Phone Tips: 3 Things to Do When You Can’t Hear Your Caller

What to do when you can’t hear the other person on the phone, other than saying “I can’t hear you.”

We’ve all encountered a crackly line or faint caller before— a poor phone connection can be a real drag! Each virtual receptionist at Ruby is skilled at handling all sorts of telephone calls gracefully, even those that are tough to hear. If answering phones is part of your job, try these three tips the next time you’re on a fuzzy line. It’ll pay off in a great customer experience— callers will appreciate your commitment!

1. Keep your cool

A poor phone connection can be frustrating, but don’t let your caller see you sweat — keep your tone ultra polite. Skip “What?” and “I can’t hear you,” and go with “Would you mind repeating that?”

Don’t blame your caller, either. Rather than saying “Your phone is cutting out,” try “It seems we have a poor phone connection.” A tough-to-hear call is a frustrating situation is just as aggravating for your caller as it is for you, so remember to stay patient and kind.

2. Mind your pitch

You may have heard of The Mosquito, an anti-loitering device that emits a high-pitched sound people older than 25 typically can’t hear. This is because as we age, we lose the ability to hear certain frequencies, and high-pitched sounds are the first to go. Don’t let a poor connection become painful! When you speak up, try doing so without elevating your pitch. Speaking a little louder may make your voice easier to hear, but maintain (or lower) your pitch as you pump up the volume.

3. Consider Plan B

Sometimes, there’s no saving a phone call. When you’re ready to throw in the towel on a difficult-to-hear conversation, suggest an alternative to the poor phone connection before hanging up your receiver. Perhaps you can email your caller, or communicate through text messaging. Of course, you can always hang up and try the call again, but be sure to let your caller know before you end the call (or give it your best shot). Customer experience is key— better yet, don’t end the call— let your caller decide when to call it quits.

Remember: A poor phone connection is not the last straw!

Get all our insights into call-handling best practices, tips, tricks, and what not to do in our comprehensive guide to call handling!