Interrupted at Work? 12 Ways to Control Phone Calls
Answering and making phone calls can be very distractive. One can never know how long each call can be. Calls can lessen one’s productivity and efficiency most especially when not handled well.
Based on studies published in the “Wall Street Journal” in 1997, an average employee receives 31 phone calls a day. That’s quite a huge number considering the status of technology of that time. Taking into consideration the availability of communication tools nowadays, that number may be doubled at present. With the advances technology offers, plus all the applications available on and offline, reaching someone is a lot easier.
To control the effect of phone calls on your working day, keep in mind these 12 simple reminders.
12 simple tips to control the effect of phone calls:
Call at the right time for your purpose
If the purpose is to get a quick and short answer, call just before lunch or just before the closing hour of the business. At these times, people tend not to stay any longer since they are heading lunch or home. However, if you need to gather lots of information or build business relationships, call in the middle of the morning or afternoon. People are willing to spend more time on the phone at these times of the day.
Don’t mix business and pleasure
Avoid opening conversations that seem like an invitation to socialize, like “Hello. How have you been?” This may give the person you call the impression that your time isn’t premium. Social greetings can be a temptation for them to socialize.
Begin with brevity
You can give hints that your time is limited, like “Good Morning. I have a quick question for you.” Similarly, you can also receive a call with brevity, know how to react.
Prepare a list of points to cover
Never start a phone conversation without a list that you can check once discussed.
Consider having calls answered
Use your own discretion on whether to accept phone calls or not (especially when there is a receptionist to control the calls).
Group outgoing calls
Set a particular time of the day wherein you will use the phone. Also, ask the people you regularly call regarding their availability and record it.
Refuse to play phone tag
Leave all the necessary information they need to know, not only your name and number, when you failed to reach the person you need to speak to.
Leave complete messages
Again, the goal is to lessen the use of phone, so leave all the necessary information they need to know.
Note people’s availability
Ask and record information that will lessen the telephone tree, like extensions, assistants you can talk to, direct lines, etc.
Consider a quiet hour without calls
Choose an hour where you can focus on your priorities and not be disturbed with phone calls.
Make notes immediately
Don’t depend on your memory. Learn to take down notes while talking to the phone.
Learn how to say goodbye
Give the person on the other line a cue that you need to go, like “Before we hang up…” and “I’ve enjoyed talking to you, but I won’t take up any more of your time.” With this, they will know that you do not have time for socializing and let go of the conversation.
These simple steps, when done on a regular basis, will truly lessen the time wasted on the telephone. Knowing these techniques will make you a more efficient and productive employee.