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How to Answer Business Calls Professionally?

Only some people are great on the telephone. Many people only answer phone calls partially, especially when the incoming call is from an unknown number. To guarantee a great first impression for your business, you must ensure that the right person is answering the phone professionally and with full attention. Here, we are sharing the most effective business phone call tips with you about how to answer business calls professionally.

Woman on the phone

Why Is It Important to Answer the Phone Professionally?

Phone etiquette is the backbone of a successful customer experience. When customers call your company, they expect your undivided attention. They don’t want to wait even for a short time, and they need quick answers. A professionally, courteously, and warmly answered phone call makes customers happy with your product or service, resulting in a loyal customer base. Have a look at the key points listed below to understand the importance of answering a business call professionally.

The use of AI Chatbots in businesses is an increasingly popular option to communicate any customer interaction. But believe it, the majority of customers out there still want to talk with humans. 

Generative AI may have more stored information, but a human has the mind to understand the exact needs of a customer. Human interactions can build sustainable business relationships; they can ask, greet, and sympathise with a customer's pain point. 

If you think more technically, robots can come to your website and ask for a query using chatbots, but a customer who really wants a service or product is more likely to communicate with you in a real-time phone call. After all, a customer who has already managed your phone number is more likely to ask about the prices and possibilities rather than chatting with a chatbot.

Woman on a chair using her phone

According to research by the Center for Sales Strategy, it takes about 7 seconds for a person to make a first impression and determine whether you’re likeable, trustworthy, and competent. If you can convince customers by answering a phone call properly, you have given them a reason and the confidence to do business with you.

In general, customers call a business when they have a query about a product or service or problems with recent purchases. In any of these situations, if you are not answering phone calls, customers may feel underestimated, ignored, and even frustrated about your product or service. Ultimately, they will switch to another brand. Answering phone calls can keep your customer base relatively sustainable and keep your business in its rhythm.

Listening actively in a phone call is important so a caller feels heard and valued. For both parties to remain engaged, you must show a genuine interest while expressing appropriate compassion and empathy throughout the entire call. This will also help you pick up on nuances and details during the conversation that you wouldn’t otherwise. 

We have made a hand-picked list of phone etiquette tips and tricks for answering phones properly. Take a look at the next section and answer your calls like a pro.

Abstract image with the heading outsource with confidence

10 Tips on How to Answer the Phone Professionally

With the right tips for answering phone calls professionally, customer service representatives can improve customer experience in business call answering. How you, as a representative, answer calls will influence whether clients will want to go forward with your company or not. Have a look at the tips listed below,

1. Answer by the Third Ring

If you let the phone ring more than three times, the caller will become impatient or abandon the call altogether because they perceive they are being ignored. Upon picking up the phone, immediately introduce yourself. A prompt response communicates that you value customers and their time.

2. Offer a Greeting

Greet the caller professionally. You may say good day, good morning, or good afternoon, depending on the time. Avoid saying things that are more personalised. Religious greetings, greetings with a local accent, or shortened forms of greetings make the phone call less professional. 

Woman wearing call centre headset

3. Speak With a Smile

Start speaking in a moderately friendly tone. It should sound like you are smiling. And, of course, remember, smiling and laughing are not the same. If the caller cracked a joke, you may laugh, even if you didn’t find it that humorous. Just keep in mind that the person who is calling has a purpose. As a representative of a business, you should respect the perceptions of a caller.

4. Be Clear

Often, a phone call successfully converts into a sale when the intent is fulfilled. Talk at a moderate speed using familiar vocabulary. Listen carefully and then reply with a clear and concise answer. You may encounter poor cell service while talking on the phone, noise levels, and muffled sounds. These considerations can occasionally result in unclear calls. When you speak clearly and calmly, callers can hear what you say the first time, saving you from having to repeat yourself.

5. Avoid Slang & Jargon

Use formal terms when you are talking on a phone call. Instead of using informal terms like 'cool' and 'no issue,' try to use formal terms like, quite well' and 'you're welcome. Be as formal as possible. At this point, many people start using jargon. While it can be useful for a server to refer to a table of four as a “four-top” or a police officer to acknowledge their understanding by stating “10-4,” speaking like this out of the appropriate context can be damaging for building relationships, and completely ruin the customer experience. Here are 3 potential reasons for avoiding jargon- if the caller doesn’t know the meaning of the jargon, it will decrease clarity, isolate you from your caller, and the caller may feel you are showing off your linguistic skills.

Flamingo Digital Customer service agent

6. Be Positive

Maintain a cheerful and enthusiastic tone that will keep the callers comfortable. Replace statements like “I don’t know” proactively with sentences like 'Let me see if I can find that out for you.' If you are a professional receptionist, you are supposed to answer the queries and forward the caller to further point of service. Ensure that you take this responsibility seriously and greet your callers with care and respect.

7. Ask Before You Put Someone on Hold

In between the phone calls, you may need to take time to answer a question correctly. You may have to discuss this with your colleagues before answering. Show respect to the caller and ask for permission with proper reasons before you place them on hold. For example, Mr. Smith, “I'll discuss with my upline about your query to see what we can offer for you. Would you mind if I put you on hold for a moment?' Make sure to thank the caller for their patience and let them feel that they are important to you.

8. Take Messages Accurately

If the caller wishes to leave a message, write down the information, starting with the caller’s name. Ask for the correct spelling if you are in doubt. Write the caller’s phone number, including the area code, extension, and company name. Also, ask whether there is an appropriate time to return the call to avoid calling repeatedly. Finally, write the date and time of the call and your initials. See that the message is delivered to the proper person.

9. Know How to Transfer and Who to Transfer To

Ways of transferring a call may differ based on the phone model and service provider. Generally, press the flash or transfer button to put the caller on hold and obtain a dial tone. Then, dial the extension or external number to which you want to transfer the call. Introduce yourself and the caller, and explain why you are transferring the call. Ask if the person can take the call or if they would like to call back later. If they agree to accept the call, press the flash or transfer button again; otherwise, return to the original caller and inform them of the situation.

Call centre image of staff working

10. Close the Conversation on a Positive Note

Always end your phone conversation with a customer with a positive note. Express your gratitude with sentences like thank you “for calling”, “for your valuable time”, or “for your kind cooperation”. It will create a professional image of your business, and the caller will not hesitate to call you again.

Improve Your Customer Service with an Answering Service Partner

No missed call is equivalent to no missed sales. This is why answering each business call is crucial for every business. Using a telephone answering service allows you to have phone lines open for customers 24 hours a day without needing dedicated staff, which offers inclusivity without the additional cost. 

Flamingo Digital has helped thousands of businesses avoid the pain of missing critical business calls. Our UK-based team of call-answering superheroes is ready to help 24/7.

We are providing award-winning service with guaranteed best price. We will be right there at your service on the same day you contact us. So hurry up! Start your free trial today and never miss a call again!

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