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10 Telephone Etiquette Tips for Business

Sure, it seems simple… you’ve been answering the phone since you were a kid, right? Well, it’s a bit different when considering your telephone answering approach at work.

While it isn’t something we always consider when we answer the phone, there is an etiquette to follow in order to maintain relationships and professionalism.

Here are our top 10 telephone etiquette tips that will help your business:

  1. Answer within 3 rings. If you are available to answer the call do, do so before the third ring to avoid hang-ups or keeping your caller waiting. Their time is valuable too!
  2. Identify yourself to the caller. Answering with a simple “Hello” can be confusing to a person who is calling a business. Answering with your name is very helpful.
  3. Positive phrasing. Understand how to keep any telephone discussion (even the tough ones) positive.
  4. Body language. Yes this is important! We wrote a blog about this one too. Read it here.
  5. Avoid interruptions. Don’t engage with others in the office, and do not continue to work on other things when on the phone. Gift your caller with the benefit of your undivided attention, and perhaps they’ll keep calling you and not your competitor.
  6. Consider call timing. If you’re calling out, consider the time of day where your caller is. Is it lunch hour, early morning. Also, if you’re receiving a call just as your leaving the office, it may be better to let it go to voicemail rather than rushing your caller.
  7. No chewing! No gum. No food. ‘Nuff said.
  8. Speak clearly. Be sure that your voice is clear and not muffled or mumbled to avoid having to repeat yourself or risking a misunderstanding.
  9. Avoid slang or acronyms. Your caller may not seek to understand what you are talking about if you use slang or acronyms – leaving them confused or irritated. Don’t assume that they know the terms just because you do.
  10. End the call. Say good bye – don’t simply hang up!

Happy Calling!