Receptionist Etiquette Tip: How to Answer Any Question With Confidence

If you answer phones like our team of live virtual receptionists, you probably field a lot of questions each workday. Here at Ruby®, we know that no matter how complex a question is, there’s always a friendly, professional way to respond. And here’s the best part: you don’t even need to know the answer to a question in order to respond with confidence. Is this magic? Nope — all you need to be confident in your call-handling skills are a few solid multi-purpose responses. Want to learn how to field any question without flinching? Take a gander at these riveting replies from the Ruby playbook!

When it’s a basic question, but you need a moment to find the answer:

  • Great question! Let me find the answer for you.
  • I’d be happy to find out. Would you mind holding for a moment?

When you don’t know the answer, but you know who does:

  • Great question! Let me put you in touch with Susan — she’ll be happy to answer it.
  • Tim would be the best person to help you. He’ll be happy to return your call. May I have your telephone number?

When you don’t know the answer, and you’re not sure who does:

  • Great question! Let me find the best person to answer it.
  • Great question! I’ll find the best person to answer it, and have that person return your call. May I have your telephone number?

When the question is about someone’s whereabouts or schedule, such as “When will he be back in the office?” or “When can I meet with her?”:

  • He keeps his own schedule, but I’ll be sure to have him return your call as soon as possible. May I have your telephone number?
  • She keeps her own schedule, but she’ll be happy to return your call and set up an appointment. May I have your telephone number?

When your caller presses you for information you don’t have:

  • I would hate to give you any misinformation. Susan is the best person to answer your questions, and she’ll be happy to talk with you. May I have your telephone number, so Susan can return your call?
  • Our attorney will be happy to help you — I would hate to give you any misinformation. Let me try to reach her for you.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re starting your first answering service job or you’ve been fielding calls for fifty years — anyone can shine like a Ruby by using variations of these great replies! We hope these examples boost your phone answering confidence. Do you have any tips for fielding tricky questions? We’d love to hear them!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
2021 Legal Trends Report: gavel with scale of justice on desk
Legal Practice Tips

Clio 2021 Legal Trends Report: in summary

Content marketing and social media tips: side view of photo editor working in a creative office
Small Business Tips

Content marketing & social media: 4 easy tips for getting started

A single pine tree on a rocky summit
Small Business Tips

Meeting customer expectations during a holiday season like no other

Person at desk in front of computer waiting on phone
Receptionist Tips

Have trouble handling the emotional weight of phone calls? You’re not alone.

Choosing a business number: overhead view of faded yellow vintage telephone with notebook and numbers on monochrome background
Small Business Tips

What your phone number says about your business

How to find and analyze your website traffic: two people look at a computer in a bright office space
Small Business Tips

How to find and analyze your website traffic

Using virtual receptionists for part-time answering - Ruby

Using virtual receptionists for part-time answering

What is a conversation worth: illustration of a confused person with complicated calculations hovering above their head
Small Business Tips

What is a conversation really worth? We calculated the exact dollar amount.

Top 3 legal marketing strategies for 2022: man looks at laptop
Legal Practice Tips

Top 3 legal marketing strategies for 2022

24/7 live chat: a Ruby chat specialist and a potential new client use computers in split screen with a live chat window between them
About Ruby

How Ruby’s 24/7 live chat solution grows your business and saves you time

Why empathy matters for your business: person listening to another person in cafe with laptop, papers, and coffee
Small Business Tips

Why empathy matters for your business

SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers—an illustration of two people with crowns surrounded by flowers
Small Business Tips

SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers

Title card: Authentic small business marketing with Jamie Adams of Scorpion

Ruby partner feature: Authentic small business marketing with Scorpion

Using chat as a sales tool: hands using laptop
Small Business Tips

4 ways to leverage live chat as a sales tool

How to attract more law firm leads: smiling woman in professional attire talks on phone while using laptop
Legal Practice Tips

Treading water? Here’s how to attract more law firm leads.

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

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 canceled 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. Some restrictions may apply.