Phone Etiquette

In today’s world we spend the majority of our day on the phone in some capacity. Whether texting or calling, there are certain things to pay attention to and to avoid when communicating with others. Here are some tips to ensure your phone calls are high-quality and productive.

Answering Calls

Answer the phone as soon as possible. Picking up within three rings is the rule of thumb. Before you begin speaking, put a smile on! The caller will hear your smile on the other end – even though they cannot see it. Use a pleasant and clear tone of voice and greet the caller by name, or ask politely for it if you do not know ahead of time. This will go a long way with the caller and will help them feel you are completely focused on them and their call. If the call needs to be transferred to another party, politely ask the caller if they mind holding while you contact the person they need to speak with.

Making Calls

When the person answers your call, politely greet them and introduce yourself right away. State the reason for your call, or reiterate the agenda if the call was planned by both parties. Stay clear of distractions and focus on the conversation. The caller will hear it in your voice if your attention is divided. Never eat or drink while on the phone or use inappropriate language. Treat the person on the other end of the line with respect. If the phone you are calling goes to voicemail, avoid a long-winded message. Leave your name, number, and brief purpose of your call.

Avoiding Escalations

If someone is calling in to talk about an issue, let them speak! Interrupting will almost always cause the caller to increase the volume of their voice if they feel they are not being heard. Always stay calm and remain polite. Listen to what the caller has to say, and assure them you are willing to assist them in solving the conflict. It is always a good idea to find common ground with the caller. This shows them they are being heard and understood. If the conflict is reaching a boiling point, politely offer them the chance to speak with your supervisor. Continue to be polite when asking them if they mind holding while you check your supervisor’s availability. Always know that if you escalate, so will the caller.

In summary, always treat the person on the other end of the phone with respect regardless of the situation. Since nonverbal cues cannot be read over the phone, make sure your voice is pleasant and even-toned. Clear and concise communication will ensure your calls are productive.

Written By: Evin Hamilton