1.1 Describe the different features of telephone systems and how to use them
Telephone systems have many different functions eg: hold, transfer, ignore and making a call. Thousands of organisations use the telephone system as it is a reliable and easy way to contact clients and fellow colleagues. Putting a call on hold will allow you leave your work space to perhaps collect documents, ask colleagues some questions or find another colleague to deal with the call. Another function of the telephone is transferring calls, if a client calls the reception desk and asks for a colleague then you can transfer the call using the extension number.
This is a fast an effective strategy as it allows you to transfer the call straight away, with no interruptions. Furthermore, another function of the telephone is the ability to ignore a call. Ignoring a phone call isn’t professional but sometimes it may occur, a blocked number may call and then you have the choice to either ignore it or answer.
1.2 Give reasons for identifying the purpose of a call before making it
Identifying the purpose of the call allows you to prepare yourself before the call. Knowing and planning what you are going to say is an excellent strategy to have. Writing down all of the facts and having the right phone number to call is essential, being confident and knowing the purpose of the phone call is a great way to show that you are professional. If you don’t prepare yourself before a phone call it can come across unprofessional, saying words such as ‘erm’ and ‘like’ shows the recipient that you are unsure of the points you are trying to get across.
1.3 Describe different ways of obtaining the names and numbers of people that need to be contacted
There are many different ways to obtain personal information such as the name of a client or their phone number. In working situations you can ask your Manager, HR, phone directory or even email the client. Human Resources will
usually have a phone book or a business card holder that could have the clients name and number. Also your Manager should have a list of clients that they associate with, they can give you the name of the person you are trying to contact and a number. Furthermore, you can look in your organisations phone directory, they should have the client’s details in there, along with an email address or a phone number.
1.4 Describe how to use a telephone system to make contact with people inside and outside an 0rganisation Telephone systems are a great way for colleagues to communicate during working hours. Colleagues are able to transfer and divert calls to each other, or even take messages for each other. Also, it is a quick and easy way to get hold of other colleagues/people. Furthermore, you are able to contact clients and potential business partners via phone, it is a simple and effective manner of contacting someone that is virtually hassle free. If you try to call the client/colleague and they don’t answer, you can always leave a voice mail with them so they can contact you later on in the day/at a later date.
1.5 Explain the purpose of giving a positive image of self and own organisation
It is important to present a positive image of you and your organisation to influence people in taking you seriously. This attracts the best workforce when employment opportunities arise in the organisation and the best clients when attracting business. All this translates into better returns and a higher profitability for the organisation. You are expected to present a positive image of yourself and your organisation because you will be able to: listen to and absorb the information that others are giving you, ask questions, when necessary, provide information to other people clearly and accurately, contribute to and allow others to contribute to, discussions, select and read written information that contains the information you need, communicate well in writing, establish good working relationships with other people.
1.6 Explain the purpose of summarising the outcomes of a telephone
conversation before ending the call
It is important to summarise the outcomes of a telephone conversation so that both parties agree on what has been said and there are no confusions, objectives are clean and the information is fresh in the mind for both parties to write down or relay to another call. You cannot see the recipient’s reactions during the conversation so a verbal confirmation of the outcomes is an essential way to know whether or not someone has misunderstood or has any qualms.
1.7 Describe how to identify problems and who to refer them to
When a call comes into the office always take a name (full name if possible and preferably) and the company they are calling from, try and obtain from the caller either what the problem is. Pass the message along to relevant staff and see what information can be found to resolve the problem. If this is not possible try and locate a member of staff who can help from the information obtained from the caller eg: If there is a payment problem then transfer the phone call to Lauren, she will be able to help the caller with the problem.
1.8 Describe organisation structures and communication channels within an organisation
Staff have a role, shared decision making, specialisation is possible.
1. Decisions pass down formal channels from managers to staff members.
2. Information flows up formal channels from staff to managers.
3. Entrepreneurial – decisions are made centrally
4. Matrix – staff with specific skills join project teams, each individual has a responsibility.
5. Independent – seen in professions where organisations provide support systems and little else
Channels of communication- communication in organisations follow paths or channels. Communication between managers and subordinates is known as vertical communication this is because the information flows up or down the hierarchy. Channels between departments or functions involve lateral communication. As well as formal channels of communication, information also passes through an organisation informally. Communication is not complete until feedback has been received.
1.1 Describe how to follow organisational procedures when making a telephone call
Always introduce yourself including name and company you are calling from, if prior know request to talk to the member of staff/department you are calling for. If not explain why you are calling and request help on locating staff that can help. When connected have questions ready or know exactly what information is required. At end summarise call and recap information to check accuracy.
1.2 Explain how to report telephone system faults
Being as exact as possible will help the fault be restored asap. Take notes such as; when did the problem first occur, how frequent is it happening, what conditions are occurring, can you restart or reset the equipment ect. Then once you have made a note of these problems/answers you can inform a member of staff of the fault and try contacting service providers for assistance.