Inbound phone calls can eat up a lot of time and seriously decrease your productivity by pulling you away from other tasks. But just as there are ways of handling outgoing phone calls that will improve your time management, there are ways of handling inbound phone calls to cut down on the amount of time you burn up speaking on the phone. These phone answering tips will help.
Time Management Telephone Tips For Inbound Phone Calls
1) Answer your telephone with a proper business phone greeting.
For instance, when answering the phone say something such as, "Cypress Technologies. Susan speaking. How may I help you?" This not only lets the caller know that they've reached a business, but puts the onus on him to answer the question, saving time on exploratory questions such as, "Is this Cypress Technologies?", and idle chit chat.
2) Think and prioritize as you speak.
Is the call best handled right now or later? Many of the telephone calls businesses receive are quick inquiries that are easily answered, such as, "How late are you open?" But others involve more complex and time-consuming answers. If that's the case, tell the caller so, and ask when it would be convenient to call her back to discuss it.
3) Use techniques such as paraphrasing and summarizing to keep phone calls on track.
If you're speaking to someone on the phone who seems to want to chat or stray from the point, say something such as, "So what I hear you saying is..." or "So the key points are..." or "Is (insert summary) a fair summary of what you were saying?" It's hard to be chatty with someone who refuses to chat.
4) Get in the habit of closing each inbound phone call with a summary of whatever action you and the caller have agreed to take.
While this will only take seconds in most cases, it can save you a lot of time by avoiding errors and the need to double-check. For instance, after a conversation during which you arranged a meeting with a client, you might say, "Good. I'll meet with you at your office at (insert location) at 10 a.m. tomorrow and we'll go over the samples together."
There are another six time management tips for handling inbound phone calls on the following page; click "next" to continue on to page two.