Nowadays, a lot of communication at a public relations agency is done via email. Additionally, most of my personal communication with friends and family is through text message. Due to a shift in how we communicate, speaking on the phone now gives some people great anxiety and trepidation. However, being eloquent and professional on the phone is of utmost importance. At a busy PR agency, like Konnect, we get many, many calls each day. These calls could be from clients, media contacts, companies inquiring about new business, sales solicitations and everything in between. Hope these few tips help you feel confident about speaking on the phone!
- When starting at a new office, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Each phone system is different and you don’t want to be caught off guard when you need to put a call on hold and don’t know how to operate the office phone. Test out the phone to learn how to transfer calls, conference call, etc. Also, be sure to ask your supervisors if your office has particular phone procedures for answering the phone and taking messages.
- Smile! It sounds so simple, but smiling while you’re on the phone truly does show the person on the line that you are engaged and enthusiastic.
- Speak clearly. Try your best to speak without filler words, such as “um,” “uh,” “like,” etc.
- Take notes! When I get a call that I need to transfer, I try to get as much information as possible. Who is this contact calling for and will they know what it is regarding? If the phone call drops, what phone number is best to reach the contact at? After collecting information, I can confidently connect the call.
- When taking a message, be thorough. If I am unable to connect the call I try to get the person’s full name, phone number, and any other relevant information in order to properly relay the message with all of the necessary information.
- Overall, be personable, polite and professional! You never know who is calling and should take each phone call with energy, grace and confidence.