Telephone Etiquette: Call Transfers
If you’re wondering what “telephone etiquette” could be, you’re not alone! Because etiquette in general is not discussed that much, telephone etiquette is right up there with, “Who cares?”
At a hotel, the telephone plays a vital role in successful revenue growth thru new customers and repeat customers. Our “first impressions” for this caller can make or break us in his/her use of our facilities and services. Let’s review “telephone call transfers” — this happens mostly at our busy front desks
1. Inform the customer and give the customer the option to refuse.
“Ms. Lopez, I would like to transfer you to our food department. Is that okay with you? I believe that department will be able to help you quickly with what you need..”
2. Give the caller the transfer information so, in the event the call is dropped during transfer, your caller can proceed more readily in the call-back. Offer the following in the first call:
“You’ll be speaking to Jackie Smith in our restaurant. If the call doesn’t go through, you can reach her directly at 800.442.8787.”
3. Let the customer know what to expect.
Some telephone systems have pauses, dead space that may confuse a caller. Make sure your callers know what to expect when transferred. Are there a few seconds of dead air? Will they hear a click that may make them think they have been disconnected? Tell callers so they will not hang up!
“When I transfer you, there may be a moment without sound. Don’t worry, this is normal and Jackie will pick up right after that.”
- Always thank the customer! Let your callers know you appreciate their patience and the opportunity to transfer them to the appropriate department and person.
“Thank you for your patience, Ms. Lopez. I’m sure Jackie will be able to help you.”
- Make sure the call goes through. Keep an eye on the line to make sure it goes through. If no one picks up, jump back on and ask to take a message or transfer the caller to voice mail. If the caller chooses to call back, give the caller the correct person and phone number.
ROLE PLAY EXERCISE: Role-play a successful transfer. Use ALL the steps above and, others in the room, stand ready to critique this role-play using Dale Carnegie’s “Feedback Sandwich” of good-could use improvement-good. Some start up requests from hotel guests:
CALLER: “Hi, I want to see about reserving your meeting space.”
CALLER: “My invoice has a charge on it I didn’t make — who should I speak with?”
CALLER: “I heard you have a seafood night in the restaurant. Can you tell me more about that?”