Displaying a Good Phone Manner at Work

Displaying a Good Phone Manner at Work

Phone Manner

Even if you don’t work in a customer services role, the chances are you still need to speak on the phone to colleagues and people from other organisations. Sometimes, you may need to explain complicated technical issues. So, how you come across on the phone is still very important. Here we look at some tips for a good phone manner:

  • If you are making the call, think beforehand about what you want to accomplish – what information you want to pass on, what questions you need to ask, what topics need to be discussed etc.
  • Answer an incoming call within three rings. Answer with ‘Good morning/afternoon’, your name, and if applicable, the name of your department or business function
  • Sit forward, or even stand up during the conversation, rather than slouching in your chair
  • Listen carefully to what the other person says, and try to respond in full to any questions and concerns they have. Try not to interrupt them
  • Speak slowly and clearly. Try to express your ideas clearly and concisely, and don’t use jargon unless you’re confident the other person will understand the terms being used. Smile whilst speaking – although the other person can’t see your face, smiling can help you sound conciliatory and friendly
  • Only put the caller on hold if it’s really necessary. If you are going to do this, explain to them that you are putting them on hold, and why you are doing this. Upon resuming the conversation, thank them for holding
  • If you can’t answer the person’s questions, think about who might know the answer. Think about whether it’s appropriate to keep them on hold while you find out, whether you should call them back, or whether you should transfer the call to someone else. If transferring the call, ensure the other person knows they are being transferred, and check that the person to whom the call is being transferred is available
  • If the other person becomes aggressive, try very hard not to respond in kind. Instead, if speaking to a customer, try to adopt a conciliatory tone, and if speaking to a colleague, supplier etc. adopt an assertive approach to give you the best chance of getting your point across
  • Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by messages on electronic devices, or by new emails, while speaking on the phone. Give the other person your undivided attention and only check your devices once the call has ended
  • If applicable, ask if there is anything else you can help with before you terminate the call
  • If the phone rings on a nearby unattended desk, answer it as soon as possible, and try to help the caller as much as possible. If necessary, take a message and get the relevant colleague to call back once they return to their desk

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