The telephone plays an important part in creating the correct impression of the company. Therefore, it is important that anyone who answers the telephone projects a professional image.
Answering the Telephone
Here are some suggested guidelines to ensure the best possible use of the phone.
- Aim to answer the call within four rings
- Greet with ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good afternoon’ as appropriate, and then give department name and your name
- Show a genuine interest in the caller; for example, ask ‘How may I help you?’ Listen to the caller’s response
- Be organised, with a pen and paper handy
- Try to be as helpful as possible. Deal with the general or specific enquiry and then ask if any other assistance is required
The basic principles involved in taking and responding to telephone messages are as follows:
- If someone is not available, explain positively why the person is not available and offer to take a message
- When taking a message, take all the necessary details and repeat the message and any information to the caller. Message details should include the caller’s name; telephone number; a brief message; name of the person the message is for; and the time and date the call was made. It is important that this information is recorded accurately and fully
- Record all these details on the supplied message sheet
- Take personal responsibility to ensure that messages are quickly passed to the correct person
- If the person for whom the message is intended is away from the office (at a meeting, on holiday etc.), another person in the same department should be identified to take responsibility for responding to the message