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Apr 20

E176: Phone Call Productivity Tips

“The phone is one of our greatest productivity tools and a huge time waster all in one.”

Are you managing your phone calls?

Below are some of my rules for managing phone call productively.

  1. General phone call management tips
    1. Avoid interruptions – don’t answer the phone when you are in the middle of something else
    2. Make appointments for phone calls
    3. Use voicemail or a receptionist to let callers know you are occupied and will call back
    4. Plan your calls based on the type of call – general conversations can occur while in the car – use a headset!
  2. Internal team
    1. Don’t call when email or text will work
    2. If it’s important call and/or text – if it’s real important do both and leave a VM
    3. Don’t leave a VM – see above for exceptions
    4. Unscheduled calls are typically limited to 10 minutes
    5. Do not put someone on hold – tell them you need to take the other call and call back
  3. External calls
    1. Answer only when you are not working on something else – the caller deserves your attention
    2. Resolve/finish the issue while on the phone and set clear next actions
    3. Set time limit upfront when appropriate – again – unscheduled calls limited to 10 minutes
    4. When calling someone always ask if it’s a good time to talk – respect their time
    5. Never end an external call unfinished to answer another call and do not put them on hold
      1. The only time that putting someone on hold is appropriate is to transfer the call, add someone else or to ask a question of someone to answer the callers question

Hope these rules can help you keep your phone calls productive.

Take-Action Items:

  1. Implement a phone call policy

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