The 7 golden rules for professional English on the phone for 2011

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Make a professional impression every time you use the phone with these 7 golden rules.

1 Make every caller feel welcome with a warm friendly greeting.

  • Good morning, XYZ Company. This is Annika Jansen speaking.

2 Keep the information flowing by checking what has already been said.

  • So you will be arriving at four-thirty, is that correct?
  • Let me just go over that to check that I’ve got everything.

3 Make your conversation a dialogue, not a monologue, by focussing on the caller.

  • Can you tell me a little more about that?
  • I’d like to hear the details.
  • When did you say you needed the books?

4 Don’t keep people waiting without asking them.

  • Is it all right if I put you on hold?
  • Do you mind waiting, or would you like me to get her to call back?

5 Avoid saying things like “but” and “yes but”. Instead look for alternatives.

  • Yes, I see what you mean. Let me find out if that’s possible and then call you back. Is that okay with you?
  • That’s an unusual request and I’m not sure we can grant it. Are there any alternatives?

6 If a caller makes a reasonable complaint, don’t fight back, but apologise and look for a solution.

  • I’m sorry you feel that way. What can we do to make things better?
  • That’s a shame. Can you think of a solution?
  • I can understand why you feel like that. Now how are we going to move forward?

7 Give the caller your full attention and smile!

Every caller deserves your full attention. No matter whom you are talking to, pretend they are sitting there right in front of you, not at the other end of the phone. Give them your full attention, and smile.

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