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Useful Call Handling Tips for Home Workers
When you started working from home, you were probably inspired by your passion for the industry you’re now working in. That might not revolve around taking phone calls, but that’s still a big part of running a business from home. So, here are some tips for dealing with phone calls.
Ignoring the cold callers
Cold callers can throw you off in the middle of important tasks. Although you don’t want to miss a call from a customer or important business contact, you can’t afford to spend time answering every unknown number, just in case.
So you can screen your calls, hoping those from people who matter will leave a voice message. For the remaining calls, you can use UnknownPhone to see if people have reported the number as a cold caller or spammer.
For example, a call from 08456021111 has been searched a lot and is reported as being BT, but the site warns users that numbers can be spoofed. So, if you answer, be careful not to give out personal information until you’re completely sure the call is genuine. From many of the comments, it seems that this number is likely being used by scammers, possibly as a spoofed number. It’s also a premium rate number, so can be costly to call back!
Answer the phone clearly
It can seem obvious, but if you’re distracted with other tasks, you might not give the call your full attention or come across clearly, So stop the task first, then answer, clearly stating the name of the business so the caller knows they have reached the right number.
Speaking clearly also ensures you’re not misunderstood during the call. It might be difficult if you work from home, have a lot of background noise going on, and have a local accent so get in the habit of practicing your phone manner and clarity in your free time if you think you need to.
Making a business call is always easier if the person is expecting your call, but if you’re not great on the phone, you can make some notes first. You can also do this if you’re calling someone who might not be expecting a call.
It doesn’t have to read like a script. It’s best to make a few bullet points and speak naturally, only checking these if you get stuck and forget the point you wanted to make.
Dealing With Problems
The downside of running a business is, that you can’t please everyone all of the time. Sometimes customers and business contacts might be unhappy about something. If you get flustered easily on the phone, this can make the situation worse.
However, if you have a system in place for dealing with complaints, it can help to refer to that and to offer to put whatever you agree to do in an email. This gives you a chance to think about carefully wording what you say and allows them to refer to it later.
Talking on the phone isn’t everyone’s strong point, but as a business owner, the more practice you get, the better you’ll become!