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How to Answer the Phone Professionally

How to Answer the Phone Professionally

Phone calls have been the primary way to communicate for decades for many businesses in all kinds of industries. Every company should train their employees with proper phone answering etiquette and with a specific tone of voice that fits your industry to guarantee customer satisfaction. Your business needs to present itself professionally by answering clients’ or customers’ phone calls; ideally, your company will be recognized, and clients will want to call more, feel comfortable asking questions, and offer loyalty to you. 

How to Answer the Phone Professionally

There are many ways to have a successful, professional phone call. Various companies use their customer service techniques; however, different conversations call for other methods. Every business has a unique brand identity, depending on which industry you are in, that will help decide your tone of voice to your clients. Here are ten steps you can take to train your team to become the best professional phone answers. 

1. Answer by the third ring

A great way to avoid customers complaining is to answer their calls by the third ring; however, if you are unavailable, you can send them to your voicemail. This way, your customers will appreciate your attention and stay loyal to you.

Example: Phone rings, before the third ring answer. If you are busy send your caller to your voicemail. 

2. A Customized Greeting 

Callers are accustomed to receiving the traditional “Hello” greetings, try to be different and customize a greeting for your employees to use. For example, you can state the name of your company, introduce yourself by name and ask how you can help the caller on the line.

Example: “Good afternoon! Thank you for calling ULTATEL. This is Zena speaking. How can I help you today?

3. Consider your tone

Be sure to observe your tone of voice while on the phone with a caller. It would be best to speak professionally because you could be the caller’s first impression of the company. When you answer the phone, speak at a pace that any caller can understand. 

Example: Your tone of voice and patience will make your customer calm, and this will showcase how the call will go smoothly. 

4. Don’t put your call on speaker

Remember not to put your phone on speaker when you answer a client’s call. Answering a call through a speaker causes a lot of unnecessary background noise and gives callers the impression that you are giving them your undeniable attention.  

Example: “Hello, my name is Anna. How can I help you today?, the caller starts to talk and you cannot fully hear them so it causes confusion. Anna takes the call off the speaker.”

5. Speak with a smile

When you answer a client’s call, maintain a positive attitude and smile, it’s scientifically known that callers can hear your smile in your tone of voice. Even if the caller cannot see your face, they can sense your smile in your tone of voice. 

Example: Smiling while answering the phone will make the call more welcoming and friendly. 

6. Be clear 

Enunciate your words slowly and clearly; this will help callers understand you. Sometimes, while you’re on the phone, you will face interruptions like poor cellular service, involuntary background noise, or muffled voices. 

Example: “Hello, how may I help you? Caller: I can’t hear you, there’s too much background noise. Agent: Speaks slower… “Can you hear me now?” Caller: Yes, much better.” If you speak slowly and clearly, it will be easier for callers to hear what you are saying first, so you don’t have to repeat yourself. 

7. Listen Carefully

Sometimes when callers find you not listening, they get aggravated. Train yourself to listen carefully and pay attention to what the caller is saying. Listen more than you speak. 

Example: When a caller finds you uninterested in what they are saying, they will stop calling, and even worse, they might cancel their service or not repurchase your product. 

8. Ask before you place someone on hold 

Handling multiple calls can be frustrating; however, you don’t want to keep your customers waiting. An excellent way to address many incoming calls as one agent is to ask the caller to be put on hold before you answer another call. This showcases proper communication etiquette, and that will make your customers wait until you can answer them. 

Example: “Hello, your inquiry is important to us; however, we are experiencing a high volume of calls. May we ask to place you on a short hold?”

9. Take clear messages

If you are a receptionist or an assistant make sure you take clear messages with details for your superiors or colleagues. This action will provide a brief to the person who will pick up on your task without asking for more information. 

Example: “Hello, I have written down everything my manager needs to know, and I will get back to you with his response as soon as I can. Thank you.”

10. Close on a positive note 

Before you hang up with a caller, make sure you end the conversation in a good way. There are many ways to do this, like thanking them for their time or wishing them a great day. This will give clients a sense of your organization’s positive work ethic and make them more comfortable contacting you. 

Example: “Thank you for your call today, Mrs. Johnson. I  hope you have a great rest of your day.”

Additional Phone Etiquette to Consider When Answering the Phone

There are countless ways you can answer the phone, we’ve listed a few to get you going. Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Don’t eat while you are on a call. Avoid eating or drinking during your call with a customer because when you speak while food is in your mouth, you won’t be able to talk clearly. 
  • Make sure the person you transfer the call to is available. Ensure that calls are answered rather than sent to voicemail when transferred; you must ensure your co-worker can assist beforehand. 
  • Customize a professional voicemail message. Voicemail is created so that when you are not available, callers can leave messages for you. The terrific idea is to customize a professional voicemail message and update it now and then. When callers leave a message on your voicemail, make sure you contact them within one business day to stay professional. 


Productive marketing and service skills are essential for any business’s success. Professionally answering the phone is a crucial part of excellent work skills. The tips and tricks mentioned above are simple and easy to follow; by following these, you will give your customers the best customer service experience they have had. 

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