The best way to use the telephone efficiently, in order to avoid wasting your time or your customer’s time, is to plan your call before you place it. Even if most of your calls are incoming, you can still plan them. Just think in terms of the most frequent reasons customers call.

Chances are you will be able to group most of your customer calls into a few broad categories: assistance with a problem, information on products and services, to take advantage of special promotions and offers, to place orders.

Planning is an easy, five-step process. It can be formalized into a script, jotted down as a few notes on a Post-It, or simply a thought process you go through before you dial. Choose the method that works best for you. ...

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