There are several reasons that you may need to end a phone call professionally. The most common is the “long winded talker” that is consuming your time. Another reason, but less common is the caller that uses abusive, threatening, or vulgar language. In this instance you should consult your company’s policy and procedure on how to handle this situation in order to avoid any legal ramifications.
- Think First
Before you decide that you need to end a phone call, make sure the “business” part of the conversation is complete. You don’t want your caller to think that you are avoiding the business at hand. For example, ask “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
- Always be Professional
Choose your words carefully. Don’t be condescending in your words or your tone of voice. Avoid making statements or asking questions that will prolong the conversation. Be curt and assertive, but avoid being rude or impolite.
- Set a Time Limit
Part of every successful business is building relationships with your customers and it is nice to hear about their vacation or grandchildren. When you are sure the business portion of the call is ended, look at the clock or call timer on your phone (if equipped) and give the caller another 3-4 minutes (or less).
- Seize the Pause
Wait for the caller to pause in their conversation and jump in immediately with a pleasant call end statement. For example:
- “I am glad to hear about your grandchildren but I have to take another call. If you need any further assistance, please do call back.”
- “I appreciate the additional information, but I must attend to an urgent matter. Thank you for choosing Turner’s Total Communications and please call back again.”
- Your business is very important to us and I need to enter your order into the system. Is there anything else you need?”
- Other Alternatives
You may have methods other that the phone that people can use to contact you. These include email, texting, web chat, your secretary, assistant, etc. For example, “If you have any further information you would like to share with me, please send me an email at _____________________.com” or, if need be, “My assistant, Tom Smith, will be willing to help you. You can reach him at ex.t 333.”
- Use Technology
If you have caller ID, write the offending caller’s phone number on a list and keep it near the phone. When you see them calling, let it ring through to voicemail and return the call via email.