Answering home phone
18 April, 2013
Talk about first impressions; telephone greetings are critical. I’ve heard many times complaints from foreigners visiting Tbilisi that home phones are kind of wild in terms of answering etiquette. As there are few answering machines installed on the city home phone lines. Home phones are unanswered, messages are lost. Answering machine culture is a part of reality in the USA, UK, Canada and Germany.
When it comes to phone greetings, here is power in simplicity. For best results, incorporate three
easy elements into your home phone greetings: pleasantry, brevity, and sincerity. Make sure that you have PIN to your answering machine so that listen messages using tone dial.
A pleasant phone greeting is essential to a successful call because it sets the stage emotionally. In general, listeners tend to mirror or “catch” the emotional states of speakers. This is a principle of communication that holds true whether one is speaking to a group of 1000, a small meeting of 10, or a single customer over the telephone. In other words, people respond in kind. If we answer the phone gruffly, chances are the caller will become gruff. If we answer the phone pleasantly, chances are the caller will be pleasant, and we all know which caller is easier to work with.
Imagine you are a Customer calling a place of business. The professional on the other end of the phone sounds irritated. What is your response to a telephone greeting like that? When I’m a customer, my response tends to be irritation. I start thinking to myself, “Well, you think you’re irritated now? Wait until you get finished with me, then you’ll know what irritation is!” I wasn’t even irritated when I called the company. I simply caught the professional’s irritation.
I’ve had the opposite experience as a customer too. I am irritated, highly irritated. I really want to let somebody have it. I call the company, but the person who answers the phone is so nice and professional I can’t bring myself to yell at them. I hate when that happens. This time I’ve caught their professionalism.One of the easiest ways to attain an emotional state quickly, such as being pleasant, is to use body language.
In order to sound pleasant, we need to be carrying ourselves accordingly. My phone greeting ritual is to sit up on the edge of my seat, pull shoulders back, take a deep breath, smile, let the phone ring twice, and then answer. I never answer my phone unless I’ve gone through my ritual.
Sometimes I’ll even stand before I answer the phone if I need an extra jolt of energy. Do jumping jacks. Do whatever is necessary to attain a pleasant state before answering the phone.