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Business communication skills and telephone Courtesy [Communication]

Business communication skills and telephone Courtesy

The telephone sits unobtrusively on your desk but it can dominate you unless you tame it! To use your telephone effectively, you need to manage its use. Outward calls should be scheduled to suit your timetable and that of your respondent. Inward calls should be filtered, if possible, so that you are not interrupted in the middle of other work. Once you are using the telephone you need to develop some procedures that ensure you get the most out of each call and that you do not waste time.

Scheduling outward calls
At the beginning of each day:

  • make a list of the calls you have to make
  • put them in order of priority (essential, desirable, those that can be rescheduled if necessary)
  • allocate times for each call trying, if possible, to bunch them and to bear in mind when each call is likely to be suitable for your respondent

For inward calls, decide when you are able to take calls without having the flow of your other work interrupted. Then, either tell your switchboard or secretary that you are not available for calls outside that slot unless they are absolutely urgent, or, you may have a list of people from whom you are willing to accept calls. If you do not have a switchboard or a secretary, then put a suitable message on your answer phone or any other answering service you use.

By scheduling your calls in this way, you will be able to give your full attention to them.

Appropriate greetings and endings
Appropriate greetings and endings to calls help build a good rapport and avoid misunderstandings and wasting time. The three elements of an appropriate greeting are:

  • identifying your company
  • giving your name and job title/department
  • asking how you can help the caller

When you close the call you should:

  • make sure that the caller has no more queries
  • thank the caller
  • let the caller put down the receiver first so they don’t feel you have cut them off

Gathering information
A telephone call is a purposeful activity. Your caller will have some objective in mind and you will need to elicit this objective as quickly and as clearly as possible. In a simple information-seeking call, all you need to do is ask for the caller’s name, address, telephone and fax numbers. However, in more complex situations, you need to develop your questioning techniques so that you obtain the salient facts. Let’s assume your caller has a complaint about a product your company has sold them. You need to:

  • ascertain the nature of the problem
  • verify that the product is one of yours and that warranty cover still applies
  • discover how the caller has been using the product and what steps they have taken to rectify the problem

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Why is telephone communication important in business?

Telephone communication allows people to discuss matters far quicker than sending of messages through messengers or postal services. Ultimately this results in far faster business through quicker decision making.
In modern times where other alternatives exist for communication, telephony is still preferred by many as it allows faster interaction than email and is more personal than computer chatting.

Unified communication is very essential in the success of a business. The features and functions of the business phone system such as the virtual hosted PBX system, allow business t…

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