Receptionist Etiquette Tip: Match Your Caller’s Pace

When answering phones, match your caller's tone for best results
Photo by Willy D.

The telephone answering team at Ruby® Receptionists fields calls from all types of folks with all types of personalities, and we do our best to make each of them feel special. We’ve learned that it’s easy to size up a caller’s preferred communication style within a few words — just listen! Matching a caller’s style is an great way to ensure you’re delivering information in a manner that is comfortable for the caller.

When answering phones, mirroring a caller’s pace is particularly important, especially if the caller talks quickly. A fast-talking caller may be in a rush and will likely appreciate a quick response. If your caller is brief and to-the-point, provide concise answers and avoid chitchat. On the other hand, fast talking can sound unpleasant or intimidating to a naturally slower-talking caller.  If you know yourself to be a fast talker, take special care to slow down when your caller’s pace does.  A chatty caller is a great opportunity to make a great impression — reciprocate with a bit of friendly conversation, and you’re sure to improve your caller’s day.

Matching a caller’s tone can be helpful, too, as long as that tone is positive. If a caller seems frustrated or distressed, it’s best to project the opposite. Reassure upset callers by acknowledging their frustration and offering help, but do so in a calm tone. If you seem frustrated, your caller is likely to become more frustrated, and that’s no fun for anyone.

Friendliness and professionalism are key to every call our virtual receptionists answer, and the rest depends on the caller’s pace, tone, style, and needs. Have you had any memorable experiences with matching a caller’s pace or tone? We’d love to hear what you think about this tip!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Person talks on phone in snowy outdoor environment
Small Business Tips

How to manage difficult customer conversations this holiday season: 3 examples + tips

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

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.