Professional Phone Etiquette Tells of Customer Appreciation, Technology


Answering the telephone at your business can give lasting impressions to customers, who may be at the start of the shopping spectrum or ready to place an order.

While email and internet forms are oft-used ways to connect with businesses today, a telephone call remains a primary way to reach companies, whether they are large or small, in town or across the state or country.

Telephone Manners Matter

Training everyone at your company to answer the telephone in the same manner adds consistency to service. Below are some top tips on how to answer a telephone professionally:

  1. Answer promptly on the second or third ring with “hello” or a daytime appropriate reference, such as “good morning.” Identify the company and yourself. Then ask, “How may I help you?” and give the customer a chance to share the reason for calling.
  2. Sound upbeat, enthusiastic and welcoming. Speak clearly and not too fast. Use professional language, not slang or jargon.
  3. Respond positively to questions, and if you don’t know an answer, offer to find out.
  4. Ask before transferring a call or putting a caller on hold. Check with a caller on hold about every 30 seconds to give a reassuring update or offer to take a message. If transferring, let the customer know where the call is going, and be careful not to lose or “drop” the call.  
  5. Take messages accurately and repeat names, phone numbers and other pertinent information. Deliver messages promptly, and answer messages taken for you within one business day.

Impressions Count Throughout the Call

When concluding the conversation, ask the customer if there is anything else that needs attention. Close with a “thank you.” If possible, let the customer disconnect the call before you hang up.

Answering the telephone gives the caller a first impression. After that greeting, there are many opportunities to share your company’s culture and its appreciation for customers. Closing remarks will solidify a customer’s sense of being heard and satisfied.