Newsflash: phone etiquette matters. No matter who you are, your phone voice and presence says more about you than you may realize. If it helps, think about it this way. Think back to a time when you had to call a service provider or call center to express a concern or ask a question. Likely, you’ve experienced the drudged, sad, sleepy voice that makes you feel worse about your situation just having to listen to the person talk than you did in the first place.
Or maybe you’ve had a client call you and rip you a new one screaming so loudly you hold the phone a foot away from your ear. Obviously that’s an entirely different experience, but the point remains the same: when your physical presence is not there to strengthen or dampen the experience for your receiver, your voice says it all.
How you present yourself over the phone matters because each and every interaction you have with anyone during work hours could become a potential customer, boss, reference, etc. There is no reason to burn a bridge over being too lazy to put some pep in your “tele-poise”.
A quality phone voice should include the following: an introduction, articulation and always a well wish before saying goodbye. I can’t tell you how many times a day I receive calls (or voicemails for that matter) where the caller never announces who they are. Don’t be that person.
Articulation includes speaking clearly and enunciating your words. That also includes calling from a quiet place where there is clear reception. Be mindful of air conditioning in a car, open windows in a car, household noises if you work from home, etc. It shouldn’t take more than one “what?” from your receiver for you to adjust yourself if need be. Test headsets and connective devices for clarity before using them, and if you encounter problems during a call always blame it on your technology, not your receiver’s.
Being personable means more today, I think, than it used to. Now more than ever we are a fast-paced, technology oriented work force. When someone takes the time to ask me how I fared a weather storm the night before, or wishes me a happy holiday, I notice. Start working on your phone etiquette and make sure you are presenting the best you at all times.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Nokia Connects