Hello, How May I Assist You: 3 Tips on How to Answer the Phone at Work

There are two things that are guaranteed to happen if you work in a busy office:

  1. The weekend will go by quickly.
  2. The phone is going to ring.

The person answering the office phone might provide the first impression someone has of the business. The caller could be delivering a detailed message, asking an important question, or even trying to sell you something! (No pressure right???) This responsibility may seem daunting, but it can be easily mastered by adopting these three simple tips on phone call etiquette

1. Speak Clearly

Speak clearly and confidently when answering the phone. Save the whispering for your ASMR videos. Enunciating on the phone will help you come across as capable and ready to help whoever is calling. You will be less likely to have to repeat yourself if you speak up and avoid mumbling. If the person on the other end of the line is hard to understand or muffled, politely ask them to repeat themselves.

2. Remember the 3 P’s: Positive, Polite and Professional

I’m sure we’ve all been on the phone with someone who was agitated or rude. Don’t be this person. Be the uplifting ray of sunshine that the caller didn’t know they were missing. This positivity should start the moment you answer the phone. Smiling when answering the phone will help your voice sound warm. Being polite and kind is essential when answering the office phone. Remain calm and never lose your patience. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It never hurts to throw in some “thank yous” during the course of the conversation. Always be professional on the office phone because you’re representing the whole company.

3. Be Prepared

Whenever you hear the office phone ring, prepare to take a message by grabbing a pen and a notebook with plenty of space for notes. Write down the name of the caller, the reason they are calling and a call-back number if needed. Having a phone call script in your head is another way to prepare for callers at work.  This usually includes a greeting and an introduction to yourself and the business. It’s a nice touch to end the conversation by saying, “Have a good day.”

Following these three tips will help you feel confident and comfortable when answering the phone at work. Think about how you would want to be spoken to and not only replicate that but improve upon it. Learning these proper phone skills will come in handy the rest of your life!

Eryn Pendergast, Executive Assistant
Elevate My Brand

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