While digital media has change the way we communicate, phone calls are still a major part of doing business. Whether you’re on a Skype video call or using your landline to connect with someone – below are some tips to help improve your phone etiquette in the new year:
Is your phone call regarding a potential client? New product? Even a candidate interview? Coming prepared for a phone call can eliminate silly mistakes or assumptions that may give off an unprofessional look. Take the time to research the person and topic of discussion, double check the information and come up with some potential discussion points to lead the conversation in a productive manner.
Who hasn’t been in this scenario: you need to look something up after a phone call. As soon as the conversation ends you open your browser to type your search and can’t for the life of you recall what it was!
Best way to eliminate these memory lapses is to take good notes during phone calls. If your hands are tied up using a traditional phone line try switching to a wireless headset as it can free up your hands and movements so that you can take proper notes (whether in a notebook or on a laptop/tablet). That way you can ensure the information stays with you as opposed to relying only on memory.
Don’t just wait for the other person(s) to finish so you can share your response. Pay careful attention to what the other party is talking about, ask questions, seek clarification. This can help decrease the amount of follow-up phone calls and emails; understanding something the 1st time around.
Test Your Technology
If you’re planning on doing a video conference or call from your laptop/phone/tablet make sure your device is fully charged. The updates to the conference software (such as Skype) is fully updated and ready to go before a call. The last thing you want is to keep the other participants waiting because you’re installing the latest updates after not opening the program for a long, long time!
Find a Suitable Conversation Setting
This is particularly true for video calls – make sure whatever is going to behind your camera is appropriate/clean. Even for non-video calls, having a quiet area without any distractions can move the conversation along smoothly without the need to repeat things multiple times or having clear, easy to hear conversations. If you work in a shared office space try booking a conference room or use a small, private room when available.