Business Phone Etiquette

Business Phone Etiquette Tips

How To Greet Professionally On The Phone

A professional greeting means never saying "Hello" when answering a business telephone.

If you work in a company and your job requires you to answer phones, check with your peers how to properly answer the phone according to your company's culture.

Usually, the proper phone etiquette is to answer with the company's name first, "Bloomingdale's, Good morning!"

Some companies' culture is to have a somewhat personal relationship with your clients or customers. This is when clients would know you by name and call you from time to time. Therefore the proper phone etiquette is to answer with, "Bank of Monte Carlo, Good afternoon, this is Blair."

If company name is not required to use in greetings, simply go, "Jane Smith speaking." when you answer your business telephone.

If someone else is answering your telephone, you may instruct him or her to say, "Good afternoon, this is Miranda Priestly's office, how may I help you?" or "Good afternoon this is Miranda Priestly's office,"

Important Business Phone Etiquette:

If you use a speakerphone to answer, it is proper phone etiquette to tell the caller immediately before anything else.

If you sense that you're on a speakerphone, you may say, "Am I on speakerphone? Do you mind if you turn it off because it is hard to hear." That is way to have good telephone manners even if your recipient doesn't.

Business Phone Etiquette Tips

Speaking With Good Telephone Manners

  • When speaking, ensure your voice is clean, clear and professional.

  • Courteous and polite is the way to go. Do not be emotional.

  • Do not be coughing, sneezing, clearing your throat or eating when on the phone.

  • If you clear your throat more than once, ask to hold for some water, or call back when you have rectified the problem.

  • Do not raise your voice no matter what, or laugh loudly into the phone.

  • Do not be looking at your computer screen when you are speaking on the phone. Your distraction might cause you important information required for you to do your job.

  • When on an overseas call, there is sometimes a time lag. Wait for the person to finish speaking before you begin.

  • When you are making a call, it is good business phone etiquette to always identify yourself to the first recipient - basically whoever picks up the phone.

  • "This is Ashley Olsen, May I speak to Nicole Richie please?"

  • If you picked up the phone asking for you, you may reply, "This is Nicole." or "Nicole speaking."

  • If the call is not for you, you usually answer with these options, "Just one moment please", "May I take down a message?", "May I take down a message and a telephone number?", "Or shall I ask her to call you back?"

  • It is not good business telephone manners to simply say "She is not in." for the sake of convenience. "She is in a meeting right now." is better.

Business Phone Etiquette Tips

Should You Ask Who Is Calling?

That often makes us uncomfortable. We don't like to ask it, and we don't like being asked.

Frequently Asked Questions of Good Telephone Manners:

Should you ask who is calling?

For safety reasons, do.

Is it rude? It is a little, but ask nicely, "May I tell her who's calling?".

If it is none of your business, meaning if it would make no different whether you know who is calling or not, then do not ask.

Business Phone Etiquette Tips

Proper Business Phone Etiquette

Do not chat or have lengthy personal calls on the business phone.

When you get a wrong number, never ask, "What number is this?" Instead offer the number, "Is this 123-456-0000?

Do not leave any caller on hold for more than a minute. Offer to call either party back.

Common Mistakes of Business Telephone Etiquette

Simultaneous Conversations: A Common Scenario

Don't carry simultaneous conversation with someone in the room and someone on the telephone. That is highly annoying to your caller, it confuses them also.

This happens a lot, especially people just barge into your office and talk to you regardless ... because they think their message is more important than your phone call.

Signal for the person to wait, or turn your back around to that person. Do not make eye contact and the offender might take a hint.

Alternatively, I've found a rather effective method is to push a pencil and notepad to let the person leave a message. Otherwise they can simply wait until you have finished with your call.

When I'm at the receiving end of the phone call and I notice my caller having simultaneous conversations, I find it hard to concentrate. I also lose my train of thought.

Usually I politely insist for him/her to call me back when they are done. That usually helps the other person focus on your phone call, which is the business phone etiquette anyway.

Polite Use of the Mobile Phone

Proper Phone Etiquette

Cell Phone Manners

blackberry etiquette
  • Regarding people who tie up emails to cell phones. One should not assume that emails should replace a cell phone call.

  • They cannot expect the other party to get the message immediately to come in for a meeting scheduled in 2 hours. For instant message, please call and make sure they got the message. This is a notorious business etiquette mistake.

  • Proper Cell Phone Etiquette: Cell phones should be in silent mode in a restaurant, theater etc.

  • Try not to answer your phone during dinner or entertaining. If you really need to, make it brief or tell your caller to call you back.

  • Be considerate when you are on the phone in the public phone. There should be no reason people in proximity can hear your entire conversation.

  • Please use handsfree or speakerphone when driving.

  • Cellular phone etiquette - Do not be text messaging when you are in the company of others.

  • If you have to, please say, "I'm sorry, do you mind? I have to get this" And I hope it is in only in extremely urgent cases.

  • Silent mode does not mean noisy vibrating noises as well.

  • Do not answer another's phone. If you really have to, immediately identify yourself and state the reason why you are answering the person's phone, "Rachel's phone, Anne speaking. Rachel is driving at the moment."

  • Voicemail greeting etiquette on a cell phone: Brief, clear. Basically, you should identify yourself because that's the whole point.

  • Cell phone etiquette on trains: Speak softly, make it brief. However you can text or sms to your heart's content.

No cheesy jokes, loud cowboy music, or a message that waffles on and on. That is surely one way to lose elegance fast.

You might also be interested in:

Cell Phone Manners
Business Email Etiquette
Business Meal Etiquette
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