Call holding- This allows you to place an active call on hold for the purpose of retrieving information about the caller or re-directing the caller to somebody who can deal with the enquiry. This also allows you to look for customer details, gives time to pass on the information to the correct person that can help the caller.
Call Waiting- This function will show that the caller is waiting to speak to you whilst you are on call with somebody else. This call could have been re-directed from another person within the company. This can be visible by a beeping tone or the call waiting button could be flashing. In some telephone systems both can occur together to alert you about the call.
Re-directing- This functions allows you to transfer the call over to a colleague who knows the client or somebody who can deal with the enquiry. The feature for this on the phone can be either re-direct or transfer.
Answer phone- This feature records messages left by callers when nobody is available to take the call.
Teleconferencing- This function enables more than two people to be involved in a single phone call. These calls can now be enhanced with the use of cameras and computers.
Text messaging- This feature enables you to send and receive text style messages, just like you would do on a mobile phone.
You should know the purpose of a call before making it as this will make the call seem more professional. Preparation should be done in advanced to save wasting time looking for equipment or waiting to receive information when the callers on the phone. Any questions that need to be asked or discussed should be written down then any information that was given can be passed on and there is a record of what was spoken to save any confusion. This will then be portrayed towards the caller as being professional. This method allows you to gain all the relevant information that is needed therefore you wouldn’t need to make a second call as you will have the information from the original call.
You can obtain names and numbers of people that need to be contacted by – Searching for a number for the known company on their website to call the company directly to see if anyone can help with your search. If the name is known then you can search directly on search engines such as google or on an online phonebook. Within your own company you can enquire about the person you need information on to check whether anybody within the company has dealt with the person beforehand or if they know someone who can help. Social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Myspace are now used widely to advertise and promote business or people can have a personal account and this can help you get in touch with them. Whenever you are calling a particular person or company always state clearly who you are, what company you are calling from and for what purpose you are calling for.
If you want to contact a person within your company you can call them directly by dialling their number. Most people within a company have individual internal extension numbers that can be dialled straight away. If they don’t have a direct number then you can try to ring the department that they are situated in and your call can be transferred to them. If only a name has been given and no contact number you can try calling the main reception desk or human resources to see if they can help locate the person for you.
When making an outside call most telephones within companies are set up internally so you will need to dial a connection number when entering the phone number. At ‘Best Training’ when we are making an outside call we dial the number ‘9’ before entering the phone number and this will let us call outside of the company.
As there is no face to face meeting the company or the customer you are contacting cannot judge you on your image, facial expressions or body language. This could be the first contact you are making with another company or customer so conveying a positive attitude is necessary. The purpose of this is to relay a positive image of yourself and your company you are calling from. Being rude on the phone, not speaking in a professional manner, being un-helpful or un-interested and abusive will create a negative image of yourself and your company. This is why it is important to be professional and helpful as you are your company’s representatives and by having a positive attitude it can benefit your company and can generate more business for them.
Before ending a call summarising the information that was given is important so that both parties have understood the information that substituted and it ensures that any questions that were asked are fully answered. A long telephone conversation could have several different products that you could have discussed and some information could have been misinterpreted, so summarising this would be beneficial so that the incorrect information is not passed onto a different company. Finer details could have been missed due to a large amount of information being discussed. An email can be sent to the customer detailing the information that was discussed so they have a written document and your own company has a written account of the information discussed.
When a person is calling for a specific reason always take a full name and contact number. If they are calling from a company then take down the company details and try to acquire what the problem is so you can receive the right information or contact the correct department to sort the issue. Pass the message on so that the person dealing with the customer has awareness about the issue and can get the right help e.g. if a company or a customer was awaiting for a cheque to arrive that should have arrived a week ago locate the department that the cheque was sent from (this would most likely be the accounts department or a project manager/finance manager). If the cheque was set to be mailed then you can contact the mail room to indicate when it was sent off. If the cheque was sent and has not been received by the customer/company then cancel the cheque as it could have got lost in the post and re-send a new one. During all this make sure you are keeping the customer/company informed on what is happening so they know when to expect the next cheque and when it should arrive by. This will also show the professionalism within your company and show the customer/company you care and can help solve their issue immediately and this will generate good business relation with clients.
There are organisational procedures to follow when making a phone call to a customer/company. Always introduce yourself and give them a name and what company you are calling from. Know what you are calling them for and let them know in regards to what the conversation is about. You can try to extract information about a member of staff or department that can help your enquiry. When you are talking to a person that can help your enquires note down some so you can receive the correct information. At the end of the call make sure you summarise what was spoken about and double check the information for accuracy.
You can report telephone system faults by being as precise as you can about the problem so that the fault can be resolved rapidly.
When did the problem start arising?
How many times does it occur?
What the conditions are?
Can you restart/reset the equipment?
Inform somebody about the faulty equipment and try contacting service provider for assistance for the best and safest way to sort the problem out.