How to Speak Effectively

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CUSTOMER SERVICE POLICY FOR THE TELEPHONE

All telephone calls shall be answered promptly and in a professional and courteous manner in accordance with the DHHS guidelines for responding to telephone calls. Guidelines for the Telephone

Please remember that when “the telephone rings three, it rings for thee.” Answering the telephone is every employee’s responsibility throughout the DHHS. As a general rule, telephones should be answered within three (3) rings and it becomes each employee’s job to answer it.

When answering the telephone, use a friendly, professional manner. Our greeting is the first thing heard by callers; you are setting an example and making the first impression for the department. Speak distinctly, with a warm welcoming tone. Let your caller know which office he or she is talking with, by identifying the division/agency and telling him or her your name. Imagine that you are the caller, and answer in the way that you would want to be treated. Here are sample greetings to use when answering office lines:

"Good Morning. DHHS Public Affairs, Jane Doe speaking. May I help you?" "Hello. Division of Facility Services. May I help you?"
"Good Morning. Division of Aging, Jane Doe. May I help you?" "Good Morning, Division of Child Development."

Here are sample greetings for individual lines:

"Hello. This is Jane Doe. May I help you?"
"Hello. This is Jane Doe in the Secretary's Office."

Sometimes callers are in a hurry. They may interrupt you and seem rude. You should remain cool, friendly and cooperative.

Become a better listener. Stop talking and focus your attention on the caller. Avoid distractions. Concentrate on what the other person is saying. Show interest and concern to the reason for the call.

Find out what the caller needs. Don't be afraid to ask the caller questions to find out his or her concerns. Do not needlessly transfer the person because you did not listen to his/her question or problem. If you have...
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