If you have ever heard me present you will know that I see the telephone as an untapped brand experience tool that most businesses take for granted.

If you haven’t realised it yet, your phone is one of the first points of contact a customer has with you and if not managed correctly can literally repel clients from your business!

For this reason it surprises me how many businesses don’t take answering their phone politely or correctly. Is there really a correct way to answer a phone you might ask? And I’m so glad you have, as I believe that there is…

When used correctly your telephone can be an amazing business tool that can help build a connected, friendly and relatable brand.

For most businesses one of the first forms of contact with a new client is over the telephone. So it goes without saying then, that a professional, yet friendly telephone manner is paramount in obtaining or engaging a new client. In saying that, it also goes a long way in maintaining great customer retention with your current clients.

The most important aspect of the telephone is the way that you or your team answer it. Far too often, small business operators answer their calls with a curt ‘yes’ or even a grunt (I kid you not).

To maintain a professional image, you merely have to answer the phone correctly and speak clearly.

Here are 5 simple tips to correctly answering your phone and to put you on the road to having a professional telephone manner:

  1. Answer the phone within three to four rings. No one wants to wait for ages for the phone to be answered.
  2. Start with a greeting (ensure that your tone is friendly and welcoming).
  3. Identify the name of your business so that your (potential) client is aware that they have reached the correct place.
  4. Identify yourself. This gives a friendly approachable feel. It’s wise to finish your sentence with your name so that it’s the last word the caller hears, which means that they are more likely to remember it. For example, instead of “…Helen speaking”, say, “…this is Helen”.
  5. Write a telephone script and keep it at everyones workstation so that there is complete consistency when your business phones are answered.

Here is the example of the script that we use at White River Design (you’re welcome to test us!)

“Good morning/afternoon, White River Design at The Creative Fringe, this is Debbie.”

So remember, the way you answer your phone and the tone that you use can in itself improve your business and your brand. It really isn’t hard, doesn’t take much time or effort and it’s absolutely free.

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: May 29th, 2019