Dealing with people on the telephone requires a different set of interpersonal skills than if talking face-to-face. If compensations and allowances are not made, the caller can be made to feel unwanted and a nuisance.
The telephone does however have certain powers. The key to harnessing these powers is TELEPHONE BEHAVIOUR. If you handle the call correctly and reflect the correct attitude to your customers on the you will be practising Professional Telephone Behaviour.
What is Professional Telephone Behaviour (PTB)?
It falls into three sections:
1. The Verbal Handshake
a) Introduce yourself – get the caller’s name as well
b) Establish whether it is convenient for each of you to deal with the call
2. Getting The Message
a) Control and guide the call
b) Use open questions – who, what, where, when, how and why?
c) Record and report your understanding of the call
3. Offering Help
a) Volunteer useful information
b) Say what you are going to do
Follow these three steps and you will be practising Professional Telephone Behaviour.