About Telephone Communication
Telephone communication is the transmission of information, over significant distances using a phone. Telephones are a point-to-point communication scheme whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other. It is one of the most general appliances in the developed world, and has long been considered indispensable to businesses, households and governments.
1. We get immediate feedback to things we say.
2. The conversation is relatively private between us and the caller.
3. We can call someone anywhere on the planet.
4. Calls can be made 24×7.
1. The person must be available to take your telephone call. 2. The line might be engaged when we call so we can’t speak to the person when we want 3. We generally have to pay for every minute we spend on the call. In the case of overseas calls, that can be expensive
THREE KEY TELEPHONE SKILLS
Three key telephone skills are:
These three skills are the basis for audible human communication and form the core of any business conversation. Mastery of these skills guarantees improved business telephone communication.
Listening is not the same thing as hearing. Hearing is a physical ability that requires no intellectual effort. As long as you are physically equipped to receive sounds, you can hear. Listening on the other hand, is more than simply hearing sounds. It is an active process that requires both hearing and thinking.
Listening during a Conversation: A conversation implies two-way exchange of information. In real-life conversations, of course, the sender and receiver continually switch roles. People engaged in conversation spend some of their time talking (sending information) and some of their time listening (receiving information). Normally one person speaks while the other one listens, and vice versa. In an average telephone conversation, you can expect to spend about 50% of your time listening. Why does this fact shock us? It is because when we think about a telephone conversation we think about talking and not really listening. Listening is a critical communication skill that can make a difference in your ability to do business on the telephone.
What Happens When You Don’t Listen? Most of us tend to be impatient. We go through the motions of listening because we can hardly wait for our turn to talk. An initial comment made by the speaker often triggers an on-target response in your mind. Most of us have a tendency to seem to be listening by making appropriate facial expressions or by staying quiet during a telephone conversation. We get so wrapped up in thinking about our response that we often fail to listen. That can be disastrous in a business telephone call.
Some serious risks are associated with failing to listen during a telephone conversation. When you don’t listen effectively, you may…
• Misunderstand the speaker’s problem or concern.
• Jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts.
• Give incorrect information to the caller.
• Confuse the caller with an inappropriate response.
• Appear to be rushing the speaker and cutting off conversation.
• Fail to understand the business situation.
• Misinterpret the speaker’s comments.
Do you want to take those risks? Will your co-workers and customers be impressed with your telephone skills?
Questioning is a systematic process that enables you to discover information.
There are 2 basic types of questions, namely direct and indirect. Direct Questions: Sometimes your telephone call will be designed to find out specific pieces of information. In those instances, you need to ask a series of direct questions.
Indirect Questions: In some telephone conversations, you need to uncover more general information, share ideas or discuss opinions. For these situations, you would ask a series of indirect questions.