How To... Use Good Phone Etiquette at Work
In Phone, Fax & Email By kathrynpless

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Phone etiquette is essential.  Why?  Have you ever called a company with some awful customer service person on the other line?  What did you think?  Exactly.

When answering the phone, one good rule of thumb is to always assume the President or CEO of your place of employment is on the other end of the phone.  Answer the phone clearly and pleasantly with a greeting, stating your name and your office or department.

External Call Example: “Hello, thank you for calling Company X, this is Kathryn.”

Even when you answer a call from inside the company, you should identify yourself, again stating your name and department.  Do not answer the phone with a joke thinking it is a co-worker.  You never know who might be calling you.  This is true even if your phone has caller ID.  Just because it says your lunch pal is calling, it might be someone else using their phone.  Believe me, it's happened.  I unfortunately know from experience.

Internal Call Example:  “Afternoon, Purchasing, this is Kathryn.”

Speak with a smile in your voice or in other words speak while smiling.  I know that sounds strange, but remember, this is often the first contact people will have with you at work.  And it makes a huge difference.

And finally, no one likes to be put on hold, but sometimes it can’t be helped.  If this does happen, ask, or in cases of emergencies, politely tell your client to hold.

Don’t just say, “Hold please” and hit the button.  If the caller can’t hold, be sure to take their name and number and be sure to call them back.  If you tell them "a moment" or "one moment", make sure that's no more than a minute.   The last thing you want a client, customer or co-worker to think is that he or she has entered phone limbo. 

Caller On Hold Example: "Sir/ma'am, can I place you on hold for a moment?"

Caller On Hold Example: "Sir/ma'am, please hold for one moment as I get that for you."

Good phone etiquette at work is just a simple way to let your clients, co-workers and anyone else who calls you know that their time is valuable within your company.


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