(N) What are Meaningful Customer Experiences? They are: Memorable - Emotionally-Engaging - Purposeful- Consistent These words speak for themselves... (L) Once you are using the telephone you need to develop some procedures that ensure you get the most out of each call. Gathering information - A telephone call is a purposeful activity . Your caller will have some objective in mind and you will need to elicit this objective as quickly and as clearly as possible.
1. Appropriate greetings and endings to calls help build a good rapport, avoid misunderstandings, and wasted time . The three elements of an appropriate greeting are: identifying your company , giving your name and job title/department , and asking how you can help the caller . 2. 68% of "lost" customers left because they felt an attitude of indifference from the company's representatives? 4. Listening do's and don'ts and speaking do's and don'ts and being an assertive communicator . 5. 86% of the message your customers receive on the telephone is through the tone of voice . Only 14% of the message they hear are the words used.
(1) Corny or as outdated as it sounds, first impressions count a lot . It all begins with how we answer the phone. (2) Telephone courtesy is good business . (3) Many times customers form their first impression of a company based on the way an employee answers the telephone . (4) Consequently, decisions are made and relationships are formed or not formed based to a large extent on the effectiveness of those telephone relationships .
(N) Just because you can't see the caller, it doesn't mean you have the right to suspend the normal rules of politeness . Be helpful to the caller even if the subject of the call is not strictly speaking your field of responsibility. (?) This means trying to find someone who can help now, or someone who can ring them back later. Don't put the caller on hold and then leave them suspended there indefinitely. (L)
(F) Make a winning first impression and maintain positive relationships ! Think about it....some people want lots of human interaction , while others want " just the facts "; some people crave details while others are paralyzed by them . These differences can make communicating with each other a challenging experience.
(L) Let’s discuss some suggestions to make YOUR handling of telephone communications an outstanding quality—a highly polished facet—of your many-sided job.
Just what do we mean by answering promptly?
(F) HOW DO YOUY ANSWER THE PHONE? What should you say when you answer the phone? Two “labels” are about maximum. It is very awkward for one to answer, “Registration department, Ms Brown’s office, Miss Stewart speaking.” Do you answer by giving the name of the company, your department, your supervisor, or your own name?
(F) How important is tone of voice? Many times, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that impresses – or angers – callers . Remember too that you give out subliminal signals by the tone of your voice, the clarity with which you speak, how fast you speak, the pitch of your voice. You should always devote your full attention to the call ; mistakes and misunderstandings will arise if you are doing something else at the same time. Even if the call is a difficult or heated one, stay calm; try to be helpful and never slam the phone down . Learn how to treat each phone call as a separate "performance ."
(F) Everybody has tough days . Before you pick up the telephone , make yourself smile . It will help make your voice sound pleasant even if you don't feel pleasant.
(F) It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that because your caller can't see you , they won't be affected by what you are doing and what's going on around you. Remember to:
(N) Do you make some appropriate remark or do you just hang up?
(F) When emphasis is placed on the speedy transfer of calls, the caller may not be given sufficient opportunity to completely present his/her needs . (N) To say to him/her, “Hold on,” or “Just a minute,” and subject him/her to the sound of a new voice, “Mr. Jones,” or “Miss Smith speaking,” can seem abrupt and a way of getting rid of him/her, or--possibly--a wrong connection.
(1) When the instrument is positioned correctly against the ear and directly in front of the mouth, the normal voice, even in very low but audible tones, carries clearly. (4) Instead, place it on some cushioned surface, desk blotter, stack of papers, etc., as though returning it to its cradle. If others by chance are conversing within range of the instrument, their conversation will not be transmitted.
(F) There are several additional key ideas to practice in your telephone conversations. Let’s talk about a few: (2) You will convey confidence if you use the techniques which follow. (3) If you have the responsibility for answering the telephone, then you surely know who is where, and what is or is not.
* That employees of your company/department aren’t very well informed on matters about which employees should be informed.
(F) LEARN who handle different functions in your department so that you can refer calls, which you cannot complete. (5) In all probability when you return to the line your caller needs to have his/her attention focused again on the business at hand.
* Be an ACTIVE listener (2) which will give you a chance to end the call you retain the initiative when you offer an occasional “yes,” or “I understand.” (L) By such “active listening,” you save the conversation from awkwardness and preclude the possibility of your partner’s misinterpreting your silence as disinterest or inattentiveness or agreement .
*For example: “I’ll mail you a copy of the brochure to 3021 S. Staples…..”
* There are always some conversations which seem to prolong themselves unnecessarily. You want to END them. You can’t be rude! But you CAN help your caller come to a close. B. Closing the conversation should not be difficult. C. Closing the conversation may be difficult!
(F) A telephone call is a purposeful activity. Remember Your caller will have some objective in mind and you will need to elicit this objective as quickly and as clearly as possible. In a simple information-seeking call (i.e., needing a brochure. etc), all you need to do is ask for the caller's name, address, and telephone numbers . However, in more complex situations , you need to develop your questioning techniques so that you obtain the relevant facts . Let's assume your caller has a complaint about a class Del Mar offers on line. You need to: ascertain the nature of the problem and verify that Del Mar offers the class. Discover what problem the caller has with the on line class. 1. Write while you talk 2. Someone may be waiting at your desk; someone may interrupt you with a question; your employer may call, “Look this up.” If you are interrupted suddenly at the close of a call, that information requested or obtained has vanished-UNLESS you’ve recorded it! 3. Most employers want to know who has called and what they wanted. 4. You may not need them. But then you just may!
(F) In addition to developing confidence in handling calls and making a record of important points , you will want to add still another key to your successful use of the telephone--that of developing an awareness of communication patterns which strengthen public relations . Only a continuing study of what effect certain words and phrases have upon people will help us perfect our handling of communication problems.
If callers constantly reach your voicemail instead of you, they will suspect that you are avoiding calls. Here are a few tips on such things as greetings and responding to voicemail. Voice mail is used to take your calls when you are out. People tend to feel that they have already lost the personal communication touch because of voicemail. If a female voice says that "Joe Smith is not available", the caller will not be convinced that you listen to your voicemail.
(N) (2) Even if the greeting sounds like you are reading it, it will ensure that you don't spend as much time trying to record it "just right." (3) Example : Hello, this is (phone number/department; name). I am sorry I am not available to take your call right now. Please leave your name, telephone number, a brief message, and the best time to reach you. I will get back to you as soon as possible. (4) If you know that you will be on vacation for a few days or leaving the office early or have different hours temporarily, you should record an alternate greeting to let callers know this. Callers will know that they cannot expect a callback for a few hours or a few days. (5) For example, if you were out of the office on a Thursday and a caller needed an answer immediately, the caller could dial “0” while listening to your voicemail message and be transferred to someone else in your department. If you do not have that feature, please include an alternate number in your message. Try to select someone who would know your schedule and be able to take messages for you. If your phone is the main department extension, you might want to consider playing an alternate greeting when you are closed.
* If it will take longer than 24 hours to obtain the information the caller is requesting, call the person and advise him/her. Callers should feel comfortable that you are checking your voicemail daily. 2. Keep your mailbox clean. Saved messages kept longer than a week take up needless space in your mailbox.
Many of these topics are geared towards those in a student-orientated environment; however, these tips can be helpful to everyone.
(F) This session provides "must have“ information for dealing with "telephone tyrants"--- those difficult callers who can quickly ruin an entire day.
(F) With body language removed from the communication process, words take on a new potency in the telephone conversation.
(F)*Sometimes a caller is very difficult, especially if complaining . First remember that this caller is a client, or potential client , so your handling of the call could result either in more business for Del Mar or in the caller going to a competitor. 5. Whatever the nature of the problem, don't try to placate the caller by disclaiming personal responsibility or by trying to pass the buck!
1. No they don't , even if they do sometimes spell their names two different ways. The truth is, students may not always be prepared to talk to you . They may never have called your department (or any other department on campus) before. They may not know they need to have their social security number handy. Cut down on the confusion by greeting the caller, giving your name, and asking for the information you need up front (if any). 2. Of course there are chronic complainers - those who feel everything is overpriced and that they never get good service. And you must provide them courteous and professional treatment, no matter how difficult that might be. But most students don't like to complain; in fact, they go out of their way to avoid it. Take them seriously when they do have a problem . 3. What seems like an impossible request may be due to the student's ignorance about a situation . Offer brief explanations when possible and don't assume the student knows everything you do : "I'm sorry, we have no more appointments on that day. During registration, we usually have a high volume of students looking for advising." Students may not always be pleased, but at least they will know the limitations you must work with. 4. Remember, most of the students are satisfied. But those students don't call. And since your contact may be with the unhappy minority, you can get a lopsided view of what students think and feel. Keep students in perspective!
(F) YOU DIDN’T TELL ME THAT! Those words from a caller (or walk-in) will send any receptionist reaching for the aspirin – especially when the receptionist knows she conveyed the right information. When does Real Communication Begin? But before you blame the caller, keep this in mind: Real communication occurs only when the other person thinks you said the same thing you think you said . If a caller doesn't understand something you said, you have not communicated effectively with them. * To prevent misunderstandings (and save an aspirin!), listen closely to what you say. Try these tips: Don't mumble, turn away from the phone, or rush through sentences. Instead, use an introductory phrase to get the caller's attention: "Sir?" "Ma'am?" "Excuse me…“ (3)"You will need to fill out a post-census withdrawal form - that is the blue, two page form required for all late withdrawals from classes." All names, addresses, numbers, and dates should be repeated or spelled out. And be specific. Instead of saying, "We'll be open again tomorrow," say "We'll be open from 8am-5pm tomorrow." For confusing numbers, say, "That's 30: three-zero" or "13: one-three." (4) You can "quiz" your callers on how well they're listening by asking them to repeat information. Say: "Do you mind repeating that number back, so I can be sure I gave it to you correctly?" (6) This technique is especially useful for complex topics. Again, be careful that you don't talk down to the caller: "I know I've covered a lot. Is there anything you'd like me to review?" Or, "Before we hang up, is there anything I was not clear about?"
* " To make no mistakes is not in the power of man, but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.“ --Plutarch HOW MANY OF US HAVE MADE MISTAKES? Everyone makes mistakes. If you think about it, you've probably made your share of them over the years - a misdirected package, a misrouted file, a forgotten deadline. Typical reactions? Embarrassment, anger, and frustration . There is great virtue in making mistakes, learning from them, and improving along the way . Why don't people realize that mistakes are really great opportunities ? When you fix a problem, you not only get a chance to right a wrong , but you can build a strong working relationship , too. 1. The faster you address the problem, the more credible you'll appear to others. 2. You won't appear incompetent, only human. And you send the message that you're big enough to admit it. 3. There is no need to beat a dead horse by bringing up the matter over and over again. 4. This knowledge will come in handy over time. And it can prevent mistakes down the line. 5. Perhaps an "I'm sorry" doesn't seem sufficient. Offering something extra can build good will. 6. If you have learned something from the experience that would be helpful for others in your office to know (such as application deadlines, etc), share the information!
(F) Remember that presentation is everything. The way you present yourself on the phone can leave lasting impressions of you and your department (as well as Del Mar College). 1. Callers become frustrated when they feel that their call is not important to you. 2. If the caller has been holding for quite a while and you know they will be holding even longer, pick up the line and say : "I'm sorry, but the person you want to speak to/need to speak to is still unavailable. Did you want to continue to hold or would you like me to take a message/send you to their voicemail?"
3. Do not stay on the line longer than is absolutely necessary . Consider call waiting for your personal office (not for a receptionist) so that you are not constantly unavailable. 4. Callers are not trying to be rude by asking your full name . Often, students will be given incorrect information and then are asked: "Who told you that ?" If all they know is that "Jane" gave them the information, it will be difficult to track down the person who gave out the incorrect information. 5. Don't waste your time (and theirs) by listening to a long story and then transferring them . Say " Excuse me , sir/ma'm but I am unable to assist you with this issue . Let me transfer you to Jane Smith, who will be able to assist you." If transferring them to another department, indicate that you are doing so. If you are not sure who can help them, place them on hold and ask someone in your office . If no one is sure, tell the caller "Thank you for holding. Unfortunately, I'm not sure who would be able to assist you with that. Let me transfer you to the campus operator and perhaps they can assist you."
6. If you have the time, ask someone in your office if they happen to know who can help the caller. If you do not have the time or can't find the answer, say "Unfortunately, I am not sure who can help you with this problem . Let me transfer you to the campus operator and they may be able to assist you." Try to find out the answer to these frequently asked questions (or figure out which department's number is similar to your own). Wouldn't you like the Sales Department to transfer you to the Service Department if you incorrectly dialed their number? 7. Before transferring them, be sure you understand what the caller wants . Repeat what they said back to them. "Let me be sure that I understand your situation. You requested a transcript and would like to know if it has been sent. Is that correct?" This gives the caller a chance to clarify his/her situation. You may receive many calls about the same issue, but treat each caller as an individual and don't jump to conclusions. 8. Sometimes accidents happen, but be mindful especially during high volume times . In order to transfer, first tell the caller where you are transferring them. Second, press the Xfer button. Dial the extension where you are transferring the call. Press the Xfer button again.
9. Even if you give them the main department number instead of your personal extension, it will help if they were transferred to you by another department . Tell them who to call and give them an approximate time to call back. (i.e. "Ms Smith is unavailable right now. But if you call 698-2011 in about an hour and ask to speak to her, she should be able to take your call.") 10. Whenever you are going to leave a caller to check something or to help someone else, use the hold button . Callers shouldn't hear the background noise of your office even if it will be for a short while. If what a caller hears is different from what you tell them, they may be confused or angry. 11. It is difficult to stay polite all the time , especially during the high volume periods. But again, your disposition reflects on the campus and your department . Try to treat each caller as they deserve to be treated.
(F) No argument : Working with students is rewarding and engaging work . You feel proud and satisfied when you solve a student's problem, answer a tough question, or improve the relationship with a student in some way. And there's a challenge in cutting through red tape, finding new solutions for problems, and in performing dozens of other "miracles" for students. The problem: The demanding level of energy can be difficult to maintain . You pour yourself into each student contact - and at some point it can begin to take its toll: The phones never stop ringing, there is always one more problem to solve, one more question that cannot go unanswered. WHAT CAUSES BURN OUT? Receptionists may have to leap over tall buildings in a single bound every day for students, but they aren't supermen and superwomen. And the surprising fact can be that the more you enjoy your work and the more seriously you take your profession, the more vulnerable you may be to burnout . Here are five tips for avoiding burnout. But don't just read them and plunge back into things: Try to incorporate them into your lifestyle. You owe it to yourself and your department to guard against burnout so you can keep providing students the top-notch service they have come to expect . 1. Keep in mind that even when students lash out, their frustration is over the discrepancy between what they want and what they are receiving. They don't know you ; it's just human nature for them to strike out at the closest target. 2. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Finish each day and be done with it…Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely ." 3. But exercise has proved to be nature's true stress reliever. Find a physical activity you enjoy (even walking is helpful) and pursue it with the passion you pursue your work. 4. Your coworkers are going through their share of stress-building situations. Talk them over together. You'll feel better. 5. Remember, most students are happy with our college. Most of the students who weren't do become satisfied once you've handled their complaint. Fill in your mental scorecard with the "good news" to keep your day's work in perspective.
(F) No matter where you work, you probably suffer from time to time through days that seem as if they're never going to end. You can lighten your spirits by adding an element of fun to your workday . Here are some ideas: 1. When you plan your day, include one item that you can look forward to - lunch with your best friend, your favorite candy bar at the afternoon break, or a brisk, refreshing walk at noon. 2. Throw in a few good stretches for good measure . This helps clear your mind and calm your thoughts. 3. During a break, perform a fun activity that will let you rest the serious, logical part of your brain . A computer puzzle, or a quick game of "shooting hoops" in your wastebasket using a wadded-up sheet of scrap paper can rejuvenate your energy level. You might even want to keep your favorite joke book on hand for super-stressful times. 4. Throw a five-minute party with a treat from home , or quickly write out a thank you note for a coworker. Both you and your colleague will get a much-needed lift. 5. Dwelling on your mistakes and failures will magnify their importance unfairly.
(F) Need more help staying up for your next call? Try these:
1 st Paragraph - You might be surprised to find that on any given day, there were many more "pluses" than "minuses ." 2 nd paragraph - But now think about the successes : the student who said "Thanks!" and really meant it. The complicated problem you solved for a student, enabling him to get into an essential class. 3 rd paragraph – But don't let the negatives overwhelm you; take those few minutes to tally the successes .
At the end of the Workshop, the participants will be
Use effective call greetings as a caller and receiver
Project Del Mar’s image in a positive manner
Practice good telephone techniques and telephone manners
Use appropriate language during telephone conversations
Speak with an effective telephone voice
Use an effective approach to handle special telephone tasks like
call transfers, taking messages, call backs, holds, interruptions,
and unintentional disconnects
Manage Difficult Calls
Learn to manage stress levels during calls
Your first impression
Tips and preparing mentally
Answer & close etiquette
Frustrations for callers
Coping with difficult people
Etiquette Essentials From
Start to Finish
Learn the best greeting to make a
positive first impression and what it takes
to advance that first impression into a
positive lasting impression.
Taking control of the call, placing calls
on hold and transferring calls are three
seemingly simple tasks that are really
major "danger zones."
Learn how to handle these delicate
situations with phone skills etiquette in a
way that makes the interaction as pleasant
as possible for the caller. You aren't out of
the woods yet!
Even if the call is managed skillfully, all the
hard work can be quickly erased if the call
isn’t closed efficiently and positively. We'll
examine subtle and not-so-subtle habits
that can damage relationships with callers,
and then we'll conclude this session with
skills for wrapping up the call that will
leave your caller smiling.
The proper way to answer the telephone is
however your department wants you to.
Whatever your verbiage, answer in such a
way the person on the other end will not
draw a conclusion that the person who
answered is cold and aloof, and hesitates
to communicate readily.
Today's technology allows you to handle more
customer service calls than ever before. But
when telephone personnel lack call
management skills, the only thing you get
from all that technology is the ability to serve
more people poorly. That means losing
customers - and profits. Your telephone
personality has a definite bearing on your
rating with Del Mar!
Basic Telephone Techniques
Important First Impressions
Contrary to popular belief, treating others as you
want to be treated really isn’t the best practice
when it comes to communication styles, because it
assumes that everyone is just like YOU.
Communication is an art and mastering that art
can be the key for building stronger customer
You can become
confident that you are
doing this part of your
work correctly if you
will practice the
Answer before the third ring if at all possible.
If you’re talking on another line or to a
person at your desk, excuse yourself,
answer the phone, permit the caller to state
his/her purpose, then tell him/her you are on
another line and ask him/her if he/she can
wait for a minute, or ask if they’d like to
leave a message.
What should you say when you answer the phone?
When answering someone’s else’s line, give the
name of the company and your name.
When answering your own line you can give
department and name at the same time and then
your name; i.e., “Del Mar College Center for
Business, Sally Mae speaking”...
Talk with a Smile in Your Voice –
Rapid speech suggests impatience;
rapid speech is difficult to follow in
necessitates repetition in telephone
conversations. SLOW DOWN.
Slow speech, in contrast conveys
an impression of lethargy,
forgetfulness, lack of vitality.
MAKE AN EFFORT TO QUICKEN THE
Talk with a Smile in Your Voice –
Be Courteous cont’
Be kind, polite, direct, enthusiastic, and speak with a strong voice.
Try to have little or no background noise, i.e. loud radio.
Don’t be too familiar.
Do not yell or talk to others in the room while you are on the
Do not eat, drink, or chew gum while talking on the telephone.
Always have paper and pen by the telephone.
When answering the telephone and the caller did not hear your
introduction and says, “Is ______ in?” DO NOT respond with:
“Yes.” This is confusing to the caller. Instead, answer
by saying, “This is he/she” or “Speaking.”
Close the Call Correctly
When the conversation is completed, what
do you do?
Make sure that the caller has no more
Use “Goodbye, thank your for calling,” or
some other appropriate closing to indicate
the conversation is ended.
Let the caller put down the receiver first
so they don't feel you have cut them off.
Transfer Calls Quickly
Correct transfer of a call requires the one
who answers the telephone to get
adequate information for correct referral.
When a call must be transferred, the most
desirable procedure is to tell the caller to
whom he/she will be transferred, “I’ll give
you Ms Brown; she handles those matters;
just a moment, please.”
Be sure you are transferring the caller to
the proper person or department.
Handle the Instrument Correctly
Do not hold the instrument with the mouthpiece
cupped in the hand. Hold the instrument by the
Do not put the receiver on its side on the desk.
Muffle the microphone with the palm of the hand,
not the finger tips, if you need to make any vocal
aside during the conversation.
(1)Development of CONFIDENCE in handling even difficult telephone calls; (2 ) the recording
of important points of a call; and (3) the use of good communication patterns.
Assume and keep the initiative in conversations.
When you answer -
Your response, won’t stop at, “No, he/she isn’t here.” It will extend to:
“He/she isn’t here.” “May I help you?”
“May I have him/her call you?”
“Ms Brown is out of “Shall I take a message?”
“Perhaps Mr./Ms X can help you.”
“Can someone else help you?”
What You Mean: Tell the Caller:
"He/She is out."
"He/She is not in the office at the moment. Would you like
to leave a message on his/her voicemail?"
"I don't know where he/she is."
"He/She has stepped out of the office. Would you like to
leave a message on his/her voicemail?"
"He/She is in the men's/ladies room."
"He/She has stepped out of the office. Would you like to
leave a message on his/her voicemail?"
"He/She hasn't come in yet."
"I expect him/her shortly. Would you like to leave a message
on his/her voicemail?"
"She/He took the day off."
"She/He is out of the office for the day. Can someone else
help you or would you like her/his voicemail?"
"He/She doesn't want to be disturbed."
"He/She is unavailable at the moment. Would you like to
leave a message on his/her voicemail?"
"She is busy"
"She is unavailable at the moment. Would you like to leave
a message on his/her voicemail?"
Acceptable Responses Cont’
To answer, lamely, a caller’s question with, “No, I don’t know,” suggests what?
But to say, “No, I’m sorry I don’t know, but...
“Mr./Ms X may have an answer for that problem. Shall I transfer you to him/her.
“If you would like to ‘hold’ for a minute, I’ll get Mr./Ms X to see if they have an
answer for you.”
These comments at least suggest to the caller that you are interested in trying to
Do you want the name of the caller? Then try: “May I tell him/her who called?”
“I’m sure Mr./Ms X would like to know who has called.”
“When he/she returns, may I tell him/her who called?”
When Leaving the Line
When you need to leave the line during a conversation:
Say how long it will take, and then:
Ask your caller if he/she will hold the line, or if he/she would
prefer that you take a message.
“Check in” with your caller if you have to be away from the line
for more than a minute, with “It will take me a few minutes more
to find that information; do you wish to wait or shall I call you
Avoid saying, “Just a moment,” then leaving the line. Your
caller may prefer to receive that information later than to wait
out the time of your search!
Get the Customer’s attention. To pick up the telephone and
continue with, “its 361-698-1116,” will invariably bring a “what
was that?” So…..
Thank him/her for waiting or apologize for taking more time than
you had anticipated would be necessary.
Now that you have his/her attention again, give him/her the
Ending the Call
1. Help your caller come to a close with a hint
that your conversation has come to an end.
2. When you are listening:
Keep the initiative here, too. Whether you
are waiting for that break in the
conversation, or whether you are listening
to your conversation partner’s complete
Closing the Call
When you are closing:
1. If you initiated the call, review the
information details. Whatever the business
may have been. Be sure that the details
you have written down are correct.
2. If you have received the call, repeat to your
caller the business of the call. Make
certain that your caller has understood
correctly what you have told them.
Ending Prolonged Calls
A. When you wish to end a prolonged conversation:
The accepted rule accords the caller the prerogative of closing a
A. If you have placed the call:
Even if your partner in the conversation seems reluctant to close the
contact, it is your privilege to end the tangent upon which the
conversation has become launched by a polite, “Well, then, we will
take care of that matter,”
“Thank you for your information,”
whatever appropriately refers to the original purpose of your call—
and then your polite “goodbye.”
C. If you have received the call:
The tone of voice which conveys a kindly self-assurance is the key to
making this comment turn the trick: “I’ve enjoyed talking with you. I
wish I had more time to discuss this matter with you. Thank you for
1. SUMMARIZE the business at the close of the call.
2. Have a pencil in hand when you answer that
ring. Be ready to write as well as listen.
3. Record telephone calls.
4. Have a pencil in hand when you place a call.
Write down names, dates, times, place, and
Use your notes for letters or memos confirming
Avoid Verbal Barriers to Communication
We know that people resist being told they “have” to do anything!
Here are a few expressions to reflect upon:
NOT THIS BUT THIS
Are you indifferent?
“Hold on...” “Do you mind waiting while I
check that for you?”
“You’ll have to check with “Mr. X is handling that matter.
Mr. X. May I have him get in touch
Are you arbitrary?
“You have to.... “Will you please ask Mr. Jones
“You need to... to call Mr. B?”
Are you tactless?
“Who’s calling?” “May I tell her who’s calling,
“What is your name?” please?”
“May I ask your name?”
Are you casting reflections?
“I don’t know where he is.” “Mr. X isn’t in the office just
“He hasn’t come in yet.” now.”
He’s still out to lunch.” “May I have him call you later?”
Make sure your message is polite,
direct, and businesslike.
Make sure your message can be
Return telephone calls promptly
Make crude comments or mention
social references in your message
(i.e. I’m unable to answer my
phone because I’m out partying).
Have music playing in the
Use multiple people when
recording the greeting.
Voicemail has many benefits and advantages when used properly. However, you
should not hide behind voicemail.
Be sure to record your own personal greeting; don't
use the standard default greeting or have another
person record your greeting.
Write down what you want to say in your greeting and
practice saying it a few times before recording.
Include in your greeting your name and department so
that people know they have reached the correct
Your regular greeting should include your normal work
Use the attendant feature if available! This feature
allows the caller to reach another person in your
department from your voicemail.
Checking Messages and
Check your messages daily and return
messages within 24 hours.
Reply, forward, or delete messages
If you forward a message, be sure to explain to
the person to whom you are forwarding the
message why you are sending it to them.
Leaving a Voicemail Message for
When you have to leave a message for someone to return your
telephone call, try to have the correct pronunciation of their name and
make sure you state the following clearly:
Speak clearly and slowly.
Be sure to leave your name and extension number. It's best to say it
at the beginning and end of your message.
Keep messages short and to the point.
Remember that you want to leave the person you are calling with a
good impression of you.
Leave the date and time you called in the message. Let the person
know the best time to call you back.
Cover one topic in one message; specify what you want the recipient
There are specific vocabulary
formulas to use to reduce the
emotional impact of difficult callers
and methods that can turn a
stressful encounter into a positive
One of the critical factors in
communication which bears
repeating is – voice tone.
Choose the right word or
phrase to send the best
Learn how to say "no" in a
positive manner by
subtracting "Not" Words
and negative phrasing from
your communication. The
end result: callers who
understand and accept your
information more quickly.
Dealing With Difficult Callers
What you should do is:
Listen without interrupting
Gather the facts and make a note of them
Take their details so you can get back to them
Sympathize with them and offer to act as fast as you
Apologize if you have made the mistake
Stay calm even though the caller is angry and possibly
Three Myths about
1. Students try to make things difficult.
2. Students like to complain.
3. Students expect the impossible.
4. Students are never satisfied.
16 Words and Phrases That Keep
Hello! I'm sorry to keep you
Good morning! Thank you for waiting.
Please. It was nice talking with
Thank you. Is there anything else I
can do for you?
I'm very sorry. Thank you for coming in
Excuse me. It's been a pleasure to
You're welcome. I'd be happy to do that for
May I help you? We appreciate your
Are You Sure You're
Check your presentation. Speak distinctly at a
moderate pace, with enough volume to be heard
Stay with your caller. Don't give important
information when the caller doesn't appear to be
Use everyday language. When you must use a
term callers may not understand, explain it.
Repeat, or spell out, information.
Ask for feedback.
What To Do When
You Make a Mistake
You can recover from blunders and be a winner. Here's how:
Make things right. Your first responsibility is to correct the mistake.
Apologize. When you make a mistake, you'll usually gain stature by
apologizing in a direct way.
Let the matter rest. One apology suffices.
Learn more about operations. If you have to track down a goof, use the
occasion to learn more about the intricacies of your department or campus
Ask if you can do something else. After resolving your mistake, ask if you
can help in any other way.
Let others know you've learned something. Assure those affected by your
error that it won't happen again. Keep records.
Keep a record of errors made, the causes, and their solutions. Review the
list of mistakes to prevent their recurrence.
11 Most Frequent Caller
1. "The telephone rings for a long time before
it is answered."
Try to answer calls within 3 rings.
2. "They place me on hold for sometimes, it
If you find yourself placing many calls on hold,
write down the name of the caller and a brief
description of what they are calling about.
11 Most Frequent Caller
3. "The line is busy for hours it seems."
Try to keep calls short.
4. "They are very rude and get offensive when
asked their full name or sometimes just won't
Try to stay pleasant.
5. "They let me talk on and on only to realize
that they're not the person I should be talking
Politely interrupt the caller if you are unable to
11 Most Frequent Caller
6. "If I call the wrong department for help, they don't
give me suggestions to where I should be calling,
they just say, 'I don't know, not our department.'"
Frequently, you will find that your number is similar to
another department on campus. Rather than hanging up
on a caller or saying you don't know, try to be helpful
7. "They don't clearly listen to my needs before they
transfer me to the wrong person."
Listen to the caller carefully!
8. "Sometimes they disconnect me while transferring
Be careful when transferring a call.
11 Most Frequent Caller
9. "They told me to call back, but never gave me a
name or number or division to ask for."
If you tell a caller to call back later, tell them which
number to call.
10. "The person says, 'Wait', and then talks to other co-
workers without putting me on hold so that I can't
hear their small talk."
Use the hold button!
11. "They answer with an aggravated voice, as if I
disturbed them by calling."
Remember that students are the reason there is a
Five Survival Tips
1. Never take the work personally. When students complain, they
are not complaining about you personally.
2. Don't take problems home. Give your work complete attention
while you are "on duty," but leave it there when you go home at
3. Find ways to reduce stress. Yes, it has become a cliché to
recommend exercise to reduce stress.
4. Get help from others. Don't let yourself feel isolated and alone.
5. Remember the "good news." Students usually call with
problems, not praise. But don't let that give you a warped
perspective of the world.
Five Ways to Add Some Fun to
Work in a perk.
Breathe. Several times during the day,
pause for three slow, deep, relaxing
Keep stress relievers on hand.
Celebrate small victories.
Review your successes at the end of
the day. Think about what you did well.
10 Tips for Keeping Fresh and
Cool Under Pressure
Take brisk walks on your break.
Post motivational quotes on your phone or around your workstation.
Get more sleep at night.
Take breaks with positive coworkers.
Share your feelings about work with friends and family members.
Eat a healthy lunch.
Listen to motivational tapes on your way to work.
Make time for your hobbies.
Keep a funny picture near your phone so you remember to smile.
Allow yourself one five minute phone call to a friend.
At the End of the Day….
At the end of the day, spend a few moments reflecting
On what you have accomplished. Tally up the good
experiences against the bad.
Sure, there are always angry students and those you can
Because you are a professional, it's natural to remember
and be concerned about the negative student contacts you
You deserve to pat yourself on the back!