Be it cold-calling, appointment setting or answering service, etiquette must be properly observed. This is so because customers, both sales prospects and sales leads, expect phone operators to practice the conventional norms. Moreover, whatever you say over the phone reflects the image of the company where you are working. And the manner has a big contribution in the success of customer service support. Anything said and done may lead either to winning or losing customers.

Here are guides to help you in attain excellence in phone answering service (particularly for live answering service). Read, understand and practice the following guidelines.

1. Make advance preparations. There is plenty of time to do practices before you receive phone calls from customers. Think over some common inquiries the sales leads are going to ask. Then, provide brief and concise answers to such questions. Practice doing it for many times to boost self-esteem and to get better results. Customers hate fillers like “Ums”, so constantly exercise simulations to eliminate such words. Learn by heart your firm's products and/or services so that you will be at ease in giving rejoinders to your customers.

2. Before answering a call. Before you pick up the phone, be sure to have writing materials, guide script and the likes to jot down important notes of the entire conversation. Discourage eating, chewing gum or drinking when answering. Never let the telephone ring for the fourth time. It is so because customers perceived it as negligence.

3. Deliver an impressive opening statement. The introductory words are very crucial in keeping the conversation alive. An awkward start might lead to the end of the dialogue. The tone of your voice must be making them feel that they are very welcome and that you appreciate in making the beep. Smile! Though the person on the second line does not see it, your voice dictates it.

4. Establish bond. This can be done by learning some information about the customer and the company where the prospect or sales lead is working. With this, you will be able to provide the specific answers to their problems. Be sincere and straightforward. Do not make claims that do not have proofs.

5. Effective On-Hold and Transferring Calls. When a customer requests to speak with a person in your organization, tell him to include the name of such person as well the department he/she belongs. With this, the prospect will have a considerable knowledge about your organization's hierarchy. Ask if the caller wants to leave a message when the person he/she would like to have a word is unavailable.

If there is a time when a caller be put on hold, let him/her decide if he/she likes to. If he/she does, do not let it exceed 45 seconds.

6. Clarity of voice. Do not confuse the callers with your unclear speech. To speak clearly, practice reading and do some tongue-twisters.

7. Set a positive tone. The tone of your voice will be the customer's primary basis to detect what emotions you are showing. Therefore, set a positive tone to manifest that you are truly serving your prospects.

8. Listen well. To understand the needs and desires of the customers is the primary key in being successful in answering service. Effective listening leads to better judgment. Consequently, misinterpretations and misunderstanding will be shied away.

Author's Bio: 

Belinda Summers works as a professional consultant. She helps businesses increase their revenue by lead generation and appointment setting services through Telemarketing. To know more about this visit: http://www.callboxinc.com/