Don’t Get Caught Using Poor Telephone Etiquette
Thanks to the explosion of mobile phones, the world is connected like never before and most people seem to have a good grip on how to talk to each other using proper telephone etiquette. Therefore, when someone breaks socially accepted phone etiquette practices, they make themselves or the business they represent look bad.
For many of us, using the phone is such a natural experience that worrying about what to say and what not to say may never cross our mind. Since 1870, society has been establishing accepted phone etiquette practices. These practices determine how we properly use our phones today. For example, it's because of phone etiquette that you answer the phone with a greeting instead of, "Yeah, what do you want?"
Social etiquette is interesting to study because it evolves over time, and older etiquette practices can often seem outdated compared to the social norms of today. This especially applies to telephone etiquette because there's such a strong social dynamic involved.
Humorous Examples of Outdated Telephone Etiquette
When the telephone was a new invention and becoming popular in England, it was considered rude to call someone over the phone that you haven't yet personally met. Telephone calls from a stranger were instantly declined. Instead, the proper manner to talk to someone new via telephone was to first visit them in person and leave a "visiting card." If this practice were still around today, the telemarketing industry would look completely different; perhaps for the better.
Fast forward 100 years to the 1990s when the cell phone began to catch on in a big way. In the 90s, it was considered bad form to make serious phone calls using cell phones. This etiquette may stem from the idea that a person talking on a cell phone must be on the go. Therefore, it was thought that a cell phone user wouldn't be able to give the person they're calling their full and undivided attention. Jerry Seinfeld makes this point on his TV show from the 90s, saying that a cell phone call from the street is "the lowest kind of phone call you can make."
Telephone Etiquette is Still Important Today
An employee that uses the phone improperly can make your business look unprofessional. When it comes to running your business, you want to make sure that the people answering your phones understand proper phone etiquette. You can include this training on how to handle the phones in the onboarding process of your new employees.
A communications tool that will help you do this is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) from Directive. VoIP is the latest evolution in telephone technology and allows people to use the Internet to make and receive phone calls. Due to the flexibility of the Internet, a business using VoIP is able to take advantage of more phone features for a fraction of the cost. The VoIP features that allow you to train your staff on how to use the phones are Monitoring, Whisper, and Barge. With these tools, you can sit in on an employee's phone call and monitor how they handle the call, give them feedback on what to say that only they can hear, and you can even take control of the call and enter the conversation if needed.
Technology and etiquette are always changing. Your business can stay on top of both of these trends with help from Directive. Give us a call at 607.433.2200 to learn more about the latest communication solutions like VoIP that can improve the way you do business and save you money.