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The art of giving good phone

As social etiquette continues to evolve in the fast-paced digital era, so to do our methods of communication.

While text-based interactions, such as emails and SMS, are de rigeur, it’s important not to forget the power a great phone conversation can have in building professional interpersonal relationships.Here’s five tips for the next time you pick up the phone:

1. First impressions last

Answering the phone is the first point of contact for you or your business and therefore should be considered as part of your professional branding. Always introduce yourself and the name of your business as this confirms the caller has called the right place. Thank the caller for taking the time to phone you as this automatically welcomes them and makes them feel comfortable in their contact with you.

2. A smile can be heard as well as seen

While using polite and professional language on the phone is vital, it’s the tone that people really hear. Given the caller can’t read your facial expressions and body language, they will solely rely on vocal tone, pace and modulation to evaluate the interaction.

3. Repeat after me

People naturally love hearing the use of their own name, it is both personal and comforting. Always use the caller’s name to establish trust and confidence in your interaction. Repeat information or action steps back to the caller as this not only reassures them that you have been actively listening, but ensures you have the details correct.

4. Is there anything more you can do?

In the instance that a colleague is unavailable to take a call, or you are unable to answer a caller’s question, always offer further assistance. Alternatively, take a detailed message to make it easier for the right person get back to them as soon as possible with the answer they were looking for.

5. Do unto others

When making a call, the same rules apply in regards to tone and professionalism as it does when you receive one. Introduce yourself, your company and state the purpose of your call. If a phone call is scheduled, be punctual as you would be for a face-to-face meeting.