Proper Way to Answer the Phone at Work

Written by krystal wascher
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Proper Way to Answer the Phone at Work
Always answer the phone at work in a professional manner. (Businesswoman image by Paul Moore from

If you work for a business as a secretary, receptionist, customer service representative or any other position that requires public telephone interaction, you must learn how to communicate in a concise, professional manner. The way that the phones are answered at a place of business speaks volumes to a client or potential customer about how the business is run. If you answer your employer's phone in a manner that is too casual or rude, you may injure the company's image and your days of working for the company may be numbered.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Notepad
  • Pen

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  1. 1

    Ask your supervisor if the company has a preferred answering style. Some business spend an incredible amount of time deciding how to interact with the public and others don't have a preference as long as you conduct yourself in a professional manner. If your company has a preference, write down the wording on a notepad and keep it near your phone so that you can read from it until you memorise the greeting. Also, keep your ears open and listen to how other employees of the company answer their phones, and try to emulate their tone and wording.

  2. 2

    Always keep a note pad and a pen near your phone so that you can take down messages and phone numbers if necessary. It is never professional to make a client wait on the line while you scurry around looking for supplies. Having immediate access to these items will help your phone transactions to run more smoothly and will make you appear more professional and prepared. Additionally, if your company has many employees who each have their own extension and voice mail, keep a list of all employee names and extensions nearby so that you can transfer calls in a quick, efficient manner.

  3. 3

    When the telephone rings, say, "Good morning/afternoon, (name of company or office), this is (your name) speaking, how may I help you?" Always use a confident and pleasant tone when answering. It is not necessary to sound overly enthusiastic. Speak slowly and evenly, and pronounce each word correctly and crisply. The person on the other end will tell you the reason for the call. If you can assist the client, do so in a prompt and professional manner. If you are unable to assist him, offer to transfer him to another employee who can help.

  4. 4

    Complete each call by asking, "Is there anything else that I can help you with at this time?" If the customer says "no," offer a salutation such as, "Thank you for calling (company/office name), have a good day/afternoon."

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