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Top tips for answering your business phone

Top tips for answering your business phone

Posted by sallytodd in How To Guides, Systems and Processes 07 Jun 2020

It may seem ridiculous being told how to answer the phone and you may think it is as simple as just picking up the handset and saying hello – it is so much more than that!

When you answer the phone, you are welcoming someone to your business, possibly someone who has never come across your business before. What you say next, and how you say it, could be make or break. This is your chance to shine, your chance to ensure that person experiences first-hand what a friendly and dynamic business you are and that you care, you are likeable and approachable and that you are passionate about what you do.

People do business with people; allow that phone call to let your charm and personality come through. Ensure that the person on the other end of the phone feels like they were right to make that call. Make them think you know who they are (you might actually know who they are) and that you are really pleased that they called.

You want everyone who calls your company to feel welcomed and valued and that you really want to speak to them.

This comes from your tone of voice and your enthusiasm, so answer the phone with confidence and a smile. Be interested and engaging.

Always answer the phone within 3 rings.

Announce the company name and your name – it should be clear to the caller that they have called the right place. Say ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ before anything else. Most people don’t start listening immediately so by saying this first it ensures they don’t miss the company name. Do not speak too quickly.


Listen carefully to what the caller has to say and respond in an upbeat friendly tone. Remain professional, they are not your best mate.

If you do not know the answer or cannot help immediately do not make up an answer, be clear that you do not know but will find out or pass them to someone who can help.

If placing on hold, make sure you ask the caller if they mind being placed on hold. If they are having to hold for some time, then go back at regular intervals and check that they are still happy to hold. It’s frustrating to be left on hold with no update.

If you need to take a message take clear accurate details and repeat back to the caller to confirm so they know you have taken the message down correctly. All phone messages should be emailed to the recipient with the email subject title of ‘Phone Message’. Make a note of the time that the call was taken. If you pass on a telephone message be sure to follow up with the recipient to make sure they have called them back or actioned the call.

If you receive a lot of calls and you are finding this disruptive to your workflow, get in touch. I love talking to people and I am happy to manage your calls.

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