Effective telephone skills depend on strong interpersonal communications skills as well. The four main means of mass communication are writing, listening, reading, and speaking. Listening involves perceiving, interpreting, analyzing, and acting. Writing includes composing; reading involves reading text, looking at the written word, listening to the spoken word, and speaking reading the words aloud. All these skills must be combined in order for effective communication. Telephone communications must also be effective.
Communication in any business environment revolves around two forces; customer service and advertisement. Most businesses have a customer service policy, which usually consists of the policies and procedures for dealing with complaints, questions, suggestions, or other concerns of customers. Telephone is a major form of communication in business and the quality of telephone equipment and services usually reflects on the level of customer service in a business. Businesses that have high-quality telephone equipment and highly trained employees usually have highly satisfied customers and have a good reputation in the community.
Some people believe that having highly skilled and competent people on their staff indicates an ability to handle any situation reasonably, but if a company can't or doesn't have the personnel to effectively deal with an issue or concern, it's easy to see how much of a problem it can create. The best way to ensure that you and your employees have effective telephone skills is to find and hire people who can be trusted to handle any situation that arises. A good first step is to consider hiring a communication consultant who can evaluate your current methods and provide you with a range of options to improve your methods.
One of the ways in which you can measure your employees' telephone skills is by keeping track of which staff members are able to make effective phone calls and which ones are not. If you're paying close attention to this kind of data, you can learn what makes certain phone calls successful and what makes others unpalatable. Once you've identified the skill sets of certain staff members, you can assign them specific tasks to improve.
Some managers mistakenly believe that listening to customer calls means that they're merely reading from a script. However, the truth is that good telephone operators don't simply read from a script, they are actually conversational. Good telephone operators don't simply listen to a caller and then try to predict how that caller will respond. They actually interact with the caller to determine what information the caller needs to hear or how the caller might be able to best answer the question.
Another important tool to improve your telephone call skills is to look for quality directory assistance. Most of us rely heavily on our telephone calls when we are trying to resolve issues in our relationships. For this reason, we need to ensure that we always have access to quality information and customer service personnel that can help resolve our problems. When you work with directory assistance, you can request that your callers are transferred to an operator after they dial in. You can also request that your caller is transferred to a supervisor if their call is nothing more than an irritation. Directory assistance can make it easier for you to keep your customers happy and satisfied.
As you continue to work with directory assistance, you may find that you need to offer your customers even more assistance. For example, if you are receiving numerous telephone calls, but they are not making clear their needs, you may want to ask them to call your office at a specific time to talk about the matter. Many services offer their customers this type of convenience. Directory assistance may also let you redirect those irritating telephone calls to your office for further clarification on your products or services.
When you work with effective telephone skills, your customers will automatically feel like you care about them. For example, if you were a customer service representative who was bombarding a caller with sales information, the caller would likely feel like you did not care about his/her purchase. However, if you use good telephone manners when you are calling a potential client, the caller will feel like you are talking to him/her on a personal level. This personal level connection will make him/her more likely to take advantage of your products or services.