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Use Technology to Communicate Better

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 27, 2011

Busy business owners and managers rely on top-of-the line telecommunications tools to keep pace with clients and customers. But in today’s business climate, just answering the phone and responding to e-mail 24/7 isn’t enough. You need to establish a clear telecommunications strategy for yourself and your employees.

Here are some tips:

• I love when businesspeople update their voice-mail greeting every day. Doing this quick task lets your callers know when they can expect a return call. It takes less than a minute to record a daily greeting.

• Consider adding a similar message to your e-mail by using the out-of-office or vacation response feature. This works well when I am on the road and moving quickly from city to city. You are showing respect for your customers and clients when you explain you are not ignoring their messages.

• Speaking of phone calls, nothing is more frustrating than playing endless rounds of phone tag. That’s why I try to schedule important calls. This practice serves several purposes: It eliminates stress and aggravation and gives everyone involved in a project or negotiation ample time to prepare for the conversation. (It’s really easy to set up a conference call online using a variety of free or low-cost services.)

• When you do schedule conference calls, make sure participants are well-prepared by sending out an agenda a few days in advance. Be sure to attach any pertinent documents. The more time you spend thinking about what you want to accomplish on the call, the more positive the outcome.

Jane Applegate
President and Executive Producer
The Applegate Group
Sharon, Vt.

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