Basic Telephone Etiquette

The telephone is a very common part of everyday life. However, not all individuals realize that you need to practice telephone etiquette as well, as much as you would other activities. Knowing how to respond will give others the impression that you are a polite and respectful individual, especially when it comes to business. Here are some tips to get you started.

Answering the Telephone

The right way to answer the telephone is by saying "Hello" or "Good morning, followed by the place of residence or company name". Do not just say "Yes", "What?" or "Speak", even if you already know who is calling. The person on the other line can immediately draw a conclusion that you are an aloof person who does not want to communicate. You will have a hard time getting left messages if you do not answer appropriately.

When someone asks for a person through the telephone, you should also respond in the most respectful manner. If someone asks for Mr. Smith, you should respond either "One moment please, I'll get Mr. Smith for you." or "I'm sorry, Mr. Smith is not here right now, but I can take a message if you want to." This shows that you have good manners. Do not just say, "Yes", "No" or "Wait". Always try to communicate and evoke the feelings that you care.

Making the Calls

If you are the one making the telephone call, make sure you check the time first. Calling during meal time, napping periods or very late at night are not recommended. Try to aim for hours when you know the person answering is wide awake and will not most likely be disturbed. Try to call houses not sooner than 7:00 am and not later than 9:30 pm. Once the phone is answered, greet the other person on the line, provide your name then ask for the person you want to talk to.

If you called once without anyone answering, wait about 30 to 60 minutes before making the next call. If the number is busy, you can try again after a few minutes. If the other line has an answering machine, leave your name, contact number and message. If you happen to dial the wrong number, do not abruptly hang up. Instead, apologize to the other person and indicate that you have dialled the wrong number. Dial the next number carefully to avoid making the same mistake.

More Manners

Always have a light and pleasant tone when answering the phone or calling, since the other person cannot see your facial expression. When calling, allow the phone to ring a certain length of time, since it can be a bother to go all the way to the telephone and only hearing the dial tone once you answer. Stop making pranks, especially if you are calling an office telephone. Do not inconvenience businesses by taking too much of their time for unimportant chats. If you're talking to someone who is working, keep the call informative and brief.

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