Preparing your new employees to be successful always starts with a positive onboarding experience. That’s where new employees learn the best techniques to do their job, what is expected, and how to fit in with your team.
One of the skills you might forget to teach, however, is proper phone etiquette. Some positions require extensive phone work, so training on how to provide the best customer service is a necessity. But for other roles, the phones may be used so seldomly you simply forget to teach best practices. For millennials, who typically prefer texting or online communication to talking, basic phone etiquette is important. Here are some skills you should add to your onboarding experience for all new employees.
Answer Promptly and Courteously
Setting the right tone for your business requires a ringing phone to be answered fast. Customers will grow impatient and possibly take their business somewhere else if the phone rings more than three or four times.
Talk with your new hire about their experience being on the receiving end of a phone that rings 10 or more times. Set the expectation early that a positive response from your end of the phone sets the stage for a better overall customer service experience.
Handling Simultaneous Calls
How do you deal with a live customer when the line begins to beep with another call? The answer is to ask the live caller if they mind waiting just a moment so you can grab the other line. Juggling two callers (or more) is stressful and takes practice. This may be a good opportunity for role-playing to help your new employee practice the delicate balancing act of multitasking by phone.
Tone of Voice
Next, talk with your employees about tone. This is an onboarding conversation that could cover all forms of communication and not just the phone. Teach new employees how a smile on their end usually equals a nice tone of voice on the customer’s end. Having the right tone of voice can diffuse a difficult customer service situation before it escalates. Also, discuss how to lighten tone in emails – even when no tone is intended.
Communication is hard. It’s harder because everyone is pulled in so many directions these days. Talking frankly about how to communicate by telephone will set the new employee up with baseline skills to launch a successful career at your company.
Know Who to Connect to
Finally, make sure your new employee understands how to get the caller the help they need, if they can’t provide it themselves. Going over an organizational chart and making sure the new employee understands basic phone transfer skills will ensure your customers aren’t kept waiting too long or are accidentally disconnected.
Looking to Keep Track of Top Candidates?
Talk to the team at Exelare about the kinds of baseline communication skills our candidates can bring to your business. We can help. Schedule a demo today!