Telephone Etiquette Guide

Have you spoken to the Telephonist from Hell?

We have all come across them – the Telephonist from Hell – the one who sounds as though they are more interested in the conversation going on in the office rather than actually dealing with you.  So what is the correct etiquette for dealing with an incoming call?

  • Where possible all incoming calls should be answered before the third ring – any longer and the caller may hang up.
  • The company name should be announced using a clear voice and in a pleasant manner – after all first impressions are important.
  • As the Telephonist is the first point of contact they should be kept up to date with any promotions, changes within departments, media items, etc. – otherwise an image of, “They don’t know what they are doing” could be portrayed.
  • Remain courteous at all times – don’t speak through gritted teeth, try saying it with a smile.
  • Don’t get distracted by what is going on around you and remember a lot can be picked up from background noise – people clicking through emails, tapping pencils, chewing gum, eating, drinking.
  • Remember to let the caller know you are putting them on hold, or to whom you are transferring them to – there is nothing worse than when the line goes silent!
  • And remember what you say is important – “He is out” should be replaced by “He is not in the office at the moment, could I take a message”.

If you aren’t a large enough company to warrant having a dedicated Telephonist or if you are a one-man-band and out on the road most of the time remember that you could always out-source your calls to a professional Telephone Answering Service.

Have you spoken to the Telephonist from Hell?

How do you deal with your incoming calls?