How to Answer Phone Calls

Answering phone calls is a skill and an art. Here are some tips and tricks for those not used to answering calls in a corporate environment.

Greeting

There is no second chance for a good first impression. Focus all your attention on the conversation and be friendly.

Please smile

Smile before you pick up the phone. If you have a smile on your lips, your voice will sound friendlier.

Let it ring twice, but maximum five times

Let the phone ring twice before picking up the receiver. The caller doesn’t expect you to answer immediately.

Company, your first name and surname, greeting

First state the name of our company, then your first name and surname. The caller often doesn’t understand the first words correctly. Since he is calling your company specifically, he expects the company name to be mentioned. Using your first name has a personal and friendly effect. You can open the conversation with a "Hello!" a "Good Morning!" or a "Grüezi!"

No empty phrases

At the end of the greeting, don’t use phrases like "What can I do for you?" It’s meaningless and sounds like a switchboard.

Tips for the conversation

If you have introduced yourself, let the caller have his say. The caller will introduce themselves and state the reason for the call. Listen carefully, request clarification if you haven’t understood something, and repeat important information back to the caller for confirmation.

Making notes

Take notes during the conversation. Your notes are properly written when you can answer the following questions:

  • Who called? (Name, Company, Phonenumber where he is reachable)

  • What was the conversation about? (Ticketnumber?)

  • What was agreed? (will he call again or is he expecting a call back from VSHN?)

Remember the name of the caller

Remember both the first name and the last name of the caller. This will look good in later correspondence. If you don’t understand the name, use the present tense when asking: "What’s your name?" Request the caller with an unusual name to spell it.

Academic Degree

If the caller holds an academic degree, please address them as "Herr Doktor Hinz" or "Frau Professor Kunz."

Address the caller by name

Address the caller by name. However, don’t use the name too often, as this will be obtrusive. Two times are sufficient: at the beginning and when saying goodbye. Put the name at the end of the sentence: "I will send you the information material tomorrow, Mr. Schuster!"

Transfering calls

When you forward to a colleague, tell the caller the first name and last name of the colleague to whom you are forwarding. "I’m now connecting you to John Smith, our Python Specialist."

if the colleague you are looking for isn’t available because he or she is already on the phone or not at their desk, it’s best to leave the colleague a message via chat, with the name of the company, the name of the caller, their phone number and the reason for the call (as already mentioned above.)

Formulate positively

Avoid negative formulations and say things positively. Instead of "I’m afraid I don’t know", it’s better to say "I’ll inform myself and call you back." Instead of saying "Not this week anymore," "Probably next week" sounds much better.

End of conversation

After the call has been completed, you can politely end the call. You have several options for doing this:

Summarize

Summarize the contents of the conversation again: "May I summarize again? …“

Thank you

Thank the person you’re talking to for calling: "Thanks for the call, I’ve made a note of everything."

Questions

State a closed question that the caller can only answer yes or no: "Can we stay like this?"

Assure

Promise the caller that you’ll take care of his request: "Fine, I’ll take care of it right away!"