This article describes general efforts and does not introduce the efforts of NEC Networks & System Integration. Please note.
There are many people who are not good at answering company phone calls or who feel stress.
It seems that not only new employees who are not yet accustomed to the phone, but also veteran employees have stress such as “I can’t proceed with my work because I’m busy with phone calls.”
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at phone stressors and how to deal with them.
Why answering the phone can be stressful
- Due to lack of skill or awareness of weakness
- Caused by the content of the call
- Due to the telephone environment at work
Let’s take a look at what stressors are and how they can be overcome.
(1) Stress due to lack of skills and perception of weakness
Answering the phone is an important job that should be called the face of the company.
You may feel depressed or stressed because you can’t handle it well because of the pressure to “do something that is not embarrassing .”
There is no need to worry about the corresponding skills, as you will naturally acquire them by doing the number.
If you are not good at or dislike talking on the phone, you can put aside the idea that “I have to do it well” for a while and say “I just need to get it across” and respond with a relaxed attitude.
I can’t hear you
At the company, I have to answer calls for matters that are not my responsibility, so it is natural that I may not be able to catch the name of the other party or understand the technical terms or the content of the conversation .
Since the voice on the phone sounds muffled, the person on the other end knows that it is possible for everyone to hear it, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t hear it the first time.
If you don’t understand the content, don’t hesitate to ask again and check.
Smooth intermediation/reporting is not possible
In agency work, there are many things to do, such as checking the schedule of the person in charge, transferring, and responding to absences, and it takes practice to be able to do it .
In the beginning, it’s enough to do it carefully one by one, even if it doesn’t go smoothly.
unable to summarize the story
If you receive a message addressed to the person in charge who is not present, or receive an item that you need to discuss with your superior, you must summarize what you have heard and report it.
It’s difficult to understand perfectly just by listening, so take notes.
Write down key points so you can organize them after the call is over.
Phone etiquette is difficult
The company’s telephone correspondence is completely different from appearing on home appliances and mobile phones.
Business etiquette on the phone can be confusing.
There is no problem if you gradually learn how to use honorifics and expressions specific to telephone calls.
Your company may have its own rules about how to respond, so if you don’t understand something, ask your senior.
I’m not very good at making phone calls
For those who are not good at talking on the phone, answering the phone at the company may be painful.
Still, if you are in a situation where you cannot avoid answering the phone as a member of society, it is better to respond in a straightforward manner without being overly enthusiastic.
Impressions and business manners on the phone are just one way to maintain a good relationship with customers.
Even if you can’t answer the phone perfectly, as long as the business runs smoothly, you should be comfortable.
(2) Stress caused by the contents of the phone call
Some people have a strong attitude because they can’t see their faces, and some people make requests without considering their convenience.
As long as it is a job, you have to deal with unpleasant calls with common sense, but if there are too many, it may be necessary for the company to consider a response policy.
I have an urgent matter or an unreasonable request
If you send a request to the person in charge by e-mail, you may not receive an immediate response.
However, if you use the phone, you will be able to connect to someone in the company immediately, so there are many requests such as “I want to ask you urgently” or “I can’t find the person in charge, so I want you to respond instead.”
If you are not just an intermediary, but just pick up the phone and have to deal with it yourself, your business plan will collapse.
After listening to the content, we must respond to matters of high urgency and importance, but if it is not so important, it is also necessary to make a judgment according to the situation.
Dealing with sales calls
I don’t want to respond to sales calls as much as possible, but as a company, I can’t just pay the front door.
However, once you get caught up in the opponent’s pace, you may find yourself procrastinating while waiting for the right time to decline .
It is important to decline sales calls at an early stage.
Just because it’s hard to refuse, if you use vague answers or stay away, you’ll get called over and over again, so be careful.
(3) Stress due to telephone environment at work
If the burden of answering the phone is too big, let’s review the receiving system.
too many calls
If the number of incoming calls is high, employees will be overwhelmed .
Unless answering the phone is your main job, you will be answering the phone while doing other work, so the more interruptions you have, the more stressful your work will be.
If there are too many calls, it is necessary to control the number of incoming calls by creating a point of contact for inquiries or sorting them by subject with an automated voice.
Mobile phones and e-mail are not pervasive
Even if you have a mobile phone or email that allows you to contact the person in charge directly, there are people who only contact landlines.
Such people often call the company for reasons such as “it is difficult to contact the person in charge directly” or “a phone call is quicker than an email. “ Surprisingly, I didn’t notice that it took time to contact the person in charge .
If you want to reduce the number of incoming calls to landlines, it is necessary for the person in charge to convey the benefits of having them contact you on your cell phone or email and encourage them to contact you directly.
Must be able to answer calls during breaks
During my lunch break, while I was eating at my desk in the office, the phone rang.
At this time, if there is no one else available, I have no choice but to deal with it myself, even during my lunch break .
If it’s something that can be finished quickly, it’s still good, but if it’s an inquiry that needs to be researched or something that needs to be handled on the spot, you’ll end up cutting your lunch break.
Consideration should also be given to securing break times, such as allowing lunch to be taken in the conference room so that employees do not have to pick up the phone during breaks, and using answering machines during lunch breaks.
There is also a method to use a call forwarding and proxy service
It may not be easy to remove all stressors.
However, if employees don’t have to deal with work outside their responsibility or deal with unnecessary calls, and can focus on calls that are really necessary for work, stress would be greatly reduced .
For example, if you can set up call forwarding so that the person in charge can respond while out of the office or telework, there will be no need to relay or leave messages at the office .
There is also a telephone answering service where a professional operator performs the primary response to the telephone instead of the employee.
As part of your mental health care, you can use these services to reduce phone calls.
Eliminate stress with “Canario” that eliminates the need for primary response
“I want to eliminate the intermediary work, but I want to take calls addressed to myself.”
“I want to make sure I don’t miss a call even when I’m away or out of hours.”
“Canario” is a service that responds to such requests by using AI as a proxy for primary phone calls.
Calls addressed to the person in charge can be forwarded to a mobile phone by recognizing the name.
With “Canario”, messages will be sent by e-mail or message when you are out of office.
- No need for employees to respond to phone calls first
- Answer your own calls from anywhere
- Messages are converted into text, so you can be free from the worries of “I can’t hear” and “I don’t understand”
- No need to learn complex business phone operations
- Shut out nuisance calls
You don’t need to tell your business partners to change your number because your landline number stays the same.
If you can use the time for answering the phone to your original work, you will be able to work better and achieve a work-life balance.
Factors that make phone calls stressful include “lack of skills and awareness of weaknesses,” “content of calls,” and “phone environment at work.”
In addition, it seems that one of the reasons is that the weight of fixed-line correspondence is too large in the business.
Businesses no longer need to rely on landlines for communication.
There is no doubt that eliminating unnecessary phone calls is not only a measure against stress, but also an effective means of increasing productivity.