Have you ever found yourself in a position where you’re desperately trying to figure out how to end a phone call without being awkward? Whether it’s a customer call that’s butting up against your next meeting, a solicitor conversation you didn’t want to have, or an angry caller you’re trying to appease, ending a call can be uncomfortable.
As technology evolves those seeking customer service are having worse experiences. They’re stuck talking to A.I., trapped in phone trees, lost in a barrage of emails, and sometimes not able to talk to a person at all. An actual phone call can make a huge impact, building loyalty and delighting your customers. But you have to balance that high-quality customer experience with limited time and a limited budget—your calls can’t go on forever.
Luckily, at Abby Connect we’re experts at starting a call, providing an excellent experience, and the goodbye. Here are our top tips for how to end a phone call.
Set an Agenda & Time Limit Early in the Call
You don’t know about every phone call in advance, but when you do, you have an opportunity to set the pace.
If you’re making the call, we recommend setting an agenda in advance. You can either send an agenda over email for a more formal call or just list what you’d like to discuss at the beginning of the conversation, for a more informal call. The goal is to guide the conversation, keep it on topic, and give you a natural conclusion so you don’t have to worry about how to end the call.
This could sound like:
“Thank you so much for chatting with me today. I just wanted to go through a quick account review and make sure you’re all set up for next week’s appointment.”
“I’m not sure if you had an opportunity to review the agenda I sent. I’m hoping to review item A, Item B, and Item C on the call today.’
The next step is to time-bound the call. This can be done explicitly by setting a limit on your availability, or implicitly by suggesting you don’t want to take up too much of their time.
This could sound like:
“Unfortunately, I have a call at 1:30 so I want to make sure you get all the information you need!”
“I don’t want to take up too much of your time today.”
So, all together you can set the tone of the call at the beginning with something like:
“Thank you so much for chatting with me today. I don’t want to take up too much of your time, I just wanted to go through a quick account review and make sure you’re all set up for next week’s appointment.”
“I’m not sure if you had an opportunity to review the agenda I sent. Unfortunately, I have a call at 1:30 so I want to make sure you get all the information you need. I’m hoping to review item A, Item B, and Item C on the call today.’
Of course, you don’t always have the opportunity to drive the tone and length of the conversation, but this can be a good tool to utilize in all your phone calls and meetings.
Look for Pauses
The best time to end a phone call is at a natural pause. These generally take place after the main purpose of the call has been concluded. That is when a question is answered, a problem is resolved, an apology is accepted, or next steps are set.
Often these pauses can make people feel awkward, so they start to ramble. But these are actually excellent opportunities to end the call; the original purpose is done. You can confirm a pause with a statement like:
“Great! Did we cover everything you needed?” or “Did I answer all your questions?”
The original purpose of the call is done. This is where you can insert your closing statement, say goodbye, and reclaim your time.
See how your current call handling is holding up with the Call Handling Workbook!
Provide Next Steps & a Follow Up
If calls are going long, because it’s a complex issue or there’s a lot to discuss, maybe it’s time to figure out how to end the call without being awkward so you can get to work on the next steps! That means summarizing what you’ve discussed so far, setting next steps, and then following up via a future call, text, or email.
Here are some examples:
“Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the problem to me. I’m going to take this back to my team, and I’ll let you know by end of the day what we’ve discovered.”
“Thank you so much for reviewing your account information with me today. I’m going to confirm everything is set up correctly in your account and I’ll email you a summary of updates. Please email me if anything else comes up before our appointment next week.”
It’s important to let them know what you’re doing next, when they can expect to hear from you, and that you’re putting in an effort to provide them with an excellent experience. This ends the call on a positive note where you callers felt heard and cared about.
Use a Closing Statement
The best way to end a phone call is with a closing statement. These don’t have to sound wooden or stiff, like they’re templated, but they can follow a general outline. Your closing statement pulls together everything we’ve discussed so far!
You want to:
- refocus the call on the original topic
- ensure that the original issue was solved
- outline any next steps
- say goodbye
Try some wrap-up phrases like:
“We’ve covered a lot today, but I want to make sure there’s a fix in place for your original issue! Here are the changes we’ve made to your account, does everything look in order?”
“Just to confirm, we’ve scheduled your appointment for Wednesday at 10 a.m. and I’ve dropped a note with your request in for the doctor. They should be in touch with an update shortly. I hope you have a fantastic day!”
“I appreciate you talking with me today. To summarize next steps…”
“I’ll get to work on this right away and follow up with you by email. If you have any questions, please let me know.”
“I am so sorry about the error with your billing. I’ve put a note in your account with a small discount on next month’s service. Please email me directly if you run into any further issues and I’d be happy to take a look for you. I hope you have a great rest of your day.”
Get Some Help with Abby’s Human Receptionist Service
Of course, it isn’t always profitable or beneficial for you to be answering your own phone. And nothing is worse than callers consistently ending up at your voicemail.
That’s where Abby Connects’ human receptionist service, powered by A.I. technology, comes in. You get a dedicated team of expert receptionists who will answer, transfer, take messages, and schedule appointments on your behalf. Your dedicated team of 5-10 receptionists will make sure you only get the calls you want, not the ones that waste your time.
With Abby you don’t have to worry about ending calls with solicitors or wrong number callers. You only have to worry about providing high-quality experiences to the callers who matter—and you can count on us for the first impression!