Telephone etiquette is exceptionally important in business, which is something we all know well. In recent times, outsourcing a business’s call handling needs to a call centre has become commonplace, but what does this mean for the business?
After all, they enjoy significant cost savings and ensure that each time someone calls they actually speak to a real person and not a machine, but how can they be sure that the call centre staff are conveying the right impression of their organisation with their telephone etiquette, and just as importantly, the way they use their voice and the information they provide callers with?
Telephone Etiquette Guidelines for Call Centre Employees
Business customers expect particularly high standards when they outsource their call handling needs to a call centre and so they should. They are, after all, paying for a service that empowers them to put their best foot forward with the manner in which their phone lines are answered, and if their customers’ calls aren’t answered professionally with the correct telephone etiquette, what exactly are they paying for?
That call centre staff should be polite and professional, courteous and competent isn’t in question – these are telephone etiquette basics and anyone who can’t interact with others over the phone in such a manner has no place working in a call centre.
There is, however, more to professional telephone etiquette than the four qualities abovementioned, as call centre employees should also exhibit the following qualities that are just as important – honesty and trustworthiness, confidence and interest, flexibility and neutrality. These six qualities, in addition to the abovementioned four, is what professional telephone etiquette is comprised of. Anything less, and you should look for a new call handling service provider to help your business convey your message.
Training the Human Voice to Convey the Correct Message
It’s amazing how the human voice can reflect the attitude of the speaker and convey a message. The human voice is comprised of five elements – tone, inflection, pitch, rate, and volume – each of which is distinctly different from one another. Our call centre staff are trained not only in telephone etiquette, but also how to use the five elements of the human voice so as to convey a message in the correct manner and make themselves perfectly understood at all times.
This isn’t simple by any means, and some people are more naturally adept at it than others, but it is possible to train the human voice so that it sounds confident, friendly, and most important of all, professional and clear, to the caller.
Message Direct places great emphasis on providing our call centre staff with training to ensure that each member of our team is able to use their voice skills to convey the message our valued customers wish to express when we answer their phone lines on their behalf. This, we believe, is one of many aspects of our telephone answering services that sets us apart from other call handling service providers.
Call Performance, Analysis and Assurance
It suffices to say that most businesses lack the time to check up on the call centre that handles their incoming calls. As that’s so, they therefore want assurances that the telephone calls call centre staff answer on their behalf are being monitored by a supervisor or similar figure to ensure that their performance is consistently of a high standard.
To check the performance of a call centre employee, analysis in a number of key areas must take place. These include telephone etiquette, correct use of voice skills, procedural accuracy, technical accuracy, and overall impressions. Additionally, technical telephone information will also be monitored, for instance the time a call spends in the queue and the number of times the phone rings before it’s answered.
This monitoring of performance and subsequent analysis provides businesses with assurances that their phone calls are being answered in the manner in which they wish so as to convey the right impression of their organisation to their clients and customers. This is an integral aspect of customer experience management (CEM).
Client Instructions – What’s the Message You Wish to Convey?
So far the emphasis has been firmly placed on call centre staff. However, it’s also important to understand that the business outsourcing their call handling needs plays an important role too, and that entails providing the call handling service provider with the correct instructions.
These instructions naturally differ from business to business, as does the amount of information they wish to have the call centre staff provide on their behalf. It isn’t uncommon to only have messages taken while you’re out of the office, but don’t forget that you can have them discuss your products and/or services with callers and that this is an excellent way to establish credibility right from the outset of the call.
If you wish to have the call centre staff discuss your products and/or services with callers you must provide them with adequate information so they can develop a thorough understanding of the products and/or services your business offers. This is essential and makes a world of difference to the success of each call.
Now that the industry secrets to effective call handling has been revealed, every business can use them to their advantage. On the part of the call centre, this is proper telephone etiquette and the correct use of the human voice, along with call performance and analysis. And on the part of businesses outsourcing their call handling needs, the provision of the information they must provide the call centre with so as to ensure the correct message is conveyed at all times.
As a leading UK call handling service provider, Message Direct understands the inherent importance of telephone etiquette, the use of voice skills and the correct tone with regard to the sector in which your business operates, along with the effective transfer of information from your business to our call centre in Dorset regarding your unique answering message and the information that we provide on your behalf.