Top-notch telephone screening and etiquette skills are paramount regardless of industry, company size, or geographic location. Their importance hasn’t diminished in our modern world of text messages, e-mails, and online chats. What exactly am I talking about? Necessary telephone skills for assistants include how to answer the phone, take accurate messages, carefully screen calls, protect corporate and personal information, seamlessly transfer callers, use a polite and proper tone of voice, and know-how to tactfully handle difficult callers.
Every time you answer the phone, you are accepting responsibility for the relevant interests of others. You are entrusted by them to use good judgment when responding to the caller’s requests for information. As a telephone gatekeeper, you are a keeper of information. It is a role of extremely high importance and one that absolutely cannot be taken lightly. As you grow and your role evolves over time, the telephone skills you develop will become increasingly vital. A gatekeeper has an incredibly high level of responsibility to ensure that they:
- Gather accurate information from the caller
- Clearly understand the nature of the call
- Recognize when a call is truly urgent
- Build a rapport and goodwill with the caller
- Use good judgment in determining what and how much information should be divulged to the caller
- Use tact and professionalism in all dealings
At Office Dynamics, we believe this is one area where you should never stop improving. Your telephone skills have the power to either create and build or diminish and destroy valuable relationships. They can show you represent your leader with intelligence, professionalism, and courtesy. You must protect the personal privacy, security, and safety of others. There is a fine line between building rapport with the caller and guarding employee and company information.
Every stellar assistant must learn to be an excellent gatekeeper for their executive and company. Accurate and efficient screening will benefit your managers, co-workers, and their families. Joan’s revolutionary new eBook, The Gatekeeper’s Guide: How to Effectively Screen Calls, will get you where you need to be. Click here to get your copy!