Proper telephone etiquette an important facet of communication, since you represent not only yourself, but often your department and the University. Remembering to use proper telephone etiquette, whether answering or making calls, leaves your respondents with a favorable impression of you, your department, and Lehigh in general. The following suggestions are helpful for making your phone conversations more effective.
Handling Rude or Impatient Callers
Placing Calls on Hold (Please consult http://www.lehigh.edu/phones/phones.html and select your type of phone under Telephone Feature Guides for Hold instructions)
Transferring Calls (Please consult http://www.lehigh.edu/phones/phones.html and select your type of phone under Telephone Feature Guides for Transfer instructions)
As long as you are honest and polite with the other person, you shouldn't have any problems getting off the phone and onto something else.
Voice mail has many benefits and advantages when used properly. However, you should not hide behind voicemail. If callers constantly reach your voicemail instead of you, they will suspect that you are avoiding calls. Following are some helpful hints that will help you and your callers benefit from voice mail.
Voice Mail Greetings
Record your own personal greeting; try to avoid using the standard default greeting or having another person record your greeting. People tend to feel that they have already lost the personal touch because of voice mail. If a female voice says that "John Doe is not available", the caller will not be convinced that you listen to your voicemail.
In your greeting, include your name, department and date so that people know they have reached the correct person. Note: If you know that you will be on vacation for a few days or leaving the office early or have different hours temporarily, you should record an extended absence greeting to let callers know this. Callers will know not to expect a callback for a few hours or a few days. (Please consult http://www.lehigh.edu/phones/facquick.html for information on recording voice mail greetings.)
Use the attendant feature! This feature allows the caller to reach another person in your department from your voicemail. For example, if you were out of the office on a Friday and a caller needed an answer immediately, the caller could dial 0 while listening to your voicemail message and be transferred to someone else in your department. You have to select an attendant yourself, it is not done automatically; notify Telecommunications Services at x85300 with the extension to which your calls should go. Try to select someone who would know your schedule and be able to take messages for you-such as a coordinator, receptionist or assistant.
If your greeting is rather long, you might consider informing callers of the option to press # (unless you have an extended absence greeting recorded) to bypass your message and to start recording their message to you.
When you leave for the day or will be away from your desk for an extended period of time, forward your line to your voicemail using the call forward feature as a courtesy to your callers. Call forwarding means that your callers don't have to wait through an entire ring cycle (4 rings) before leaving a voice mail message for you. (Please consult http://www.lehigh.edu/phones/phones.html and select your type of phone under Telephone Feature Guides for Call Forwarding instructions.)
Checking Messages/Returning Calls
Check your messages daily and return messages within 24 hours. If it will take longer than 24 hours, call the person and advise him/her. Callers should feel comfortable that you are checking your voice mail daily.
Reply, forward, or delete messages immediately. Keep your mailbox clean. If you forward a message, be sure to explain to the person to whom you are forwarding the message why you are sending it to them. (Please consult http://www.lehigh.edu/phones/facquick.html for information on Checking Voice mail and Message Review Options
Leaving Voice mail Messages
Speak clearly and slowly.
Be sure to leave your name and extension number. It's best to say it at the beginning and end of your message.
Leave the date and time you called in the message. Let the person know the best time to call you back.
Keep messages short and to the point.
Cover one topic in one message; specify what you want the recipient to do.
Remember that you want to leave the person you are calling with a good impression of you. (Please consult http://www.lehigh.edu/phones/facquick.html for information on Sending Voice mail.)
Library & Technology Services
8A East Packer Ave,
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Lehigh University provides a leading-edge library and technology environment that enables flexibility, innovation, and effectiveness in all areas of the academic enterprise, including learning and the student experience, research, administration, community-building and outreach.
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015