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Telephone Etiquette

Objectives Of The Session

• In this session we will learn the following:

– The importance of customers – both Internal and External

– Why do we need to call our customers and why do they call us

– How to open an outbound call

– How to open an inbound call

– Creating first and lasting impressions

– The Do’s and Don’ts of Telephone handling

Who Is Your Customer
Types Of Customers
A customer is someone who uses/ purchases our products/ services


Internal Customer

External Customer
Types Of Customers

Internal Customer External Customer

• The internal customer is a colleague • He is person/ company /organization
of ours. He could be in a different external to Ceasefire
department at any position in any • This is the customer who gives us
location who needs some business ; from whom we earn
information from us or is a part of a • We are dependent on them for our
defined process collections
• We have a dependency on each
• Example: The customers for the
Design team are the sales team
members whereas the customers for
the L& D team or the HR team is
everyone in the company as
everyone uses the product and
services of these departments
Types Of Customers
Internal Customer External Customer
• The products / Services required by • He purchases our companies
an internal customer varies with the products
department he deals with • He may also use our services that the
• From a Design team, I a BDM may CST team provides
need a BOQ • He may ask for some information
• From the HR team, a person may related to our staff for his own
need to understand how to get compliance. He may therefore liaise
Medical Claim form with the HR team

• From the IT team you may ask for a

software, anti virus, application etc
Why Do Customers Call Us

• To contact a help desk

• To get information on product/services

• To order/buy a product

• To complain about a product/service

• To clarify a doubt

• To resolve an Issue

• To escalate a matter
Why Do We Call A Customer

• To Introduce ourselves

• To fix an appointment

• To clarify an issue

• To get some information

• To verify some information

• To collect outstanding payments.

• To collect information / take feedback.

The Impact Of A Telecall

• The impact of a telecall should be:

– A good impression

– Create a faith

– Loyalty

– Fulfill specific need

Should Lead to Customer Delight

Customer behavioral pattern
Why do we need to delight out customers!??..

Trans-locate., 3 Form other interest

Die, 1 groups., 5 Lost to
competition., 9

Due to product , 14

Handled Badly, 68
Impact Of Bad Customer Service

• There is increase in complaints.

• The company gets negative PR.

• This leads to a loss of business.

• We all know that there is always Increase in cost to replace lost customers.
Did You Know?
• Only 4% of customers actually complain.

• Around 75% of the complaining customers will do business with you again, if you
act quick.

• It costs 5-6 times more to attract new customers than to keep old ones.

• Out of the entire customers you lose 68% leave due to bad service.

• Word of mouth of unhappy customers travels faster

Why Are Customers Important?

• The customer is the one that finally generates revenue.

• He is the one who will creates market reputation.

• It is his belief that provides competitive advantage.

• He is the catalyst for learning and change through his feedback.

You Are The Brand Ambassador
Reality Vs Expectation
When we promise something to the customer we create an expectation in his mind.
There are primarily 3 different reactions that the customer could have once he
experiences the reality of your service/ products

• Expectation > Reality = Disappointment.

• Expectation = Reality = Satisfaction.

• Expectation < Reality = Delight!!!

What Do Customers Want?

• Timeliness • To feel in charge

• Accuracy • Respect / Friendliness

• Efficiency • Fairness

• Reliability • Responsiveness

• Consistency • Assurance

• Honesty • Empathy

• Flexibility • Concern resolution

• Quality • Recovery.
My Role…

I am here to do / for YOU

Opportunities are knocking at your door

Are you ready to WOW the Customer??

Customer Service is…
Customer Service Attitude is the inherent ability to
look at every interaction with the customer as an
opportunity for customer delight and service
Displaying Customer Service Attitude

• You as the company representative must

• Project Confidence

• Think Positive

• Use Positive Language.

• Be Enthusiastic.

• Convey Speed or urgency.

• Take ownership or accountability.

• Be Courteous
Often a client's first contact with a business is by
phone. Professionalism is polite, thoughtful, efficient,
educated and valuable at all times.
Types Of Calls

• Telephone calls between us and our

customers can be either Inbound, that
means the customer calls us for some
query, order, complaint, information

• The call can also be outbound, where we

call the customer for seeking an
appointment, a query, reverting with
some information, confirming a task
Lets look at some aspects of both inbound and outbound calls
Inbound Calls
You could be a Business Developer or an IT executive or a Designer or A training
Manager- all of us are aware that a good percent of our work is done through phone
calls. We must remain prepared to take a call . There are some prerequisite to taking a
call. You must remain prepared

• Have a pen and notepaper handy so that you can write down information required

• Turn away from your computer, desk or other work

• If driving, either don’t take the call at all or go to a side, stop for a moment and
tell the caller you will call back or SMS the same

• If in a meeting, excuse yourself , step out to take the call. Again, tell the caller you
will call back or SMS the same
Opening A Call

• Pick up the phone within 3 rings.

• Identify yourself.

• Greet with a smile.

• Modulate your voice.

• Be enthusiastic.

• Ask, How you can help.

• Write down the customer name and use it in your conversation.

Opening A Call

• Clearly state who you are

• Hello, This is Vikram from Ceasefire/ HR/ IT


• Greet the caller, if you know who is calling through the Caller ID
• Hello. Mr Ahuja, this is Vikram from Ceasefire/ HR

• Always Introduce yourself and your company

• Offer your help. If you talk to this person often you may ask

• How may I help you? “ How are you? “ and exchange pleasantries
Outbound Calls
Often we are required to make calls. A Prerequisite to making a call
Be prepared for making the call:

• Clear your desk of other work

• Have a pen and notepaper handy

• Keep all the details of case you are calling the person about ready

• Make sure you are not in a noisy area

Opening A Call

• Plan your call. Knowing what you need to say will make your call brief
and effective
• Identify yourself, quickly state your business and ask permission
• Good Afternoon, This is Vikram, from Ceasefire. Am I speaking with Mr. Sarcar?
• How are you sir? (Response: I am good, how about you?)
• I am fine, thank you. I need around 5 minutes of your to give you a response to
your query on ……. Is this a good time to talk to you?
• Hello, this is Mudit from the HR department. I need to talk to you about the leaves
of Mr. Shashikant Sharma. Is it a good time to talk to you?”
When Opening A Call

• You must identify yourself first

• The state the purpose of the communication

• Ask questions if needed to get to correct department /person

• If you have reached a wrong number say:

“I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number. Please excuse me.”

And then hang up.

Handling Rude Customers

Handling Rude Callers

• Stay calm, speak slowly, clearly and calmly

• Remain diplomatic & polite

• Show willingness to resolve problem

• Don’t over-react to trigger words

Callers will often try to push your buttons

• Listen completely to the complaint, allow the caller to vent

• Only when they are finished should you comment

Acknowledge their feelings

• “I can hear that you are upset by this” or “I can tell this situation is upsetting you”.
Mr. Anurag is not correct

• Don’t mispronounce the customer’s name. If in doubt check with your colleagues
or even the customer

• Don’t use Mr./Mrs./Ms. with the customer’s first name. It is not correct to say ,
“Hello Mr. Anurag”. You must either say “ Hello Anurag” or say “Hello Mr. Kashyap”

• If you do not know the full name – say “Hello Sir”

Good or Bad Name

• If you need to ask for the customer’s name do not say “ May I have your good

• There is no good/bad name.

• Ask directly “May I know your name sir”

• Response: “Anurag “

• “May I request you to give your sir name/ full name”

• Response: “Anurag Kashyap”

• “Thank you sir”

I Am This Side/ I am That Side

• When introducing yourself, don’t say “This is Aditya this side/end”.

• Clearly mention your full name. “This is Adiya Kumar from Ceasefire” Or “ This is
Yuvika Happy from HR”
Some Don’ts

• Don’t eat or chew something while taking a call

• Don’t do other things while handling the customer.

• Don’t ignore the customer.

• Don’t frown, mutter, sound tired, ramble or speak negatively

• Don’t talk too loud or too softly

• Don’t leave a person on hold for long . If the hold needs to be long, offer to call

• Don’t Interrupt when the other person is speaking. Wait for a pause and then
speak up.
Some Do’s

• Speak slowly and articulate well. Keep a suitable volume.

• Give verbal cues and feedback.

• Allow the other person to finish before speaking.

• Greet genuinely. Keep your pleasantries brief and not too personal.

• Keep a notepad handy and take notes. This helps you structure your
communication, ignore distractions and keep track of what was discussed and

• If taking a call for someone else, take down a message and make sure that the
intended person gets the message. Use a post-it or email.
Some More Do’s
• Request permission if putting on hold. Do not keep on hold for more than a minute

– “May I put you on hold for a moment?...Thank you for staying on the line.”

• When transferring a call, update the next person on what you’ve “discussed with call
so that the caller does not have to repeat and the transferee is not taken by

• Summarise before ending a call.

• For complicated discussions, follow up with a mail stating all that was discussed and
agreed, and the way forward.

• Thank (and appreciate, if appropriate) before hanging up.

– “Thank you, Mr. Batra. It was a pleasure speaking to you. Goodbye.

Ways to Sound as Good as You Really Are!
• Alertness
– Show that you are wide-awake, ready to engage in a conversation
• Pleasantness
– Put a smile in your voice 
• Naturalness
– Use, simple, straightforward lang.; avoid technical terms/slang
• Distinctiveness
– Speaks directly into the phone; Use a normal tone of voice, the louder you
are, the louder everyone else becomes
• Expressiveness
– Talk at a moderate rate and volume, but vary your voice tone
Mental P.I.C.T.U.R.E. Of Your Voice
• I – nflection
– Use voice to express ideas or moods
– Don’t talk in a monotone
– The voice naturally rises on a questions or inquiry
– Voices fall at a “period,” decision or completion
• C – ourtesy
– Common, everyday applies the same as face-to-face conversation
• T – one
– Many times it is not what you say, but how you say it
– Voice should reflect sincerity, pleasantness, confidence, and interest
Mental P.I.C.T.U.R.E. Of Your Voice
• U – nderstanding
– Avoid talking with anything in your mouth (gum, pencil)
• R – ate
– Rate of speech should be adapted to personality of contact
– “Fast talkers” can arouse suspicion
– “Slow talkers” can be irritating
• E – nunciate
– Clear enunciation will help avoid misunderstanding and need to repeat
Keys to Good Listening
• Limit your talking
– Can’t talk and listen at the same time
• Don’t Interrupt
– A pause doesn’t always mean the individual is finished speaking
• Concentrate
– Focus on the conversation. Practice shutting out outside distractions and
personal concerns
Keys to Good Listening
• Take Notes
– Helps you remember important points
• Listen for ideas….not just words
– Get the whole picture, not isolated bits and pieces
• Interjections
– An occasional, “Yes,” “I see,” etc. shows that your listening. However, don’t
overuse them
Create a Good First Impression
• Try to answer the phone on the SECOND ring
• Answer with a friendly greeting
• Smile  - it shows, even through the phone
• Ask the caller their name, even if their name is not necessary for the call, and use
• Keep the phone two-finger widths from your mouth
Putting Callers on Hold
• Always ask for permission
– Ask if the caller minds being placed on hold.
– Check back with callers so they don’t think you’ve forgotten them.
– It’s okay if you don’t know the answer immediately.
• If you need to research, provide an estimate of when you will follow up.

• Examples
– “May I place your call on hold, while I get your file?”
– “Can you hold briefly while I see if Mr. Rahul is available?”
• Always thank the caller for holding
Transferring a Caller

• Always transfer the caller to the desired person’s extension, not to the operator

– Limits number of transfers

– Saves the caller time from explaining issue again

• Tell the caller who you are transferring them to

• Announce the caller to the person you are transferring

Taking Phone Messages

• Phone Message should always include:

– Caller’s name and company name (if applicable)

– Time and Date of call

– What the call is regarding (if possible)

– If a follow up or return call is needed

– Phone number (office or home)

Being Polite
Using Verbs to show politeness

Modal Verbs Degree of Emphasis and Examples

Would To make polite request
• Would you mind sending me the detail via email?
• Would you like to leave a message?
To express preference
• I would like a the form in the hard copy form through courier.
Could To make polite request
• Could you put me through to the HR Department, please?

May To show permission (formal)

• May I fax the details to you later in the afternoon?
• May I take message?
Can?/ May

Can I talk to Mr. Sharma ?

• This means are you capable of talking to Mr. Sharma

• You would know if you are or not. How can the person talking to you know?

May I talk to Mr. Sharma?

• This means you are either requesting or asking for permission?

• That is in the control of the other person on the phone

Politeness Matters
Impolite Polite
Who’s speaking? May I know who’s speaking, please?
Who do you want to speak to? Who would you like to speak to?
I want to speak to Surabh Rajput. I would/ I’d like to speak to Saurabh Rajput.
Pass me to Mr. Singh. Could you pass me to Mr. Singh, please?
Ask Mr. Ghosh to call me back. Could you ask Mr. Ghosh to return my call?
He’s not in. I’m afraid he’s not in.
You want him to call you back? Would you like him to call you back/ return
your call?
How much is the tour package to Jaipur? Could you tell me how much the tour
package to Jaipur is?
I want 10 cartons of copy paper. I would like to order 10 cartons of copy
paper./ I would like to place an order for…
Some Frequent Caller Complaints

• The telephone rings for a long time before it is answered.

• They place me on hold for a long time.

• The line is always busy.

• They don’t listen to my needs before transferring me.

• I get disconnected while being transferred.

• The person says “wait” and talks to other coworkers without putting me on hold.

• They answer with an aggravated voice

Last Impressions

• Before ending the call, always…

– Make sure you answered all the caller’s questions

– Always end with e pleasantry:

• Have a nice day

• It was nice speaking with you

– Let the caller hand up first