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