9 Tips for Returning Phone Calls

May 11, 2015

Post by Mark Hastings

The phone business is in my blood. My mother started Hastings Humans over 65 years ago and it’s remained in the family ever since. One of the most important tools of the trade is mastering the call back. You probably have no trouble returning personal calls, but what about calls to your business? How do you reconnect with customers in a professional, courteous way? Here are nine strategies and etiquette tip from a lifetime of phone customer service:

1. Return their call as soon as possible

This is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate that you respect your caller and their time. They went through the effort to call you, so you owe the courtesy of a quick response. In a sales context, it also increases the likelihood that individual will choose your product or service.

2. Document when you made the call

I keep a spiral notebook on my desk and on every call I jot down the date, time, who I talked to and their phone number. You should use whatever record keeping system works for you so you can look up who you talked to and when

3. When calling back say the name of the person who called you, your name, and that you are returning their call

For example, I would say, “Jane Doe, please. This is Mark Hastings returning her call.” Never, ever say you are returning a call if it is not true; I never do business with someone who would lie to me. If the person you are calling is in a different city than you, be sure to note where you’re calling from, e.g. “This is Mark Hastings, calling from Austin.” This occasionally gets heightened attention and quicker action by the person answering the phone.

4. If the person you are calling is unavailable, always leave a message

Don’t just say that you’ll call back later and if they called asking for specific information, leave it in the message. Demonstrate that you value their time.

5. When leaving a message with a person

Give your name and number, even if you think they know it. One reason is that it will be easier for them to return your call if they are dialing from a text or email message on their mobile device. Record the name of the person who took your message. Be polite, courteous and respectful. (This is good advice all the time!)

6. When leaving a message on a machine:

Say who you are, what your call is regarding, when is the best time to call you back, and how they may reach you: e.g “This is Jane Doe, I’m returning your call regarding the contract. You may call me back between now and 8pm or tomorrow morning. My phone number is 512-555-1212.”

7. Call, Text or E-mail?

If they specifically ask you to call, text or email, then your choice is easy, just do what they asked! If you know they’re likely to be driving, it’s better to call.

8. Be a boy scout – be prepared

Have the information they asked for ready to deliver when you call back!

9. Be easy to reach

Even if you leave a message with your contact information, the caller might not be able to get back to you immediately. They might not be able to hear your phone number clearly, or they might lose or accidentally delete the message. Make sure that your business’ phone number is prominently displayed on your website, online listings and social media channels. Also, put all of your relevant contact information in your email signature.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn
Previous Next