Aspects of Telephone Etiquette Making a Call Answering a Call Leaving a Message
Making a Call Time of day Self-identification Getting Through Purpose for the Call Clarity of speech Tone of voice
Making a Call Time of Day Calling too early or late can be considered rude. What is too early or too late? Guideline: don’t call at a time where the person may likely be asleep(before 7:00 am or after 9:00-10:00pm). Avoid calling around the usual times people would be eating. This is considered common courtesy. Also, avoid calling a business around closing time.
Making a Call Self Identification It is considered good manners to identify yourself after the person on the other end picks up the phone. Example phrases: “This is _______” “_________ here…” “(Hey) It’s ______” “My name is _______...” “I’m calling from _______”
Making a Call Getting Through to the Right Person Ask to speak with the person you intended to call (If you know that it is a shared number or office phone number) Sample Phrases: “May I please speak with _________” “Could you please put me through to _____” “ Could I be connected with _______” “Is ______ available?” “Is ______ home/there” “Can I talk to ______” “Put ______ on the phone”
Making a Call Purpose for the Call Once you have identified yourself and are speaking to your target audience, it is time to state your reason for calling. Be direct and to the point. One or two sentences maximum. After you’ve stated the purpose of your call, be sure to ask if it is a convenient time. Let the person know how much time you will need for the call. Be honest.
Making a Call Clarity of Speech Be sure to speak clearly and enunciate your words. It can be hard to understand a caller if they are not trying to speak clearly. This creates the need for repetition and can sometimes be frustrating for both the listener and the caller. It may also be necessary to adjust your normal rate of speech while on the phone.
Making a Call Tone of Voice Remember: The person you are speaking to cannot see you so your voice reflects your courtesy. If you smile while speaking on the phone, it will be reflected in your tone. Short words or responses can sound rude on the phone if they aren’t carefully inflected.
Answering a Call Letting it ring Greeting Self-identification Putting People on Hold Taking a Message
Answering a Call Letting it Ring Let the phone ring a reasonable length of time. Don’t wait too long or you will miss the call Don’t pick up on the first ring It can startle the caller, they may not be ready for you If you rush, you may sound out of breath or impatient
Answering a Call Greeting The standard greeting for answering the phone is “hello”. “Yes” is considered to short and sounds rude. In an office or at a business it is typical to answer the phone by identifying the company and then the speaker i.e. “ESL Department, Clara speaking. (How may I help you?)”
Answering a Call Self Identification Once the standard greeting has been given, it is standard for the speaker to identify themselves *unless it is their personal phone line, in which case they assume the caller knows who they are calling. Examples: “Hello, this is John. With whom am I speaking?” “HR department, Ray speaking. How can I help you?”
Answering a Call Putting People on Hold If you have an incoming call, you may choose to ignore it or put the person you are speaking with on hold. If you must put someone on hold, explain to them why. Be sure to do this diplomatically and politely. People are more likely to be patient if you explain the reason for their inconvenience.
Answering a Call Taking a Message If the person that the caller seeks is not in, ask if you can take a message. i.e. “May I take a message?” Ask for their name, purpose of their call, the desired response (would they like to be called back) and their phone number. Repeat the information back the the caller to make sure it is correct.
Leaving a Message With a Person Ask to leave a message for the person you are calling Leave your name, the reason for your call, and let them know the desired response to your call. Ask to be called back, or specify if you will call back. Leave your phone number if you are not sure if they have it.
Leaving a Message On Voicemail Wait for the beep. Be brief and to the point. Identify yourself Tell them why you called. Leave a call back number.