Make sure you return those calls
Most of the time, people are comfortable with telephone calling. Whatever your profession, daily telephone work is likely part of the job. There are many aspects of using the telephone, from fielding calls to closing sales. Most of us consider using the phone to be second nature. However, one aspect of telephoning that is often neglected is returning phone calls.
You have just come back from a hectic meeting. You are ready to go in your office, shut the door and take a breather, but as you hurry by your secretary’s desk, you are thrust a handful of phone messages. The last thing you want to do is dive right in and happily return every call. Most of the time you sort through them, picking out one or two and either setting the rest aside or tossing them out.
For some reason, you think that if you don’t return your calls, they will be forgotten, which is not true. Do you forget when you call someone and they don’t call you back? No. Putting off or not returning calls at all can cause stress, anger and loss of rapport with your callers. If you are afraid you will just be playing telephone tag, call them anyway. At least the caller will know you made a sincere effort to reach them. Realize that not every call will be great, and then do it and get it over with. It doesn’t matter if the call is from a salesperson or a customer. If you treat all your calls with respect, you will be respected for it. Even if the call is to say “no” to something, make it. It makes a good impression.
You can gain a positive image and goodwill from everyone you call. Whether you are returning a call to tell a salesperson “no”, or returning a call to let someone know that the “check is in the mail”, you are making a positive contact. Remember, you never know when a caller may end up being a customer of yours. Keep them thinking of you and thinking of you in a positive manner.
Although the failure to return phone calls is found at all levels of management, middle management is usually the best at returning them, while top management is generally the worst.
Sometimes, being at the top makes management feel their time is too important to waste returning phone calls. This is a big mistake, as they could be missing out, and, furthermore, it shuts them out from the real world. Perhaps the reason middle management is better at returning calls is because they realize just how valuable it is to make good contacts. Establishing goodwill with everyone goes far toward developing positive networking.
Returning phone calls is not difficult. It is an easy, professional courtesy and one that should be actively employed by all levels of management and employees. You gain a more positive image of your company by following up on all calls. Don’t just focus on the easy ones.
Keep in mind that you and every employee is a representative of the company. By giving high-quality service in every area, you reinforce your company’s credibility. Include returning your telephone calls in that service and you will be just one more step ahead of the rest.