Telephone Etiquette

Learn proper telephone etiquette.

The telephone; it is part of us. What would we do without it? It is as common as apple pie and summer sunshine. As much a part of our lives as learning to walk and talk and perhaps that is why we, at most times, give it little thought. Nonetheless, we do think about it, when we have had the experience of being treated rudely or abruptly while using this mode of communication. We bristle at the idea of someone's brusqueness to us, and most probably never take thought of the times we have shown our bad manners while speaking on the telephone.

The tendency to be short and curt to salespersons is common. The feeling that they are, in fact, invading our privacy is a widespread notion and the fist inclination is to cut them off with a positive projection of irritation. Perhaps supposing this will discourage any return calls, "wish on!" Treating those person who call pitching a product without kindness, solves nothing and makes no validity, so why not include them in you simple and polite response, "no thank you, have a good day," "good-bye." This response is much less apt to raise your blood pressure and reduce your feelings of guilt later, for incivility over the telephone.

Correct way to answer the telephone:

The proper way to answer the telephone is "hello." On the other hand, simply answering "yes" is a curt and inappropriate response. The person making the call draws a very quick conclusion, and that is, to think of that person as cold and aloof, and hesitate to communicate readily.

At times, someone other than the head of the house will answer the telephone. If that person is asked, "may I speak to Mr. ________ please," the response should be, "one moment please, I will get him for you." If the head of household is not available the response should be, "I am sorry, Mr. _____ is not available at this time, may I take a message?" This is simply a form of good manners, whatever form it may be expressed, thoughtfulness for the feelings of others. This person may be calling to offer a new job with great pay and benefits, who's to know! What would he or she think if the answer to the question, "is Mr. _____ home please," would be an abrupt "no." This response would reflect negatively, on the actual person being called.

Making telephone calls:

Think about what time it is, when placing a call. You would not want to call when there is the possibility that person may be asleep. For example on a work morning before 7:00 a.m. would not be a good time. After 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the evening is not a good time, and remember to avoid calls around the usual period most people will be eating. Courtesy is expected when using the telephone just as if you are talking in person.

Give your name when the telephone is answered, before asking for the person you are requesting.



Dialing too quickly, or in inadequate lighting may be the cause of dialing a "wrong number," never just hang-up. Express your apology, letting them know you have dialed a wrong number. To avoid disturbing another person unnecessarily dial carefully and make sure you can see the dial pad.

When speaking, think of the way you sound. Make sure you enunciate you words clearly and precisely. It is embarrassing to be asked to repeat what you are saying. Your voice reflects your courtesy, since that person on the other end of the line cannot see your facial expressions your "tone of voice" will need to express this.

Basic Good Manners, Telephone Tips:

* Let the telephone ring a reasonable length of time. It is frustrating to just get to the telephone and hear a dial tone.

* If you dial a number that is wrong, apologize, promptly and hang-up.

* Calling a business at or very near closing time is to say the least un-thoughtful. When it is time to go home, after a long day, do not delay them.

* State your name when placing a call. The game of "guess who this is" may not play very well to a busy friend.

* When speaking to anyone who is working and time is of the essence, make your call informative and short.

*Dial carefully and in proper lighting to avoid calling a wrong number and in-conveniencing others.

© Demand Media 2011