On the Switchboard
First impressions count

First impressions count


Answering the phone in a professional manner is one of the key areas of customer service. 

It may seem simple to answer the phone but when you are in business, professional courtesy when you pick up the phone can mean the difference between whether or not you get a new customer.  FACT.  The way your phone is answered will leave a lasting first impression. 

Here are our top tips.  

Answer Promptly

  • All incoming calls are best answered on the third ring. When the phone is answered you must be warm, and professional – our helpful hint is to always smile when you answer the phone!  
  • Remember that the person on the other end of the line cannot see your face so the only impression they will get is how your voice sounds and it will sound warmer with a smile! 

Be Courteous

  • When the phone is answered you should welcome callers, identify who you are and then the name of the business. 
  • You should never say just say “hello”. Do not wait for the caller to ask the business name. 

Speak Clearly

  • When speaking on the phone your enunciation must be very clear. The best way to achieve this is to speak in moderate volumes, slowly and clearly. This will allow your caller to understand exactly what you are saying.
  • Avoid using any kind of buzz words or slang on the phone. Try not to use any fillers in the conversation. For example, avoid saying things like ”um” or “huh”
  • You should train yourself to let your voice sound bright and upbeat, even when you are having a bad day.

Communicate with the Caller

  • Take a message! 
  • Make sure that you take the message clearly and concisely. If there is something you do not understand or if you can't spell a name ask the caller to repeat what they have said or to spell it out. 
  • When messages have been taken, calls should be returned within one business day. Any longer than this and you run the risk of destroying the good impression that you made when the call was taken and a message left.
  • If you need to put the caller on hold, you need to advise the caller that you are doing this and ask them if it is okay to do so. If you have callers on hold do not leave them that way for more than half a minute without telling them the progress of their inquiry. 

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