Telephone Etiquette


Doesn’t it add a sparkle to your day, when the telephone sounds, and you’re greeted with a cheery “Good Morning!”, or “Good Afternoon!”?  Have you ever telephoned a business house to find the most courteous and helpful assistant, who after satisfying your request sends you on your merry way with a “It’s has been a pleasure serving you, thank you for calling!”  This is indeed a rare ocurence these days.

However I’m sure I’m not the only one who has telephoned someone only to be taken back by a booming voice coming over the receiver with a demanding ” ‘ello” or “Who is it?” – to leave the caller politely enjoining “Could I please ask who I am speaking to?”  In this article I would like to share with you some helpful points that will make using the telephone a more pleasant experience for both the caller and receiver.

Answering the Telephone
Answer promptly (before the third ring if possible).
Before picking up the receiver, discontinue any other conversation or activity such as eating, chewing gum, typing, etc. that can be heard by the calling party.
Speak clearly and distinctly in a pleasant tone of voice.
When you answer the telephone, make sure your message is cheerful.  A few examples of pleasant greetings are “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” for a more formal tone, or to keep it friendly and relaxed use a sunny “Hello” followed by your name. (eg. “Hello, Clare speaking!)

Making Calls
When you call someone and they answer the phone, do not say “Who am I speaking with?” without first identifying yourself: “This is _______. To whom am I speaking?”
When you reach a wrong number, don’t argue with the person who answered the call or keep them on the line. Say: “I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number.  Please excuse the interruption.”  And then promptly hang up.
If you told a person you would call at a certain time, call them as you promised.  If you need to delay the conversation, call to postpone it, but do not make the other person wait around for your call.
If you don’t leave a number or a message for someone to call you back, don’t become frustrated if they are not available when you call again.
When dealing with people, the comment “naa, not a problem” comes from an arrogant, egotistic puppet, a more acceptable phrase could be “Yes, I can do that for you”, would be more appropriate.

How to End Conversations Gracefully
There are several ways that you can end a phone call without making up a story or sounding rude:

  • End on an “up” note.
  • Tell the person how much you’ve enjoyed speaking with him/her.
  • Promise to finish your discussion at another time.
  • As long as you are honest and polite with the other person, you shouldn’t have any problems getting off the phone.


Leaving a Voicemail Message for Another Person

Remember to speak clearly and slowly.
Be sure to leave your name and extension number. It’s best to say it at the beginning and end of your message.
Keep messages short and to the point.
Remember that you want to leave the person you are calling with a good impression of you, so be cheerful and polite.
Leave the date and time you called in the message.
Don’t forget to let the person know the best time to call you back.
Cover one topic in one message; specify what you want the recipient to do.