This article describes general efforts and does not introduce the efforts of NEC Networks & System Integration. Please note.
In business, accurate and speedy responses are required.
However, there are many people who are not good at answering the phone due to worries such as “I’m nervous and can’t respond well” and “I can’t decide how to respond.”
At first glance, it seems that you are required to respond flexibly on the spot, but since the general flow of business calls is roughly decided, it is possible to visualize it with a flow chart.
The flow chart allows you to see the entire flow at a glance, so it’s convenient to be able to look at the problem while answering the phone.
We highly recommend that you use the flowcharts for telephone etiquette training and response manuals.
Advantages of creating flowcharts
Here are some of the benefits of creating flowcharts for phone calls in your company.
Procedures can be templated
When answering the phone, it is decided what you should ask the other party and what you should guide them.
However, if you let the flow of the conversation take over, the story may not progress in that order.
If you respond haphazardly, it is easy to miss things that you should check, or to repeat the same thing over and over again.
If you create a flow chart and proceed with the conversation according to the procedure, you can prevent mistakes and omissions and respond efficiently.
Standardization of response quality
As a company, we would like to avoid differences in response quality depending on the person answering the phone.
In addition, inconsistencies in judgment between people in charge, such as “that person did it, but another person refused,” will be the source of complaints.
By creating a flow chart, you can fill in the gaps in quality due to the skills of the responders and clarify the response policy as a company.
Shortening of education and training time
It is not uncommon for workplaces where the telephone training that is conducted every time a staff member joins the company is a burden.
If you have a telephone manual or flow chart, you can learn the basics by yourself, and you can shorten the training time.
Even after starting work, if there is anything you do not understand, you can always review the manual, so you can rest assured.
[Basics] How to receive a call flow chart and points
Now, let’s make a flow chart of the basic flow when receiving a phone call.
- Pick up the phone and give your company name
- Repeat when the other person names
- listen to business
- If the name of the person in charge is indicated, check the presence status and take over
- If there is no person in charge, leave a message
- get call back contact
- Repeat the other party’s name, contact information, and business
- reclaim one’s name
- Wait for the other party to hang up before hanging up
- Create a message for the person in charge
Corresponding points are as follows.
This is the first to name
In business, when you pick up the phone, the first person to answer the phone will give their name.
This is to avoid unintentionally calling the wrong number and proceeding with the conversation by first confirming that the correct number is connected.
Repeat the name and company name of the other party
If you mispronounce the name of the other party on the phone or lose track of the name of the other party after the call ends, it will lead to serious losses.
When the other person introduces themselves, immediately repeat the company name and name to confirm.
Referral to person in charge
When calling a person in charge other than yourself, we will check whether the person in charge is available to answer the call before proceeding.
Even if you are in the office, you may not be able to answer the phone because you are busy.
If there is no person in charge, let the other person know that you are absent and ask what you would like to do next.
Business phone calls often include:
- Have a representative call you back
- Listen to messages and pass them on to the person in charge
- Use other means of communication, such as email
In either case, let the person in charge know that you received the call.
Say your name one last time
At the end of the call, say your name again, saying, “Yes, I received your name.”
This is to make it easier to check the facts if something happens by clarifying who answered the call.
hang up after the other party
On the phone, there is an etiquette of “the person who called hangs up first”.
If you receive a call, make sure the other party has hung up before hanging up.
Create a message
If the person in charge is not available, create a message after finishing the call.
Please include the following information in your memo.
- date and time
- Company name and name of the other party
- How to deal with it in the future
[Applied] Complaint handling flow chart
If you create a flow chart for complaint calls that are difficult to handle, you can clarify what to do.
- receive a complaint
- apologize first
- grasp the content
- determine how to respond
- suggest a solution
If you receive a complaint, the other party is complaining, so you need to apologize first.
However, if the facts are not confirmed yet, the problem may become bigger if we fully admit our fault.
At this point, just say, “I apologize for the inconvenience.”
We will hear the details of the complaint from the customer.
At this time, even if the customer is telling a subjective story or a story that is different from the facts, interrupting the customer or arguing against it will rub the customer’s nerves the wrong way.
Try to be a good listener by responding to the customer’s emotions, such as “Goodbye” and “I’m sorry you had a hard time.”
Determining how to respond
After the hearing, we will decide how to respond.
If you can’t make a decision on the spot, don’t force your conclusions, call back and check the facts and consider internally.
Suggest a solution
Proposing solutions to customer complaints.
Care must be taken not to unilaterally impose a solution for the convenience of the company.
Even if the content is beneficial to the customer, ask the other party’s intentions, saying, “Well, I would like to make XX, how do you like it?”
What to have ready when answering the phone
In addition to manuals and flow charts, it is helpful to have the following items on hand to help you answer calls efficiently.
A seating chart is a convenient way to check the availability of staff on the same floor.
If the floor is large, or if you have just joined the company and are not sure about your seats, it is a good idea to keep the seating chart on your desk at all times.
Contact person’s calendar
Use the calendar to see why the representative is absent and when to return.
Have your scheduling app or group calendar open at your fingertips.
In-house phone number list
An extension number is required to forward calls.
In addition, when receiving a call to another department or to a representative working at another branch, if the call cannot be forwarded directly, it is necessary to provide the phone number to the other party.
If you are in a rush in such a situation, you may irritate the customer, so let’s make sure that you can check the company’s phone number list at any time.
message memo template
Since there are many opportunities to create a message for the person in charge who is absent, it is convenient to create a template to simplify the procedure.
If it’s on paper, print out a lot and keep it next to your phone.
If you are using a computer, you can save it as a draft in an email or create a special form.
If you create a flow chart for what seems to be a complicated phone call, you can quickly understand what to do and prevent mistakes and omissions.
If you follow the flow chart, you will be less likely to get lost in making decisions.
In addition, the benefits of streamlining phone calls using flowcharts are not limited to your own company.
Respecting the customer’s time with a smooth response also leads to an improvement in customer satisfaction.
Please use the flow chart to improve the efficiency and quality of your phone calls.