3 Easy Tips on How to Be Polite When Answering the Phone

graphic with heart on smart phone

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.” –Emily Post

With the amount of information and number of calls and emails being lobbed at us each day, it’s sometimes easy to forget those little “P’s and Q’s” Emily Post talked about so long ago. Ninety years after publication, her common sense attitude toward manners makes her name synonymous with politeness even today.

Here at Ruby® Receptionists, we incorporate this “sensitive awareness” into every call. Our team of virtual receptionists answer over 40,000 calls a day, and we’ve gotten it down to a science! Here are three easy ways to stay bright and polite while moving a call along:

Inquire rather than insist.

A capable receptionist is able to steer the conversation confidently even while deferring to the caller. Rather than “Please hold” or “What is your name?” try “May I place you on hold for just a moment?” or “May I have your name?”

Say, “Please.”

It may be cliché, but there’s a reason they call it “the magic word.” “Please” is one word that, no matter how many times it’s uttered, never loses its meaning or appeal. With one little word, you can express your respect for a caller while asking him or her to do something that needs to be done.

Don’t leave a “thank you” hanging.

When a caller thanks you, follow up with a sincere “You’re welcome” or “It was my pleasure.” Even though it takes just a split-second, acknowledging a caller’s thank you can make a caller feel heard and that you value his or her feedback. If the thank you comes at the end of the call, a kind “You’re welcome” makes for a nice, balanced conclusion to the whole interaction.

Of course, these tips are certainly applicable off the phone as well. Do you remember a time where you felt especially cared for when speaking with someone over the phone or in person? Please share your experience by posting a comment below!

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