Receptionist Etiquette: Setting Great Expectations for Callers, Part 1

Reading time:

Telephone etiquetteThe virtual receptionists at Ruby® love taking care of our callers and clients. Our telephone answering champs work hard to represent our clients well while giving callers the help they need, and that means setting reasonable expectations for callers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be treating you to a few expectation setting tips. To kick things off, here’s our first receptionist etiquette tip for setting great caller expectations:  Avoid saying “She’s on the other line at the moment.”

This statement may be true, but letting your caller know the person they’re trying to reach is on the other line may cause the caller to infer that their call will be returned shortly, and that’s not always the case. Furthermore, saying “She’s on the other line,” may prompt your caller to say something like “Great! I’ll wait on hold until she’s off the phone,” which can be problematic for many reasons. Sure, she may be done with her current call in a minute or two, but who knows if she’ll be free to talk to your caller then?

If phone answering is part of your job, talk with your employer and decide on a standard response to use when she’s on the other line, away from the phone, or otherwise indisposed. Our remote receptionists like “She’s away from the phone at the moment.” Another good option: “She’s unavailable at the moment.” Both of these responses are best followed by an offer of assistance. Here’s one way our live virtual receptionists do it:

She’s away from the phone at the moment, but she’ll be happy to return your call. May I have your telephone number?

Do you have any telephone etiquette questions for the Ruby team? We’d love to take a shot at answering them! Share @callruby on Twitter!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Small Business Tips

Business live chat: Have your cake and eat it too.

Small Business Tips

Small business resourcefulness—with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Omnichannel customer experience: what it means and how to do it right

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support

The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the cancelled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner.