At Ruby Receptionists, our crackerjack staff of virtual receptionists fields hundreds of calls each day, and we’ve learned a lot in the process. If you’re new to telephone answering, or just want to brush up on your skills, these five tips will help you shine like a Ruby:
1. Never say “I don’t know.”
Chances are very good that you’ll be asked questions that you don’t know how to answer, especially if you’re new to a job. But saying “I don’t know” is a dead end. Instead, opt for “Let me find out for you,” or “I’d be happy to look into that,” or even, “Great question! Let me put you in touch with the best person to answer it.” Phrases beginning in “Let me” and “I’d be happy to” are great ways to beat the “I don’t know” blues.
2. Paraphrase, or read back message content word-for-word.
Callers love to know that their messages will be relayed accurately. What better way to assure them of this than repeating their messages back to them?
Always read back telephone numbers, and spell out any tricky names or words to ensure that you’ve taken them down correctly. Here are some tips for confirming information.
4. Take a breath.
You’ve got a lot going on — email piling up, documents to be filed, reports to write. But when the phone rings, it’s best to put other office hubbub out of your mind and focus on the incoming call. Take a breath, answer the call, and greet the caller with a calm, friendly tone of voice. Never let ’em see you sweat! Oh, and while you’re speaking with your caller, be sure to follow the next step…
Seems silly, right? It works. If you want to sound friendly and inviting, smiling is the easiest way to ensure the perfect tone of voice. A smile will also help you feel calm and, well, happy. Who says work can’t be fun?