We all dread it. We all know it’s coming. We all wonder how to tackle it. The end of a conversation.
As humans, we are hard-wired to feel a little awkward sometimes. We all have our days. When ‘common sense’ overtakes us and we are left wondering – how do I end this conversation without being impolite?
Picture it, you’re in the middle of a conversation, you know it’s coming. You can feel the ending in your grasp. You feel it being drawn out and yet somehow drawn closer and all you need to make it to the end is knowing how to hang up gracefully, without offending the person at the end of the line.
Here at SOI, we’ve had a phone call or two and know a few tips and conversation etiquette tricks so that you can end your call on a positive note.
Our specialist virtual receptionist have engaged in hundreds (probably thousands) of conversations and loved every minute of creating meaningful conversations along the way.
Ending a phone call correctly is important. After all, we want to make sure that every caller knows they are valued and can call back at any time for any advice or question that may need help with.
So without any further conversation let’s end this introduction and get on to why you’re here; learning how to end a phone call without being awkward.
1. Make sure your business part of the phone call is complete. No one likes an open-ended goodbye.
The caller has phoned for a reason, to get answers and to feel like their query is being taken care of. Don’t leave them wondering what the next steps are, or if their query will be dealt with. Make sure the business part of the call has been wrapped up, it is clear by both of you what the outcome is, and all questions have been answered. There’s nothing worse than coming off a call and having unanswered questions.
2. Time to wrap it up, folks!
Instead of opening the floor up with more questions start wrapping up the conversation so that it comes naturally to an end conclusion. Sometimes, people are waiting for the other person to indicate when the call is over with subtle hints or phrases that finish a conversation.
Take charge with some of these tried and tested wrap-up phrases.
Instead of using phrases:
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” or “Did you have any other questions?” which will open the floor for more questions, that you may not have time to deal with.
“I hope we have answered all your questions. Thank you so much for your time. If you need to contact us about anything do not hesitate to ring again. Anytime. “
Even consider leaving your email just in case they have any more quick questions that they can shoot over to you without the need for another call.
This conversation closer is polite, allowing the caller to feel they can reach out anytime and stops the worry that all questions need to be answered on that one phone call.
Remember, a phone call is not just about taking queries but is about customer care and that includes aftercare. After the phone has been put down the caller should feel like they have been taken care of.
3. Find a closing phrase that’s assertive, to the point, and unambiguous.
That title sounds ambiguous in itself. So, what does this mean? Well, it means your tone should always be polite, uplifting and confident in the information you are giving. Part of this is ensuring that you are assertive with your points and not dangling any thread that could keep the conversation open.
Contrary to popular belief, overtalking is not always a sign of confidence. Choosing your words wisely and keeping things concise allows the caller to know you are dealing with their query and that there are no things left unsaid.
4. Interrupting and interjections are not always a bad thing!
No one likes to be interrupted whilst they are voicing their concerns. Interrupting is often known as a conversational faux pas, left for only the uncouth of people.
But sometimes in a professional setting, an occasional interruption can be necessary if a conversation is spiralling and you may be able to offer some information that may help.
A well-placed professional interruption can redirect the conversation and ensure that all things are covered before you end the conversation.
Some people are happy to talk for extended periods of time, especially if they want to feel heard and looking for advice. They may feel they need to offer all information about their situation all at once for you to really gauge their predicament.
Sometimes it makes sense to interrupt when the benefits of doing so outweigh the negatives. You certainly don’t want your silence to be misinterpreted as disinterest or that you are not listening.
Sometimes it helps to speak up and contribute information. But remember to always ensure you do it politely.
Be tactful in your interruptions for example:
“I apologise for the interruption, but… ”
“I know I’m interrupting, but I just want to make sure I’ve answered…”
Interruptions vs. interjections- What’s the difference?
It is important to note that there is a subtle difference between interruptions and interjections.
Interjections stop the flow of a conversation, whilst interruption keep things moving in the same direction but you might contribute some information that can help.
When wanting to end a conversation politely, limit your use of interjections.
Common interruption phrases include:
“Sorry, can we pause for a moment?”
“I hate to interrupt, but…”
“I’d like to return to something you just said.”
“May I add something here?”
Common interjection phrases:
“Oh, I see”
It is subtle but can make a whole lot of difference when trying to naturally end a call without coming across as rude.
That brings us to our next tip of taking advantage of pauses in the conversation.
5. Take advantage of pauses in the conversation
Natural pauses are great. When interrupting is not possible your best bet is to take advantage of breaks in the conversation.
Don’t take pauses as an opportunity to get the person on the other end of the line off the phone quickly. But when you encounter pauses after certain outcomes such as the problem is resolved or someone offers information that has answered the initial enquiry questions then it may be an ideal time to start wrapping things up.
6. End the call on a friendly note
We often concentrate on how we answer a call but do not give much thought to how we are ending it. Effective conversation closers that match the tone of your greeting can set the tone for the whole conversation in the caller’s head after they have put down the phone.
End the conversation with a brief recap of the conversation, follow-up action items and an expression of gratitude for the call.
Remain polite, and professional and let them know that you have listened, were empathetic to their needs and have done everything in your power to address their issues or queries.
You should both come away from the conversation having made a connection and feeling positive about the outcome of the call.
7. And don’t forget to leave the door open for future communication.
Let the caller know that you are always there to answer any other questions and that the door is always open for communication.
8. Plan the next steps
If a plan of action is needed from the call let the caller know that you will get on with it straight away. If you need to follow up or get back to them, give them a realistic timeframe and stick to it. If there are next steps effectively communicate what they are and what is needed from them and from you to progress.
9. Follow up on any commitments
Remember, some people may not be tech-savvy (such as senior callers) and may be waiting by the phone for you to return their call. Follow up on any commitments you promised and offer the caller a time you will ring by to give them some relief whilst they wait.
To wrap things up
We hate to watch you go but just like a phone call all good things must come to an end.
We hope you enjoyed our article and that it has provided you with some tips, tricks and conversation-enders to help keep them awkward long pauses at bay.
We’re not good with goodbyes… we’re great at them. So with that Goodbye and if you need anything else don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Contact SOI today!
Our professionally trained SOI receptionists will answer your incoming phone calls in your business name, take appointment bookings and manage your online booking platform, so you can spend less time on the phone and more time on your customers.
The answer to all your phone answering service needs.
Every business is unique, with its own journey and set of challenges. Our professional, Live Answering operators offer messaging and hotline services perfect for overflow and transferring of urgent calls.
A seamless, professional service for a great customer experience.
Our SOI receptionists with over 23 y ears of experience will answer with professional care, allowing you to stay focused on what you do best. Whether it’s a few calls or many, we are confident in our ability to handle each call professionally and provide a seamless experience for your customers.
Designed for Businesses of All Sizes.
No matter your size, we are the answer to your phone answering service needs and can help support you throughout your business journey.
A complete suite of services with your needs in mind.
Our complete suite of virtual services will support your business. We handle transferring calls, bookings, reservations, message taking, call transfer screening and virtual receptionist duties.
We offer a tailored, fully customised solution for your unique business requirements, journey and growth.
Let us help you grow.
Simply call your business consultant to find the best solution for you or get in touch with us below.
Australia wide – 1300 318 680