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Professional Phone Etiquette: Tips, Examples, Do’s and Don’ts

Phone Etiquette

In order to uphold high levels of customer satisfaction and effectively represent your company, it is crucial to possess exceptional phone etiquette skills. As a customer representative, maintaining a professional demeanor when communicating with your colleagues and clients is of utmost importance. To assist you in improving your phone etiquette, this informative article offers ten valuable tips, examples, as well as a list of do’s and don’ts.

What is Phone Etiquette?

Proper phone etiquette encompasses various aspects, such as the way you welcome the caller, the vocabulary you employ, the inflection of your voice, your aptitude to actively listen, and your general conduct. It’s crucial to present yourself in a professional manner when dealing with clients over the phone, as your mode of communication can either retain them as a customer or cause them to look elsewhere. Therefore, paying attention to all these factors is vital for establishing and maintaining a positive image for your business.

Why Proper Phone Etiquette is Important?

There are many benefits to maintain great phone etiquette like; 

  • Remember, first impressions are important, but they are not the only thing that matters. Focus on creating a positive and respectful interaction, and the rest will follow.
  • It’s important to make up for the absence of in-person communication.
  • Successful individuals and organizations understand the critical importance of achieving and maintaining an outstanding reputation. 
  • In order to retain customers, it’s important to focus on improving your phone etiquette. If customers receive poor service, they may decide to cancel their subscriptions or speak negatively about your brand.
  • If your customer service is good, you can identify new customer needs and encourage them to inquire more about your company. This also provides an opportunity for customers to share feedback that could potentially benefit your company.

When communicating with customers over the phone, it’s crucial to effectively use your language, tone, and professionalism to convey your message. Consistently practicing proper etiquette is important, and it’s also essential to ensure that your staff follows suit. Consistency is key.

Examples of Proper Phone Etiquette

Proper phone etiquette can vary depending on which company you are representing, however there are some common ones, for example:

  • Start your phone call with an introduction: In professional settings, it is considered appropriate to introduce oneself by stating their name. This can be accomplished by saying “Greetings, my name is (insert name here).”
  • Always speak clearly: To ensure your customers understand you, it’s important to speak clearly and calmly.
  • Listen well and take notes: Listen actively to customers to provide excellent service. Jot down important details for future reference.
  • Always have a constant inviting voice tone: During a phone call with a customer, your tone can significantly impact their attitude towards you. Speaking in a cheerful tone can establish a positive mood that can last throughout the entire conversation.

Telephone Etiquette Tips

We have compiled a list of ten helpful tips that can improve your phone etiquette. Give them a try and see how much they can benefit you.

1. Quickly answer 

If you work in customer service or administration, it’s important to stay on top of your game. Make sure to answer incoming phone calls promptly to provide excellent service to your customers. It’s best to answer the phone within three rings to give yourself enough time to prepare for the call.

2. Introduce yourself 

It’s important to introduce yourself professionally when answering the phone. Avoid using slang and instead say, “Hello, my name is (your name). How may I assist you today?” Make sure to answer the call with a friendly and welcoming tone to ensure a smooth conversation.

3. Always speak clearly

Speaking with clarity and calmness is crucial. Although it may require some effort to adjust your volume and tone, it can help the other person feel more attentive and at ease when expressing their inquiries. For instance, consider using a headset to eliminate any background noise.

4. Showcase all of your attention to the caller

It’s important to give your full attention to callers, even when you’re on the phone. If you’re not fully focused, the person on the other end will notice and it could lead to problems or even cause them to stop using your product or service. To show that you’re listening, ask questions and take notes during the call. Then, before ending the call, follow up on what they said to let them know you’re staying on top of things.

5. Stay on your brand identity

Having a distinct tone of voice is crucial for any brand to thrive and succeed in today’s competitive market. If your brand lacks a unique tone, it’s imperative to invest time and effort into crafting one. For example; Your communication with customers and potential clients plays a pivotal role in retaining their loyalty and engagement with your brand. Consistency is key, and it’s essential that all members of your team adhere to the same tone of voice to ensure a cohesive and impactful brand image. 

6. Ask before you place your caller on hold

When on a phone call, it’s important to practice good etiquette by asking for permission before taking any actions. This includes checking with the person on the other end before placing them on hold or transferring them to another line. Failing to do so could frustrate your customers and even result in them hanging up. Avoid this by always notifying them beforehand.

7. Use appropriate representation when addressing a customer

When engaging in a phone conversation with a prospective client, it is of utmost importance to address them with the appropriate and respectful title, such as Mr., Mrs., Dr., or Ms. This demonstrates your professionalism and consideration for their individual identity and establishes a positive foundation for the rest of the conversation.

8. Practice politeness 

During a phone call, the caller’s background noise may sometimes make it difficult to hear them. Instead of getting upset or blaming them for poor signal, politely ask them to repeat themselves by saying something like, “I’m having trouble hearing you, could you please repeat that?” It’s important to always use positive language, such as “absolutely,” “certainly,” “perfect,” and “delighted,” to show kindness and create a positive interaction. Remember, it’s always better to be too nice than not nice enough.

9. Learn how to deal with unpleasant situations 

When speaking to someone who is angry on the phone, it’s best not to draw attention to their tone. Instead, focus on the issue at hand and try to calm them down politely. Use phrases such as “that’s awful”, “I’m sorry to hear this”, or “you’re totally correct” to show empathy and understanding. By comforting them, the caller will feel respected and heard, and their voice will likely calm down to its normal volume.

10. Get familiar with the transfer button 

It is crucial to know how to transfer a call to another agent or department according to your caller’s inquiries. For example, “The best person to help you with this inquiry sir is Adam from marketing, if you can please hold, I will transfer you now.”

The Do’s of Phone Etiquette

Here are the do’s of having the best phone etiquette.

  • Do answer your phone in a timely manner.
  • Make sure you introduce yourself at the beginning of the call.
  • During a phone call make sure you are speaking clearly and in a calm manner.
  • Always make sure you have a notepad to write quick notes during a phone call.
  • Be patient! 
  • Familiarize yourself with the hold and transfer buttons on your phone.
  • Use appropriate representation when speaking to a client. 
  • Follow your brand’s identity.
  • Make sure to speak in a professional manner, your tone of voice should be business. 

The Don’ts of Phone Etiquette

Let’s find out some of the things you should NOT do to have the best phone etiquette.

  • Don’t interrupt your callers, let them speak until they are done.
  • Don’t provide answers you are not sure about.
  • Don’t solely rely on scripts during your conversation.
  • Don’t transfer your callers frequently, try to help them the best way you can.
  • Don’t let your customer hang up feeling unsatisfied by your call.


Running a successful and trusted business goes beyond creating unique products or providing reliable services. Your interactions with customers, including phone conversations, are equally important. Whether you have an in-house or outsourced call center, having strong phone etiquette is essential. This guide will help you maintain proper etiquette during every customer interaction. If a customer is angry on the phone, avoid pointing it out and focus on addressing the issue. Use polite language like “I’m sorry to hear this” or “that’s awful” to comfort them. This will make the caller feel understood and respected, leading to a calmer conversation.

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