Telephone Ready Reference
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.
Options for 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
- 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 …
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.