Telephone Etiquette


Telephone Etiquette


  • Answering the Telephone
  • P.I.C.T.U.R.E
  • Interviewing Techniques
  • Personal Qualities for Phone Work
  • Tips for Telephone Etiquette
  • Handling Irate Customers
  • 5 Phases of a Call



Answering The Telephone

Answering the Telephone

  1. Pick up the phone in three rings . More than three rings signals chaos in your office or inattentiveness.
  2. Greet the caller, e.g. “hello,” “good morning.” Good manners shows you respect the caller.
  3. Give your name. This is a courtesy that serves to personalize the customer service experience as well as allowing the customer to hold you accountable for your level of service.
  4. Ask the customer if or how you can help. Asking to help tells the customer you are there to serve his/her needs and to solve his/her problems. This also leaves the customer with a positive impression.
  5. The greeting is key, it sets the tone and style of the whole interaction.

© 2008 MMMTS


“Good morning, thanks for calling the ABC Hotel, my name is XYZ, how may I help you?”

© 2008 MMMTS

Words vs. Tone of Voice

  • Words only account for 14% of total communication.
  • Tone of Voice provides the remaining 86%.


Customer forms a mental PICTURE of you.

  • P – PITCH
  • T – TONE
  • R – RATE

© 2008 MMMTS

Interviewing Techniques

Interviewing Techniques

  • Open-ended questions / Closed-ended questions
  • Probing questions
  • Linking questions
  • Providing non-verbal encouragement
  • Using supportive statements
  • Showing empathy with your client
  • Key words repetition
  • Using the pause
  • Using summaries
  • Dealing with mistakes
  • Counterproductive questions
  • Checking facts & asking for specific information

© 2008 MMMTS

Personal Qualities for Phone Work


Personal Qualities for Phone Work

  • Self-Motivation
  • Enthusiasm
  • Determination
  • Persistence
  • Sense of Humor
  • Flexibility
  • Self-Esteem
  • Quick thinking
  • Professionalism
  • Being thick-skinned

© 2008 MMMTS

Good to know! Tips!

Before you answer, be prepared:
  • Have your computer switched on.
  • Have pens, pencils, and notepad ready.

In answering the phone:

  • Answer calls promptly by the second or third ring.
  • Smile as you pick up the phone.
  • Use your “telephone” voice, controlling your volume and speed.
  • Project a tone that is enthusiastic, natural, attentive and respectful.
  • Greet the customer, and identify your company and yourself.

© 2008 MMMTS

While Speaking...

In the course of the conversation:
  • Focus your attention on the customer.
  • Enunciate/articulate clearly. Speak distinctly.
  • Use simple English – avoid slang and/or acronyms.
  • Use action specific words and directions.
  • Use the customer’s name during the conversation.
  • Always speak calmly and choose your words naturally.

© 2008 MMMTS

Forbidden Phrases

Avoid forbidden phrases:

  • “ I don’t know.”
  • “I/we can’t do that.”
  • “You’ll have to….”
  • “Just a second.”
  • “No.”

© 2008 MMMTS

Handling Irate Customers

  • The first step in handling an irate caller is to simply hear the other person out. Listen intently. Allow the customer to vent some frustration.
  • Empathizing allows you to understand another person’s motives without requiring you to agree with them.

© 2008 MMMTS

Five Phases of a Call

Phase 1

  • Opening

     the Call (Greeting & Introduction)

Phase 2

  • Building

    Rapport &


     Customer Need (Question)

Phase 3

  • Collecting/ Verifying of Information (Paraphrase)

Phase 4

  • Provide Customer Solutions, Alternatives or Information

Phase 5

  • Get Customer Buy-In
  • Establish Next Steps
  • Close the Call (Summarize)

© 2008 MMMTS

What is an appropriate way to answer the phone?

  • Mornin' How ya doing? What can I do ya for?
  • Good Morning, thanks for calling us at Jim Ellis. This is Ray, how can I be of service this morning?
  • Hello, this is the Parts Department. What'ya need?
  • Hello. This is Jason. What do you want?

What percentage of Communication comes from the words themselves?

  • 100%
  • 68%
  • 57%
  • 34%
  • 21%
  • 14%
  • 7%
  • 0%

Which of these phrases are Forbidden?

  • “ I don’t know.”
  • "Absolutely!"
  • “No.”
  • “Just a second.”
  • "I'll get that right away."
  • "I/We can't do that."