Proper Phone Etiquette to Answer Phone Professionally

Proper phone etiquette provides superior service to your clients and your callers, allowing them to see that they are valued each time you interact with them.

In the world of technology and digital communication, many people might be lost on how to answer the phone in a professional manner.  A lot of businesses still prefer to use the telephone to communicate with customers and clients to have a more personable approach.  For a lot of people, a phone call is the first form of contact with a business.  You want to make a good first impression right away to retain their interest in your company and make sure they feel valued and respected.

How to answer the phone professionally

Many different types of companies have their own way to answer the phone, whether it be a script or a standard guideline, there are some basic techniques to ensure that you are answering the phone respectfully.  Instilling the same guidelines in all of your employees makes your business seem more professional and consistent.  Here are a few basic practices to answering a phone call professionally:

1.  Answer within the first 3 rings

Time is very valuable to potential customers and clients.  Answering by the third ring shows that you care about them taking the time out of their day to call your business.  If the call continuously rings, the caller might get discouraged and hang up.  If you cannot answer the phone within 3 rings, send the call to voicemail instead of making them wait until the phone stops ringing.  Ensure that you have a professional voicemail greeting with easy instructions on what details you need to call them back.

2.  Speak with a smile

It may sound unusual, but when you speak with a smile it changes the timbre of your voice into a more pleasant-sounding tone.  Maintaining a friendly tone might be hard for some people, especially when you are busy or taking many calls, so keeping a smile on your face helps keep you sounding light and friendly.  Training your voice to sound this way will make it easier to stay consistent, even on bad days.

3.  Identify yourself and your business

No one should question whether or not they have reached the right place.  For example, you could say "Thank you for calling [insert business], this is Eleanor, how may I help you?"  This way they know who they are calling, and they get your name, which they can reference later in case they need to call back.  Being on a first-name basis also makes the call feel more personable.

4.  Politely ask who is calling 

Oftentimes the caller will not identify themselves without being asked first.  Politely ask, "May I ask who is calling?" and continue to use their name throughout the conversation.  Addressing the client by name makes the call more personable and will make them feel more valued. If they prefer to be called Mr./Mrs. [insert last name], only refer to them in that manner.  It shows that you are listening and is another great way to show that you respect them. 

5.  Accurately take down messages

Sometimes whoever the customer is trying to reach is unavailable, and if you don't have a voicemail system you will need to take a message to relay to that person.  Make sure you get every detail down correctly so when the customer is called back it's a seamless transition, instead of making them repeat the reason as to why they called. 

6.  Call clients back in a timely fashion

Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a call back, especially if it is time sensitive.  Making sure that you call your customers back quickly keeps their attitude about your business positive.  It also shows that you care about and respect their time.  Avoid waiting longer than one business day to return their call.

7.  Speak clearly 

Speaking slowly and enunciating leaves little room for misunderstanding.  Avoid slang or filler words such as "awesome" or "y'know".  Try changing them out for more professional terms, like "wonderful" or "as you are probably aware."  Using unnecessary words leads to confusion and may sound unprofessional.  Instead, you should use simple words and terms to make your point clear. 

8.  Ask permission before placing the caller on hold

The client may not have time to sit on hold.  Instead of just putting them on hold, make sure you ask if that is okay and explain why you need to do so.  Once you take them off of hold, thank them for waiting.  You want to ensure that they feel like their time is respected and valuable.  If they can't wait, be sure to take a message and let them know that you will call them back.  Again, their time is valuable, and you want to respect that.

9.  Make sure the person you are transferring them to is available

Ensuring that the person they're trying to reach is available is key.  It can be frustrating to the caller if they are put on hold or transferred only to be met with a voicemail message.  If that specific person is not available, take a message and let the client know that they will be calling them back. 

10.  End the call on a positive note

Thanking the caller for their time, and better yet addressing them by name makes them feel valued as a customer.  Ending the call positively will help the client remember your business in a positive way and make them more comfortable with calling you back with anything else that they need.  

In summary, Admin Solutions Group provides knowledgeable customer service representatives to provide a personalized touch to your business. We have experience with several types of businesses, including call-screening, message dispatch, and scheduling. You will never have to worry about missed calls, being short staffed, or missed opportunities. Admin Solutions will work with you to create an individualized plan that caters to your needs while saving you money. Choosing Admin Solutions as your third-party phone answering system will give your business a step up in professionalism and give your company a strong, reliable reputation.

What Our Customers Are Saying

Testimonial Quote Marks
5 Stars! Amazing company, service, and staff!
We have been working with Admin Solutions for over 5 years and can honestly say they are a very important part of our company. If you are looking for a great company to help grow your business to the next level, we highly suggest contacting Kris and the entire team at Admin Solutions.
Vinyl Fence & Deck
A Vinyl Fence Wholesaler
Testimonial Quote Marks
Admin Solutions provides me with meticulous training manual development, powerpoint presentations and coordination of our on-line assessment portal, that continues to allow me to delight my clients and grow my client base. Admin Solutions is a critical extension of my business!
Chip Kudrle
Out Perform Selling
Testimonial Quote Marks
Our business couldn’t function without Admin Solutions Group!  As a small business owner, bookkeeping is not my strong suit. With Kris and Jenn by my side I am able to review my P&L monthly, navigate financial changes in my business and keep current with updates to our tax accountant. I consider Admin Solutions part of our team and our family!
Jason Koenig
The Odd Couple Team
Testimonial Quote Marks
I have worked with the Admin Solutions team for over 5 years. The leadership and support offered by Admin Solutions was outstanding. From their big picture, strategic guidance as well as their assistance with the legal aspects of association management and congress planning attention to the smallest administrative detail, they excelled. I would wholeheartedly recommend working with Admin Solutions.
Lea Waters
Past President, IPPA
Contact us today to discuss how we can support your business needs.

Don’t let the work and stress keep piling up. We're here to help provide the administrative support you need to allow you to focus on the growth and success of your business.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.