Proper church phone etiquette will present your church ministry effectively. A strong first impression over the phone is one of the most important keys to building your ministry. The first impression from someone who calls on the phone is just as important as the initial impression when meeting someone in person. That phone call can often lead to a progressive relationship with the caller.
Here are seven etiquette tips to help your staff be more effective:
Remember that you may be the first and only contact this person may have with your church and you are the first impressionist.
Before answering, stop any activity that be can be heard by the calling party, clarity in a call lessens the chance of mistakes and having to ask for clarity.
Answer promptly before the third ring if possible, most people hang up after the fourth or fifth ring. An unanswered phone is often a lost contact.
Let the person make their full initial engagement statement, this usually makes it easier to know where to direct the caller and helps you determine the urgency of the call.
Speak clearly in a pleasant tone of voice. A positive and uplifting voice is often just what the caller needs to hear. Often those calling a church are needing positive and uplifting conversation.
If transferring a call, explain to the caller that you are doing so and who you are transferring them to, so they do not think that you are abandoning them and will not be surprised when someone different answers.
If you have to transfer the call, and a person is on hold for any length of time, check back with them to set up a return call, if need be.
Proper church phone etiquette requires professionalism on each and every call. Maintaining professionalism on each call minimizes misunderstandings, mistakes and stressful situations. If using volunteers it is often imperative to use a written plan and checklist to follow during calls. There should be no questions as to how your church phone should be answered, the depth of information shared, and especially if it is a call of someone needing help.
The initial phone call can often lead to a progressive long-term relationship with the caller. If the first call is not handled properly, this chance is lost. The old adage that the first impression is a lasting impression certainly depends on the etiquette portrayed over your church phone.
The problem of church phone etiquette can be minimized with a small business phone system which gives the church or ministry the option to place personal greetings, replies and personalized options without the chance of an improper answer on the first call.