The telephone is a tool used frequently throughout the day during normal business activities.  Once could view the phone as a link to the world and everything that goes on outside of the office.  This makes exceptional customer service vital for receptionists and customer service agents, and why they must be properly trained to handle professional matters when taking telephone calls.  Included below are important business telephone etiquette tips all receptionists and agents at call centers should follow when answering business telephone calls.

Telephone Tips To Take Into Consideration

Speak clearly and directly to the caller:  Make sure to speak clearly and directly into the telephone mouthpiece.  If this becomes a problem due to other equipment you must use when taking calls, buy a headset to free up your hands.

Tips for placing the caller on hold:  

Should someone enter the office while you are taking a call, politely ask the party on the phone if he or she is willing to briefly hold.  Then ensure you have properly activated the hold button prior to putting the handset (should you not have a headset) back into the cradle of the phone.  Also, never simply place the receiver somewhere on the desk unless the caller has been placed on hold.  Otherwise, the caller will continue to hear background noise but nothing from you. Ensure you resume and finish the phone call as quickly as possible.

Tips for answering the phone/greet the caller:  

Always work to answer all phone calls within three rings, thin properly identify your organization and yourself.  Make sure your greeting gives the person calling in you are competent, pleasant, and professional.

Tips for transferring calls:  

Make sure you inform the caller of the reason you need to transfer the call so they can receive further assistance, then ask for his or her permission prior to making the transfer.  When the other department answers, make sure they are able to take the call.  Then provide them with the callers identification information.  After doing this, return to the caller to tell him or her the person’s name and department who is taking over the call, and whenever possible provide the phone number in case the call gets disconnected.

Tips related to screening calls:  

Screening telephone calls is a rather controversial topic, as the practice is not good for public relations.  When required to screen calls, request the person’s name and then say “Let me check to see if he’s in.”  Whenever it is necessary to ask the name of the caller or reason for the call, always remain conscience of your voice tone.  Since call screening is already a difficult matter, ensuring you do not offend the caller is important.

 Tips for taking phone messages:  

When possible, utilize telephone message books that include forms with spaces for recording information such as the person’s name/business and phone number, time and date of the call, the message left by the caller, and the action requested from the staff member by the caller. Also, remember to maintain privacy with phone messages, and ensure the message is delivered to the staff member as quickly as possible.

Tips for calls answered by voicemail:  

Should you call a phone number and reach a voicemail recording message, remember to provide all of the important information for the party you are trying to reach.  This includes your name, spelled out if necessary; your telephone number and department; the time and date of your call, and a detailed message that includes the best time to call you back.  For additional business telephone etiquette tips, please continue reading the article here.