Receptionist Etiquette Tip: Match Your Caller’s Communication Style

We like to think of ourselves as the best virtual receptionist team around, and one way we show our skills is by making every caller feel comfortable. We’ve found a great way to keep callers at ease is by matching their communication style.

If you’d like to add a bit of Ruby® to your conversations, try matching your callers in these four ways:

  • Introduction. Whether it’s Doctor Smith, Ms. Smith, or Susan, refer to your caller the same way she refers to herself. When given a full name, our virtual receptionist team opts for familiarity over formality — we’d refer to Susan Smith as Susan instead of Ms. Smith. Of course, when if a client asks us to address callers formally, Ms. Smith it is! As for which route you should take, we suggest checking with your employer. And always use a caller’s name when you can — it’s an easy way to engage a caller and show you’re listening!
  • Pace. Fast-talkers may be in a hurry, so get them to where they need to be as soon as you can. If your caller asks brief, to-the-point questions, keep your replies concise. When a caller wants to chat, engage in a little friendly banter, and when you’re asked a question about yourself, always thank your caller and reciprocate after answering: “I’m having a great day! Thank you for asking! How about you?”
  • Tone. If you sense any urgency in your caller’s voice, use it as a cue to reassure your caller, and take care of business: “I’ll be happy to put you in touch with our technical support manager — we’ll make sure this gets resolved.” Acknowledge any news your caller gives, whether good (“That’s wonderful to hear! Congratulations!”) or not so good (“I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ll do everything I can to help!”). When chatting with a chipper caller, have fun with ’em, and keep your tone extra-upbeat. A caller’s a laughter is music to our ears!
  • Casualness. If you’re picking up a serious, uber-professional vibe from your caller, keep your tone and word choice the same. Meet casual callers with a more laid-back style. For example, positive words like Certainly! and Absolutely! work well in both cases, and expressions like You got it! or You bet! are great for those callers with an informal tone.

How do you engage your callers? We’d love to learn your tips! Share by Tweeting us @callruby!

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