How do you answer the phone? Hello. Bueno. What’s up? We’ve already discussed how to end a phone call. Now here are some ways to answer the phone in a professional manner!
Your call center probably has guidelines on how fast you should answer incoming calls. If they don’t, shame on them. Regardless, you must answer promptly.
My current employer has a rule that the phone can’t ring more than 3 times. It should be answered before that, but it can never get to the fourth ring.
The reason is simple: people don’t like to wait. Be a pro and answer your phone quickly!
Use a greeting
As soon as you pick up, provide the caller with a simple greeting. “Hello” works. You might vary it up a bit and say “good morning” or “good afternoon,” whichever applies at the time.
But don’t be too exotic. Unless you know that most of your customers would be receptive to a greeting, don’t use it. A Christmas card company might say “Merry Christmas” in December, but a car dealer might choose to remain holiday-neutral.
Give your name
Phones are impersonal by nature. We can’t see each other, and body language accounts for the vast majority of our communication.
Provide a personal link for the caller by giving your name. Your first name will do, unless your customers expect a formal atmosphere. If so, you might say “This is Mr. Smith” instead of “This is Bob.”
Ask a question
People don’t call just for the fun of it. The customer needs something. It’s now your job to figure out what that is.
Ask something like “How can I direct your call?” Or, if you know the person needs something from you, ask “How can I help you?” It’s polite, and it gets to the point quickly.
In a nutshell
Now that we’ve gone through each part of our pro phone answering routine, we can put it all together.
“Good evening. This is Andrew. How can I help you?”
Simple, professional, and effective.