Top 5 Tips – How to answer phone calls in office properly

Wanting to Get Ahead at Your Office? Don’t Miss These Top Five Tips for Answering the Phone Properly

Are you a receptionist in your office? Do you work in the customer service department for your company? Are you wanting to get ahead in the new year by pleasing your customers and creating a good image for the business your work for?

How to answer phone calls in office
How to answer phone calls in office. Photo Alan Clark (Flickr)

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then learning these five pro tips for how to answer phone calls in office will set you apart.

When you are a receptionist or customer service representative — you are the frontline staff who will set the tone for how customers will perceive your company and even feel about it in the long run. When you have a pleasant and helpful customer service demeanor, your prospective customers will be more willing to view your company in a good light.

And that’s always good for business.

If you’re ready to improve your customer service image, then read on to get these quick phone tips that will set you apart — and have customers singing your praises!

Here’s how to get started:

Tip #1: Greet the Customer

The first thing you should do when answering the office phone is to great the customer with a pleasant and happy tone.

You want to sound engaging and helpful, and one way you can practice saying “Hello” in this way is to stand in front of your mirror and smile while you say “Hello.”

Now, this could feel unusual at first — but it really works! And, there is an added benefit to you. When you practice smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, your brain is triggered into thinking you are happy and releases endorphins.

So practice that in preparation for answering phone calls and you’ll not only sound pleasant on the phone, but you’ll actually feel happier in your customer service role.

Tip #2: Identify Who You Are and Your Company Role

Your next step is to clearly identify who you are and your role in the company.

Your customers want to know how you can help them – and so it’s key that they understand your role. They also want to be able to relate to and talk in depth about their issues with your company or the questions they have about an order. So knowing your name is a critical part of this process.

There are some key tricks to this delivery. You are achieving several goals all at once:

  • You’re greeting the customer
  • You’re thanking and affirming the customer
  • You’re being helpful by identifying your name and role
  • You’re emphasizing that you are the caller’s personal helper for the duration of the call.

To practice, you might say something like: “Hello! Thank you for calling Sports Mania. My name is Christy, and I’m your customer service representative today. How can I help you?”

Tip #3: Practice Enunciating

There is nothing worse than being on the phone with someone and not being able to hear them because they are mumbling or because there is a tonality issue.

Helpful advice!
This can be the case when we are talking to people with different accents. You’ll need to let the customer get familiar with your tone and your voice.

Practice enunciating your words to make sure you are speaking clearly. Sometimes this means slowing down your speech so that you can complete each word with articulation. Remember that this gets better with practice — and as the call goes on, you’ll be able to get more familiar with each other’s voices.

In addition, make sure the phone or headset is in the proper position in front of your mouth to avoid muffling that can otherwise occur.

Tip #4: Avoid Colloquial Language

Avoid Colloquial Language
Avoid Colloquial Language. Photo Bryce Johnson (Flickr)
You want to keep it as professional as possible when you are answering your office phone, so do to that avoid any semblance of colloquial behavior and speech.

Begin with sitting up straight in your chair before taking the call. Slouching in your chair makes you feel lethargic and inhibits your ability to speak clearly and with enough volume.

Then, avoid common slang phrases that would make you appear less professional. A few examples are:

  • “Hey!”
  • “No problem.”
  • “Okay.”
  • “Like.”
  • “You Know!”

Instead of falling into these more informal language patterns, make an effort to respond in complete sentences and with more traditional phrasing such as:

  • “Yes, indeed.”
  • “Very well.”
  • “I would be happy to look into that for you.”
  • “I’m here to help, so please don’t worry at all.”

These are small tweaks to your language delivery that can make a big difference in your phone interaction and make you sound more professional.

We all get into the bad habit of using colloquial language in professional environments, but when you practice a more professional delivery, you will begin to use it as your go-to elevator speech.

Tip #5: Don’t Put the Customer on Hold Immediately

We’ve all called a company that is extremely busy and as soon as we get a customer service representative on the call — they put us on hold. Not only is this deflating and annoying, but it’s just poor customer service.

It’s understandable you may need to put a caller on hold, but don’t do it immediately after answering the office phone. Instead, go through your greeting and introduction.

Let the customer explain the issue, and then tell him or her:

“I’d like to look into this for you right now. I’ll need to put you on hold for a few minutes, but I’ll be back shortly.”

Let the customer respond, and then put the customer on hold. If you find that you are needing to take longer than two minutes, check back in with the customer and say:

“I’m checking in with you. I’m working on getting an answer to your question, but I’ll need a few more minutes. I’ll come back on the line in about three more minutes.”

Your customer will feel peace of mind in knowing you’re working on the issue, and they won’t wonder if they’ve been forgotten.

Are You Ready to Pick Up the Phone?

Equipped with these quick, five, easy tips for how to answer phone calls in office, you’ll be ready to take on any customer and help him or her troubleshoot issues.

It all begins with that initial “hello,” and it’s in your power to completely change the course of a phone call just by having a great phone demeanor.

Remember that in customer service it really is all about giving the customer the appearance of being first — even if you don’t grant their every request. And, they’ll be more willing to listen to you when you are pleasant, happy and engaging on the phone.

Don’t let a poor phone demeanor hold you back from getting ahead in the new year. Practice these five easy tips every day until they become part of your regular phone habit. You’ll see a difference that will be good for your employee performance record — and good for your company’s image.

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