Q:

What are some rules for professional telephone etiquette?

A:

Quick Answer

Professional phone etiquette includes speaking clearly, greeting callers professionally and with a friendly tone, and handling the call efficiently and politely. Professional phone etiquette is important, because clients frequently contact a business initially by telephone and inappropriate phone manners can drive potential customers away.

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Full Answer

Professionals should never eat or chew gum while answering or making a call. If receiving a phone call, the greeting should be friendly and include the name of the company and the person answering the phone. Answer questions with "yes" or "no,” and avoid slang terms and profanity. Listen carefully to what the caller is saying, and ask clarification questions to avoid miscommunication.

When transferring a call, inform the customer why they are being transferred and to what department or person. If the caller must be put on hold, request permission before doing so, and check back with the caller if they are on hold for longer than a minute. Always thank customers for their patience, and apologize for the delay when returning to a call.

When taking phone messages, ask the customer to spell her name to avoid mistakes. Be sure to note the date and time of the call and the customer's reason for phoning.

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