Phone Etiquette at the Office

October 3, 2014

Portraying a professional image-both in person and on the phone-is something that every professional should have in their arsenal. Office skills, such as phone etiquette, enable you to take care of your customers over the phone and make them feel appreciated and valued. Whether you are a front office receptionist, a personal assistant, or an executive secretary, phone etiquette is essential in the office skills profession. The following are essential tips that every professional should possess.

Announce your name before you start the conversation: When picking up the phone, greet the person on the other end of the phone and announce your full name. While many people may prefer to use only their first name, it is better to use full names to sound more formal and professional. Say something like: “This is John Clark speaking. How may I help you?”

Always speak clearly: It is true that a picture paints a thousand words, but the truth is that the person on the other end of the telephone can only hear what you have to say. They can neither see your body language speak, nor your facial expressions. Therefore, take your time to speak slowly, clearly and in a cheerful voice so that you come out as a professional who knows what she is doing.

Answer in a moderate tone and pace: It is important to answer the phone in your normal tone of voice. You should neither speak loudly nor shout. Some people can be loud without even realizing it. Remember it is important to focus your attention on the person you are speaking to. It is also important to think about the people in the room with you. You don’t want to distract others or become obnoxious. If the person next to you is glaring at you, it could be because she wants you to lower your voice. In addition, always be aware of your surrounding because you never know who’s listening to your conversion.

Avoid eating or drinking while you are on the phone: Telephone duty requires focus, so you can only eat or drink during your lunch or coffee break. Remember that speaking with food in your mouth not only prevents you from speaking clearly, but also makes you come out as unprofessional.

Avoid slang and profanity: And-it should be obvious-never use swear words.

Use of appropriate titles: When addressing the caller, use appropriate titles, such as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” Depending on the role, it may be proper to address as “Sir” or “Madam.”

Listening is an important part of the conversation: Listen to what the caller has to say. Show the caller that you value what she has to say.

Be polite: on the phone under most circumstances. If being polite does not ensure a similar response, please avoid the temptation to be rude and arrogant. Some people call because they are irritated or upset about your product or service, so listen without getting upset and refer them to the appropriate resource where they can get the help they need. However, and this is a policy that you want to ensure is being promoted in your work environment, ensure that you, yourself are being treated with respect as a human being.

While some people take this for granted, having phone etiquette is a major ingredient for success at the workplace. Having appropriate phone skills can help you become more effective at work. Lastly, remember to thank the caller for their call.