business telephone etiquette


For most companies, the business telephone plays a vital part in connecting with your customers. Because the business telephone is often your first point of contact and may even provide your only interaction with your clients, it is very important to learn the proper etiquette to apply that will help you provide better service and build rapport with your customers. This is especially vital if you are running a call center. If you are looking to update your current telephone system, switch to a cloud service, or install a brand new system, we can help you make the right decision. Contact Network Telecom today – we can answer all of your telecommunications questions and guide you through the selection process.




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The Importance of Business Telephone Etiquette Training

According to Gail B. Goodman, recognized national expert on telephone skills training, “Despite the exponential increase in emailing and texting, the ability to get on the phone and communicate professionally and effectively is still an important part of American commerce.”  As a business owner, you should make sure that all of your employees who interact with customers on the phone are properly trained. Furthermore, that training needs to be on-going to ensure that staff consistently applies your company’s phone policies and best practices.

telephone etiquette

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Business Telephone Rules of Etiquette

The following is a list of 15 business telephone rules of etiquette. The rules cover answering the phone, placing a customer on hold, transferring a call, and dealing with an upset customer.

Answer with a smile

Answer with a smile

Answering the Phone

1. Answer the Phone Promptly: It is important to answer your phone promptly. If at all possible, answer it on the second ring, but don’t let it ring more than 3 times.

2. Be Consistent: Make sure that every person in your organization answers the phone with a similar brief greeting so that your customer will know that they got the right number. A greeting plus your company’s name plus your name is appropriate. For example, “Hello, Marshall Arts, this is Annie.” would be a good greeting.

3. Smile: Smiling while you answer the telephone will make your tone of voice more pleasant to your customer.

4. Speak Clearly and Pleasantly: Make sure that you pronounce your words clearly and with a friendly tone of voice; do not mumble.

5. Be Prepared to Answer the Phone: Make sure that you are not eating or chewing gum when your answer the phone.

Use a pleasant tone of voice

Use a pleasant tone of voice


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Placing Customers on Hold

6. Know How to Use the Hold Button: This may seem like an obvious instruction, however, each phone can be slightly different. If you don’t know how to use the hold button on your phone, it is very easy to accidentally hang up on your customer, which is never a good practice. Make sure all of your employees know how to use the hold option properly.

7. Ask Before You Put Someone on Hold: Make sure that you ask permission before you place someone on hold and then thank them.

8. Use the Hold Button When Needed: Never place your receiver down on the desk or hold it to your chest to muffle the mouthpiece so you can speak to your coworkers. You should always put them on hold so that they don’t hear something that you don’t want them to hear.

9. Watch the Time: Make sure that you don’t keep a person on hold for an extended period of time. If the phone rings back to you then you have kept them on hold too long.

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Transferring a Call

10. Know How to Transfer a Call: Make sure that you and your staff know how to transfer a call correctly so that you don’t inadvertently lose the call.

11. Inform the Customer: Let the caller know that you are transferring them and who you are transferring them to. If appropriate you can also let the caller know the extension of the person that you are transferring them to in case they need to call back, so they can call that extension directly.

Avaya j100_hero

Source: Avaya

Dealing with an Upset Customer

12. Never Interrupt: Do not interrupt a customer, especially when they are upset. Allow the customer to express how they are feeling unless they become abusive. This will help to calm them down.

13. Use Empathy: Try to use empathetic phrases such as “I understand how that must be frustrating for you,” or “that must be very upsetting.”

14. Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do: Once the customer has calmed down, give them a plan of action and a time frame. For example, you could say “Mr. Jones, here’s what I am going to do. As soon as we hang up, I will call our supplier and tell them that I need another part for you. It may take a week for the part to be shipped to our store. As soon as it comes in, I will call you and you can either come to pick it up or I will ship it to you free of charge.”

15. Give a Realistic Time Frame: Make sure that you give your customer a realistic time frame for you to solve their problem. If you fix the problem in less time, your customer will be happy, however, if you have given an unrealistic time frame and it takes longer, you will make your customer very angry.

Your tone can come through in a telephone conversation

Don’t interrupt your customer.

Network Telecom Can Help You Choose the Best Business Phone System

If you need to update your current business phone system, partner with Network Telecom. They will help you choose a phone system that is perfect for your business. Whether you are looking to have a new phone system installed or your current system updated, you can trust Network Telecom to offer you the expert advice you require. In addition, if your phone system is not working as it should, our trained technicians are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We carry a huge selection of parts in order to quickly solve any components issue you are experiencing. If you are having a telecommunication or networking issue, we can resolve it quickly and professionally.

In addition to our accredited and certified technical expertise, we offer:

Contact us today for all of your telecommunication questions and concerns; we’d be happy to help you.

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