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Receptionist Etiquette Tips: How to Answer Any Question with Confidence

Receptionist Etiquette Tips: How to Answer Any Question with Confidence

Have you ever felt the embarrassing feeling of not being able to properly answer a question and hold a conversation on the telephone? Did you know there is actually a disease named after people who are afraid to speak on the telephone? This social phobia and/or anxiety is referred to as, “Telephone phobia (telephonophobia, telephobia, phone phobia) [a] reluctance or fear of making or taking phone calls.”

If you need a little help to become more confident during your telephone conversations, take a look at our 7 receptionist etiquette tips below to dominate your next phone call.  

Boost your confidence with these Receptionist Etiquette Tips:

1. Drink Water Before a Telephone Conversation

Medical professionals everywhere have been trying to drill it into our brains how much our bodies need 8 – 10 glasses of water every day. You may think something as little as staying hydrated is trivial to your telephone conversation’s success. But staying hydrated is a great way to make sure that you are thinking clearly.

Bring a fresh mental clarity to your next business telephone conversation by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can cause dry mouth, sleepiness, headaches and dizziness. When you are trying to hold an intelligent and professional conversation, your mind needs to be running in tiptop shape.     

2. Good Posture Improves Your Tone

When speaking on the telephone, you may think that your posture has nothing to do with the way your voice sounds. There is a reason why vocal coaches encourage proper posture for singers; your posture effects the way you sound.

Also, The Sales Hunter shares with us that, “People who have good posture tend to come across more enthusiastic than those who don’t.” So if you are trying to sound confident during your next business telephone conversation, focus on having excellent posture.

Hold your head up high to exude confidence and keep your shoulders back to leave yourself open during the conversation. Having excellent posture will also help you to have more control over your breathing.  

3. Smiling to Increase Conversation Comfort

Did you know that 84% of the overall message over a phone is your tone of voice? Just like having good posture is essential to controlling the tone of your voice, you may be surprised to learn how far a smile can go.

So how does a simple smile help you to be more confident on the telephone? The Science of Smilingshows us that, “Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.” When you are smiling over the telephone, the tone that comes across is more positive, self-assured and confident because you feel good.  

During your next conversation, try the ‘dial and smile’ technique that millions of professionals have adopted to bring more confidence to your phone call. 

4. Use Caller Control to Steer the Conversation

Caller control is an art form that takes lots of practice and training to master. Here at A Courteous Communications, we provide extensive on-going training for our virtual receptionists to help them learn how to control their telephone conversations.

Confident telephone operators are able to steer the caller’s conflict towards a satisfying and amicable solution. Instead of allowing the caller to take you on a long-winded journey that will have no clear destination, take control of the conversation from the onset. Frame all of your statements around reaching a desired end goal.

The caller control technique requires that you are confident in helping callers find solutions quickly. Putting in time and practicing this technique is the only way to truly become an expert call handler.  

5. Ask Questions to Fully Understand the Issue

Receptionist etiquette 101 is being an excellent listener. In order to confidently answer a caller’s question, you must first use investigative skills to clearly define the main reason for the call. Sometimes callers don’t know what they need or want; they just know they are going through something they need support with.

Here are some tips to help you get to the bottom of any caller’s main inquiry:

  1. 1.) Focus on the Who, What, Why, Where, When and How questions in order to receive all facts needed identify the caller’s issue.
  1. 2.) Give yourself time to think about the available options or recourses by encouraging the caller to give you a detailed account of their issue.
  1. 3.) If possible, quickly pull up the customer’s account to review past communications to be able to see the bigger picture clearly.
  1. 4.) Sometimes, simply asking the caller how they would prefer you to handle the situation can help you reach an easy resolution. 
  1. 5.) Take notes while the caller is giving you key information so that you can keep a detailed record of the conversation.  

Speaking on the telephone with confidence requires that you really hone in on the main problem by listening and being inquisitive. 

6. Use Proper Grammar to Show Professional Knowledge

How can you hold a confident and intelligent conversation when you don’t utilize proper grammar? This rhetorical question is set up in the form a riddle but the answer is simple. Holding an intelligent conversation is required for portraying confidence and professionalism to the other person on the line.   

You cannot hold an intelligent and confident conversation when your choice of words includes excessive use of no-no words: “Umm…” “Like…” and “Ya Know…” These filler words are spewed when someone doesn’t know how to properly communicate their thoughts and ideas.

Strive towards using perfect grammar in your business telephone conversations and gain the professional respect of anyone calling in.  

7. Being Prepared and Informed Helps Your Authority

With all of these tips, being prepared is the last listed in this article, but it’s the most important attribute of confident speakers. In order to portray an expert understanding of the caller’s topic of choice, you have to be fully trained on all aspects of your business.

Do your homework and make sure you understand all of the inner workings of the business you are communicating on behalf of. Know the new customer procedures, delivery methods, production logistics and available resources before taking on the responsibility of speaking with incoming callers.  

Practice Makes Perfect When It Comes to Receptionist Etiquette

As mentioned before, practicing your telephone skills will increase your confidence levels to be able to tackle any telephone inquiry you receive. Start implementing these receptionist etiquette tips and you will begin to quickly see how your telephone presence dramatically becomes more confident.

Still having trouble with speaking on the telephone? Shoot us a message here and we can send you an affordable quote and start taking over the telecommunications for you.

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