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Telephone Phrases Ready Reference

telephone guidelines, telephone job aid, telephone reference cardFind this article by searching for: telephone customer service, how to answer the telephone, ready reference

The guidelines below are from our telephone customer service and front-desk training courses.  Click our Telephone Phrases Ready Reference to download this information in PDF form  for distribution within your organization. 

General Guidelines for Better Customer and Client Telephone Relations.

Always remain positive about your own organization, its processes, and its people.
Replace the words "but" and "however" with "and" whenever possible. Your message will sound more positive and professional.
Avoid having food or gum in your mouth when talking on the telephone.
Remember to go slowly and to carefully articulate your words.
 
Answering the Telephone
 
Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening (Your Organization's Name). This is (Your Name). How may I help you?
Thank you for calling (Your Organization's Name). This is (Your Name). How may I help you?
    • Remember to sound upbeat, positive, and calm.
To Place Someone on Hold
 
May I put you on hold for a moment while I look that up/handle that issue/etc.?
If you could hold for a moment, I would be happy to look that up/handle that issue/etc.
May I please put you on hold for a moment?
Would you like to hold for a moment or would you like for me to call you back?
    • Remember to wait for the caller's answer.
    • If it takes you more than one minute, pick the telephone back up and let the caller know you are still working on finding a resolution.
To Transfer a Call
 
Let me put you in touch with (Person's Name/Department's Name). He/she/they can handle that for you.
(Person's Name/Department's Name)_ is the subject matter expert. I can connect you with him/her/them.
(Person's Name/Department's Name) can help you with that. One moment and I can put you through.
    • If appropriate give the extension to the caller.
    • If possible, stay on the line and introduce the caller to the person/department who can help.

To End a Call

Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Thank you for calling.

o If appropriate, recap any actions you will take after the call.

When a Customer or Client Thanks You

It's my pleasure.
I'm glad to be able to help.
You are welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

When a Customer or Client Is Frustrated

Let me see if I can help you work through this issue.
Let's take it from the beginning and see if we can work through this together.
I can hear that you are upset, and I do want to help you.
I'm listening to you....

o If appropriate, repeat what the caller has said. Reframe any negative statements into solution-oriented ones.
o Stay calm. If the customer needs to vent, don't jump to the solution too quickly. The caller may not be ready to listen to you yet.