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Telephone Etiquette 2015-05-31 19:56:23
As a civil servant, it is important to talk to people with proper attitude. Citizen who wants to appeal something wrong in the city, they will come to government agency with anger or annoyance. Therefore, how to serve angry person with the right way is such a big issue to concern. Using the correct method will help to solve the problem in a smooth situation. Otherwise, using improper attitude may displease people and create more troubles.

Fortunately, civil servant can observe citizens’ reaction, such as tones, facial expression, gestures, to understand their feeling is positive or negative. If it is positive, civil servant can continue to help solving problems with same method. If it is negative, civil servant can change the attitude, such as tones, gestures, or using courteous words to calm down the angry person.

Unfortunately, it is more difficult to understand citizens’ reaction while they are using phones to complaint or appeal. Without facing people, civil servant cannot observe their facial expression and body movements. Therefore, civil servant can only guess responses from their tones. That is why I have to go to the lesson of telephone etiquette. In recent years, citizens are willing to appeal something wrong around their life and living environment. But sometimes they do not have enough free time to come to the government agency personally. It is much more convenient to make a phone call to government agency and complaint the problems. They may call the “Helpline 1999 for residents in Tainan City”. It is a united phone service to aggregate residents’ appeals, and 1999 will send the message to agency which is responsible for the case. In other ways, citizens may make a phone call to the agency directly. This is the key point to answer the phone and help them to solve their problems.

In the training of telephone etiquette, there are several tips for answering the phone calls. First of all, it is important to answer the phone before it rings three times. The faster you answer, the better attitude people will present. They will think it is a good service to response their need. It is not difficult to pick up the phone in 10 seconds for civil servant or any employee, but it is very helpful to calm down people’s anger and continue to the next step for solving problems. Second, it is necessary to say some keywords when you answer the phone. The keywords contains “Hello”, “my agency’s name”, “my name is…”, and “It is pleased to serve you.” Hello is the most common word to answer the phone, but there is difference between two kinds of tones. If your voice is loud and clear, people will think you are willing to help them. In contrast, if your voice is low with tired or upset tone, it may displease people and feel they are disrespected. The next one is the name of your agency. When people hear the office name, they will know whether they make the correct phone or not. It will help to reduce the opportunity to misunderstand the complaints. Then, if you tell people your last name, it is helpful to communicate with them. Last but not least, the word of “It is pleased to serve you” will deliver kind message. People may consider you really want to help them, and tell you enough information.

Well begun is half done. The next step of phone call is to figure out what is the problem. There is no shortcut of communication. Try to talk to people sincerely and ask them nicely without any impatient or perfunctory. Let them trust that you will do your best to help. One of the important tips is how to help people in the phone call. The training taught trainees by a simple Tangram game. One of trainee “A” uses a blindfold; the other one “B” stands behind and try to tell him how to use the seven pieces to make a specific shape. It is quite simple to know how to arrange pieces by B, but it is pretty hard to tell blinded A where to put the piece or how many degrees should be rotated. I failed to help A finish the mission in the class.

I work at Public Transportation Office. There are many phone calls every day. Some calls for appealing something wrong in our city bus service. The other ones call for information about how to take the bus from where he lives to his destination. In the latter case, I have to point his original place and destination in the map, and find out which bus line is most convenient to take. It is easy for me to understand where to take the bus, but sometimes it is difficult to describe to people where the bus stop is. After the class, I have learned why people sometimes misunderstand my words. Nowadays, I have tried to talk to people not only with more patience, but using representative buildings or location to help them understand easily.

There are different questions from phone calls every day. As a civil servant, I have to do my best to help people solve their problems. I am glad that I have attended this training. It is very helpful for me to use more proper ways to serve citizens. I wish I could still strengthen my ability of telephone etiquette. Therefore, I can make my service even better, and help the Tainan City Bus much better.