How to answer the phone like a pro

Posted by - Tim Morris on the 24th April 2020

Have you ever wondered how you can answer the phone in a better manner? Well, in this article, we’re going to look at how to answer the phone like a pro and how you can use these steps to improve your telephone communication. 

Everyone at your business should know and be taught how to answer the phone in a professional manner that resembles your business. As the balance small business states, you never know when the person who’s supposed to answer the phone will be unable to do so and someone else will be stepping in and picking it up.

If you decide you need to improve your telephone answering service, you can contact our team for a consultation on how our services can help your business answer calls in a more effective manner.

Five steps on how to answer the phone like a pro

It may seem a silly title, but there’s more to answering the phone than you think. Naturally, we adjust our tone and manner depending on who we’re speaking to and the context we’re speaking in. Most of the time answering the phone is instinct – it rings and you pick up. Simple.

In reality, we put more thought into answering the phone than you may initially think. A call from a close friend might start with a nickname, but a call with an interviewer will be as polite as possible. When it comes to business, how can we answer with personal, polite and professional feel?

We’ve put five steps below on how to answer the phone and how you can use these to improve your success rate when speaking to a colleague or new lead over the phone. 

How to answer the phone

Smile more

This is a great way on how to answer the phone in a better manner. It really is true that a smile can translate down the phone. Not only will it help you feel more positive when talking to a client, but you will sound significantly more friendly and approachable. Your willingness to help will come across to the caller, making a great first impression.

As the Bradenton Herald points out, smiling affects your tone of voice which can have massive impacts on the way the call goes as it’s the body language of that conversation.

Introduce yourself

On a business call, “hello” simply doesn’t cut it. Instead, it leaves the caller with a lot of questions. Identify yourself and your business from the off, reassuring the caller they’re through to the best person to handle their query.

Bizfluent mentions that when introducing yourself over the phone it is important to create a presentation that is clear and to convey a friendly attitude.

Always try and give the person on the other end of the phone an idea as to why you are calling, who you are, what business you’re from, and what value you’re trying to add to them by calling them. This way you’ll have a better chance at creating a desire for them to continue the conversation with you.

Avoid jargon

In most industries, there is a selection of key terms and buzzwords that make sense to you all. These will differ depending on the industry you’re in and can get more complicated to understand in industries such as medicine or finance.

Although it’s great to know the abbreviations and slang to speed up conversations with your colleagues make sure when you’re reaching out to a new lead or dealing with a supplier they know the terms before using them.

It’s important to remember that not everyone calling you will have an in-depth knowledge of your industry. They might not have any idea what you mean and it can cause confusion, especially when discussing items such as contracts.

You want to come across as a professional company, that’s easy to understand and work with. Don’t bamboozle people with your expert knowledge of ISPs, QCs for an MSRP, or the ROI.

How to answer the phone

Listen and repeat

The best way to show callers that your business understands them is to listen to everything they have to say – so pay close attention!

Buffer identified it’s a habit of being a highly effective communicator if you listen more and take focus on what you need to act after the call in order to have a better relationship with the customer.

By listening and repeating what the person(s) on the other end of the phone is saying, you’re reinforcing you understand them and know their problems or viewpoint.

It’s similar to mirroring someone where studies have shown that people like people who position themselves the way they do.

At the end of the call, you should summarise what they’ve said and what you’re going to do to find a solution for them to show that you’ve been listening and that you can add value to their situation.

If you don’t have the solution, it’s important to give the caller an expectation of when you or someone else will return their call to give it to them.

Never end a call with someone left waiting.

Know who’s calling you

Following on from the point before it’s important to know who is calling you and get to know them on a first-name basis to strengthen the relationship right from the start.

This doesn’t mean you need to memorise a whole host of phone numbers. Differentiating between business and home calls allows you to answer each call in the most appropriate manner.

So how can you tell? There are many existing solutions which help to identify who is calling you, one of which is using a virtual number for your business.

Virtual numbers are a great business solution that prevents you from having to buy a whole new mobile or landline. A virtual number can be routed to any existing phone number, where you can answer the call seamlessly.

Separating your business into departments allows you to determine the nature of the call before you’ve even picked up. It also fast-tracks the customer to the most appropriate person to handle their call, making their communication as positive and efficient as possible.