Many jobs require employees to talk on the phone, at least part of the day. If you’re uncomfortable with your telephone skills, or have never had a job that utilized them, you may be a bit intimidated. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prepare yourself. The following are just five ways you can enhance your verbal telephone skills.
One of the biggest things you can do to improve your verbal telephone skills is to be prepared. For example, when calling a client, you need to have all the information at hand and know what you’re going to say. Calling a client and shuffling through information to find an answer to their question is not only inappropriate, but wastes the time of the client. Another way you can be prepared, and look professional, is to get the information upfront when a call is being transferred to you. No one likes to be transferred and have to explain their problem from the beginning for a second or third time.
It can be hard to multi-task and handle a phone call. However, a client will become increasingly frustrated as she repeats herself over and over again because you are distracted. Stop what you’re doing and listen to the caller. This will actually allow you to get through the phone call quicker than if you’re trying to multi-task.
Use Hold When Appropriate
No client wants to call for answers and get complete silence or “Uh…..” as the answer. If you cannot answer a question, ask the caller if it’s okay to be put on hold while you get the information he needs. While this is a good option in some cases, you should never leave a client on hold for long periods of time without checking in to let him know how things are progressing.
Taping yourself is a great option if you work from home, but you can also ask your employer if it’s okay and explain your reason for doing so. By taping yourself you’ll immediately know what you’re doing wrong and can then work on ways to improve your skills.
Ask for Help
Last, but not least, ask friends to help you. You can practice your skills with friends and family and then ask for feedback. They can then tell you what you need to improve. It may be a problem with saying, “Uh…………” or something as simple as not listening to what the person is saying. Practice as much as possible and write down the areas you need to improve on.
A job that requires talking on the phone doesn’t have to be intimidating. All it takes is being prepared, avoiding distractions, using hold when appropriate and learning what needs to be improved upon through taping yourself or practicing with friends.
Will these tip help improve your telephone skills?