25 Phone Answering Tips for Your Children's Ministry

There is nothing more frustrating than a business or company that is rude or unprofessional on the phone.  We've all experienced it.  Left a bad taste in your mouth, didn't it.  It may have even caused you to take your business elsewhere.

Your children's ministry's phone etiquette is so important.  It makes a lasting impression on people.  Here's 25 tips you can use to make sure your phone etiquette leaves people smiling.
  1. Answer the phone after the second ring.
  2. Put a smile on your face and let it shine through.
  3. Speak clearly, slowly, and with confidence.
  4. Always use a pleasant and friendly tone.
  5. Identify your ministry, yourself, and ask "How may I help you?"
  6. Ask for the person's name and use it during the conversation.
  7. Before you place someone on hold, ask their permission.
  8. Remember it's better to ask permission to call someone back rather than keeping them on hold for a long period of time. 
  9. Never interrupt the person when they are talking.
  10. Never argue with someone over the phone.
  11. Do not have food in your mouth or be chewing gum when you answer.
  12. Don't give them the feeling you are rushed or they are unimportant.
  13. Return voice mails quickly.  Within 24 hours at the very latest.
  14. Don't say, "I don't know."  Say, "That's a great question...I'll be happy to find out for you."
  15. If someone asks for prayer, take time to pray with them over the phone.
  16. Keep the voice mail updated with brief information about current events that people may be calling with questions about. 
  17. Listen carefully.  Don't be checking email at the same time.
  18. If there is a problem, project a tone that is concerned and empathetic.
  19. If they ask about a program that you don't offer, don't just say "we don't offer that...sorry."  Instead, say "we don't currently offer that program, but here's a couple of other great things we do offer."
  20. Instead of saying "you'll need to" say "here's how we can help you."
  21. When transferring a call, instead of saying "let me transfer you," say "let me connect you."
  22. When you write down information like a phone number, repeat it back to them to make sure you wrote it down correctly.
  23. Thank them for calling and invite them to call back anytime they have questions or you can be of help.
  24.  Say "good-by" not "bye-bye."
  25. Let these two words guide your conversations...courtesy and kindness.
What are some other phone tips that can help children's ministries make a good impression?  Share with us in the comment section below.