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  • Writer's picturePaul Evans

Telephone etiquette

In today's fast-paced and competitive corporate world, projecting a professional image over the phone is essential.

Proper telephone etiquette is an essential tool for representing yourself and your organisation.

Make every word count. Utilise the following tips to help ensure a professional image and a positive customer experience

If you'd like to practice more telephone etiquette techniques and dive in deeper, check out the app for role-plays, games and detailed instruction.

Answer in around three rings

Answering a phone too quickly can catch the caller off guard, and waiting too long can make the caller angry. Ideally, aim to answer the phone within three rings.

Use a friendly greeting

Begin the call with a friendly greeting, such as "Good Afternoon, abc company, [your name] speaking, how may I help you?" A friendly greeting sets the tone for the conversation and shows the caller that you are approachable.

Ask for the caller's name

Asking for the caller's name shows that you have taken an interest in them and can help to build a connection. If the caller provides both their first and last name, it is best to use their last name, as it is more formal and respectful.

Use proper titles

When speaking to someone, especially if you do not know them, it is important to use proper titles (such as Mr., Mrs., or Dr.). This shows respect and professionalism towards the person you are speaking with. Addressing someone by their first name without permission can be seen as overly familiar or even disrespectful, especially if the caller is older.


Although it may seem simple, smiling can have a positive impact on your tone of voice, making your voice sound more pleasant and engaging. When you smile, it releases dopamine and serotonin (the feel-good hormones) in your brain, making you feel happier and more relaxed. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial in a high-pressure telesales environment where you may be dealing with rejection or difficult customers.

Speak clearly

Since the person on the other end of the phone cannot rely on visual cues to understand your message, it is essential to use clear and slow speech. Speak clearly and concisely, and try to avoid using technical jargon or acronyms that the caller may not understand.

Watch your volume

Be mindful of your voice volume when speaking over the phone, even unintentional shouting can negatively affect your image.

Speak professionally

Avoid slang terms and use clear, professional language to prevent confusion and misunderstandings.

Be patient and courteous

Stay calm and patient, even when handling complaints or rude callers. Always show willingness to resolve issues and offer assistance.

No eating or drinking

The sound of chewing or slurping can be disruptive and unpleasant for the person on the other end.

Properly handle holds and transfers

Always ask permission before placing someone on hold and thank them when taking them off hold. When transferring, tell the caller who you are transferring them to and announce them to the person they will be speaking with.

Take detailed messages

Always ask for the caller's name and number, double-check the spelling of any names, and repeat the message back to the caller to ensure accuracy.

We hope you found these quick tips useful.

If you are looking to improve your telephone etiquette further and discover more in-depth tips & tricks then don't forget to check-out the app now. The app provides a range of tools and resources designed to help you develop your communication skills and project a professional image.

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