Phone Skills

Angry callers: like putty in your hands

Turn a growling caller into a purring, pleased customer, with these techniques.

4 tricks for sending clearer messages

Use these four techniques to polish your image as an effective communicator.

Give your iPhone a productivity boost

Of the millions of iPhone 4 (and iPhone 3GS) users in the United States, most are unaware of the advanced shortcuts that can make them more efficient. Here are six ways to boost your productivity:

Deploy the power of your smile

It’s an old bit of advice that smiling while you’re talking on the phone is one way to improve your phone demeanor. But how many people actually follow that advice? New evidence may convince you to try it. Now scientists say that the people on the other end of the phone line really can tell whether or not you’re smiling.

Tips for leaving better voice mails

The challenge in leaving an effective voice-mail message is this: Leave a too-long message, and it could annoy recipients. Too short, and recipients may not understand the reason for your call. Follow these tips from Career Rocketeer when you need to leave a message that gets attention:

Tooting the receptionist's horn

A receptionist may be the first person whom customers and clients see. But co-workers and managers can easily forget the pivotal and skilled role receptionists play. As a receptionist, you know about more than making a good impression. Make sure you’re leveraging these two highly valued skills, which a good receptionist should have in spades:

4 secrets to a happy customer

It’s easy to have your good mood shattered by a nasty customer, an out-of-the-blue criticism or a computer system that refuses to cooperate. Think of angry customers as a creativity test. Satisfy them without letting their discontent bring you down. Four tips:

15-second voice mail gets results

Making a “cold call” can shake the nerves of even a seasoned pro. Engaging with a person you’ve never met is even more challenging if you land in the individual’s voice mail. On his blog, Never Eat Alone author Keith Ferrazzi suggests “warm calling” instead. His four rules for making a warm connection in a 15-second voice mail message:

Small companies: the new big

Why is “small” big? Small companies can better win the trust and confidence of recession-weary customers. No matter what the size of your company, here’s how you can imitate what small companies do well:

'Crowdsource' to solve tech problems

Turn to the wisdom of crowds, rather than calling the help line, next time you encounter tech glitches on your Smartphone:’s forums break down problems by model.