Effective telephone techniques in business Part A – Research Phone calls in English for non-native speakers are much more difficult than talking to people face to face. Maybe it’s because you can’t read the person’s expressions or get cues about their meaning from their gestures. And of course as non-native speakers, it is sometimes difficult for us to understand accents and slang properly and that’s why you are already nervous before the call starts. Preparing in advance for a phone call in English is one of the best ways to overcome these difficulties. What to do in advance Make a list of some vocabulary and phrases you will need to get the information you want. Know what you want to say beforehand, this will assist you once you are conversing with your customer. • One of the most important things is to have a fast and practical method of dictating on the phone. Using shorthand spelling greatly increases your efficiency. It is a skill which comes with practise and experience, but of course it is good to practise and improve in advance by yourselve. The basic preparation before phone call: • Being ready to listen actively. • Keeping your emotions in check. Listening for specific information. • Asking questions when necessary. • Don’t worry abou asking people to repeat themselves • Don’t worry about asking to speak more slowly There are certain rules that apply to answering phone calls, whether it be for restaurant booking, taking orders or even taking a call on someone else’s behalf: 1) Always answer the call within three rings (if possible). 2) Greet the caller with a salutation, that is “Good Afternoon, Evening… ” 3) State the business name, that is: “Rydges Esplanade Resort”, or 4) “La Fettuccina” 5) Your name “This is David…. ” 6) “How may I help you”
Some advices on what to do and what to avoid during the phone call: • Never say “This is David speaking”. It is obvious you are speaking and “speaking is not your surname. Some cultures may think it is your last name. • Always have a smile in your voice. • Always speak into the phone’s mouth piece. • Concentrate on the caller. The restaurants are quite noisy working enviromentl so be prepared don’t get distracted. • Have a pen and paper handy to make notes that is the: caller’s name, phone number, reason for calling… etc. • Always allow the person on the other and of the line to hang up first or you will come across as impatient/don’t care.