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9781439041130_UnitC_pp2.qxd

5/4/09

11:08 PM

Page 49

UNIT

C
Verbal Communication

Pr op er N ty ot o Fo f C r R en ep ga ro ge du L ct ea io rn n in Files You Will Need:
C-1.doc C-2.doc C-3.doc C-4.doc C-5.doc C-6.doc C-7.doc C-8.doc C-9.doc

Developing Professional Telephone Skills

Since its development in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone has become one of the most common home and business appliances. The word “telephone” comes from the Greek “tele,” meaning at a distance, and “phone,” meaning voice. Telephone technology allows people to speak with each other regardless of where they are located. According to the International Telecommunication Union, close to 5 billion people worldwide subscribe to telephone service. Of these, 4 billion are mobile or cellular customers. No matter where you live and work, you use a telephone in the workplace and should do so in a professional manner. In this unit, you learn the fundamentals of proper telephone etiquette. You are a customer service representative in the Operations Department of Quest Specialty Travel and work with Nancy McDonald, the head of Customer Service. You spend most of your time on the phone, talking to Quest customers. Nancy is training new customer service representatives, and invites you to attend the sessions to review and help her train others in the essentials of professional telephone communication.

OBJECTIVES

Explore professional telephone communication Place telephone calls Use voice mail Leave professional messages Take calls for other people Screen, hold, and transfer calls Develop cell phone etiquette

Receive telephone calls

g

9781439041130_UnitC_pp2.qxd

5/4/09

11:08 PM

Page 50

UNIT

C
Verbal Communication

Exploring Professional Telephone Communication
In the workplace, you use the telephone to communicate with customers, colleagues, superiors, suppliers, and others—in short, everyone with whom you have a professional relationship. In some cases, such as when working with customers in other locations, the telephone is your primary channel for communication. The success of your business relationships therefore depends on your phone skills. Table C-1 summarizes telephone communication do’s and don’ts. Before you meet with the new customer service representatives, Nancy McDonald suggests you review the fundamentals of professional telephone communication.

Pr op er N ty ot o Fo f C r R en ep ga ro ge du L ct ea io rn n in DETAILS
QUICK TIP

Observe the following guidelines as you use the telephone in professional settings: • Use the telephone when it is appropriate Telephones are so convenient that you might reach for them out of habit. When you make a telephone call, you are taking up someone else’s time in addition to your own. Before you call, ask yourself whether your call is necessary and appropriate. Would an e-mail message serve the intended purpose? Would it take less time to resolve the matter or look up the information that you need yourself? If you need to speak to someone you know is busy, send an e-mail message to schedule the phone call. Figure C-1 shows when you should make a phone call or send an e-mail. Many people prefer the telephone as a communication channel because it is more personal than other channels except for face-to-face conversations. Take advantage of the intimacy and immediacy of the telephone to develop a relationship, respond to a matter quickly, or end a cycle of e-mail messages that raise more questions than they resolve.

Instead of interrupting someone with a phone call, consider sending an e-mail, instant, or voice-mail message.

• Identify yourself and your caller

When the telephone rings, you seldom know who is calling or what to expect. Using caller ID, a feature that displays the phone number and sometimes the name of the caller, helps to identify your caller. When you answer the phone, immediately identify yourself by name and...
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