "Have a nice day or "Thank you for speaking to us"

Let the caller hang up first.

10:12 am on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Make sure you don't receive the phone calls in public and noisy areas (incase you redirect them to your mobile. . .and don't laugh there are people who do this) . . . Also don't at all be late in responding, at every ring the customer will lose hope in making business with you. (What else is left if you recieve calls late).



10:14 am on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I always say "Cheers, Bye" at the end of the call :)

However, I am sure that is not the recommended way of ending the call.

Things like "Thanks for your enquiry, Thanks for your call" etc are probably better.

10:17 am on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Most calls and all emails are ended with "Thanks for contacting us"


5:12 pm on Aug 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Your ideas on sign offs were interesting, don't you think that these can get a bit embarrassing.

My favourite is that British Gas customer care have to say
'bye, thank you for calling british gas,'
it's an impossible amount of syllables to get out and seems absurd when you've rung to shout at them about their overpriced badly run service.

We always identify the company, I get annoyed when people just identify their department, most importantly we listen to what people want to say, so we are helping with what they want. I've had five calls with a support line today and only the last guy actually listened to what was wrong, the others tried to fob me off.

If people ring to complain I always use the word sorry, even when its not my fault, as in 'sorry it didn't get to you in time'. I use the word in emails a lot as well. I think people appreciate the fact that you're taking responsibility and trying to help.
We also never use Sir or Maam, but sometimes, Mr or Mrs Surname, because a lot of the people that ring don't want to use the internet because they are older and they appreciate the politeness. Also its really fun when a reverend or major rings up.