Years ago . . . and I mean years . . . when I was in Jr. High (aka Middle) school, we had a "simulation" in our English class.
I'll never forget the lessons learned.
We spent two days learning about Phone Etiquette.
There was a speaker and two phones used during the simulation. One phone was passed to a student, while the other remained with the teacher. We would then get a business call on the phone (from our teacher) and the mock-conversations could be heard by the entire class.
It was then that I learned HOW TO TALK ON THE PHONE in a professional, business-like manner.
Thank you public education.
Today I received a call from an unknown. I answered the phone professionally, "Good morning, EBA Portland, this is Carla."
And whenever I get the "Yeah, I want to know about the house on 666 Evilcrest Pl," I brace myself.
I asked the caller "I'm more then happy to help, but can I get your name so I know whom I'm speaking with?"
She replied: "I'm a person . . . who wants information on the property." Her tone was totally snarky.
I told the woman caller in my Cupcake Carla voice: "I'm very sorry, but I don't give out information to anonymous callers" and then I disconnected the call.
The person on the other end would have FLUNKED my 7th grade Phone Etiquette class.
When you call a business, and want something -- LIKE INFORMATION -- please don't talk to the person on the other end without civility.
When I get calls and people are just plain rude, I cut the conversation very short.
What I learned in 7th Grade English Class regarding Phone Etiquette:
- Have a cheerful voice when placing or receiving a call
- Let the person you called know the nature/purpose of the call
- Say "Please"
- Say "Thank you"
- Don't be demanding, pushy
- and RULE NUMBER 1 . . . INTRODUCE YOURSELF!!
In my class, we went over different phone scenarios. Had this caller been NICE, RESPECTFUL of my time when calling my business office, I would have been more willing to assist her.
But, she choose to be rude and her phone voice was not pleasant. I was very content with disconnecting the conversation.
Last night I received a call from a very pleasant sounding young man. He told me who he was and why he was calling. TWICE, during our conversation, he asked me if he was interrupting. His was calling about a rental ad on Craigs List, wondering if it was a scam. It was. He took the time to thank me profusely for verifying what he thought. He knew he was calling a real estate office and that he was only calling to obtain information. He was NICE, he was appreciative of my time and I was happy to dig a little to verify his concerns.