Suzette Barta - Telephone Etiquette


Building Extension’s Brand through…

Telephone Etiquette

Why is telephone skill important?

When you are on the phone with a customer or client, YOU ARE THE

SINGLE representative of your organization. In other words,

“Rules” for Telephone


1. Treat your telephone visitor as if he or she were present.

When people call your office, as far as they are concerned you are the organization.

- If you sound cheerful, clear, and interested, the caller’s attitude toward your organization will be a good one.

- Would you play solitaire if a customer was in your office with you?

How Do Your Rate Your

Telephone Voice?



Has Needs

____ ____

____ ____



____ ____

____ ____


How Do You Look When You

Talk on the Telephone?













When are some times when you have to worry about looking or sounding this this?

“Rules” for Telephone


2. When receiving calls:

• Answer promptly to show that you are alert, courteous, and efficient. (2 rings)

• Use all 5 parts of the answer (next slide)

• Use the caller’s name to personalize the message.

• Listen carefully to avoid asking the caller to repeat.

• Be tactful and give the impression that you really want to be of assistance

• Take helpful messages.

• Keep and paper and pencil handy.

• Summarize and feed back the information to the caller for verification.

Five Parts to Your Answer:

1. Smile

2. Welcome the caller

3. Announce the office

4. Introduce yourself

5. Let them know you're here to help them.

When making acknowledgements…

Don’t Say:

Yeah or Okay Certainly


Wait a minute

Hold on or Hold the line

Just a minute

No problem

Do you mind waiting while

I check on that for you?

Would you like to hold or may I call you back?

One moment please…I’ll find out

You are very welcome or my pleasure.

“Rules” for Telephone


3. When handling complaints by telephone…

• Convey sincere interest and concern

• Remain calm and courteous

• Don’t make promises for others

• If there is a question you cannot answer, or the caller becomes unreasonable, contact your county director and refer the call.

• Thank the client and close the conversation naturally.

• Follow through on any questions or complaints.

When handling difficult customers…

Don’t Say:

You’ll have to talk to Mr.

Smith about that.

I don’t know anything about that.

You didn’t talk to me.

I didn’t take your call.

You must _____


Mr. Smith handles that.

May I transfer you.

I’m sorry. That information is not available through this office.

I’m sorry Mrs. Jones. I will be glad to take care of that for you.

Would it be convenient for you to ____________?

“Rules” for Telephone


4. When making a telephone call:

• Check the level of distraction around you before deciding to make the call.

• Identify yourself and the Extension office.

• Clearly state your purpose for calling.

• Don’t waste time. Have a list of items to be covered.

“Rules” for Telephone


5. End the conversation in a positive manner.

• End on an upbeat note.

• Summarize any action to be taken.

When closing…


• All righty

• Bye Bye

• Yeah

• Okie Doke

• See ya later


• Thank you for calling

Payne County


• You’re welcome…have a good day.

• I will get that report to you in the mail immediately…have a nice afternoon.

“Rules” for Telephone


6. Always return missed calls.

• Within 24 hours is best

• At least within 48 hrs

• If you don’t want to talk to them, have some one else call them back.

• The same applies to e-mails—RESPOND.

Even something as simple as “thanks” or “I got it” will work.

Other things to think about:

• Leaving a voicemail

• Keep them professional

• Once you’ve left a voicemail, don’t pester. (allow

6-12 hours).

• Don’t hide behind voicemail

• Cell phones (business)

• Turn it off, if possible, during meetings

• Do not check for messages during meetings

• If you are expecting an important call, let your client know in advance.

THANK YOU and have a