Woman on phone

Proper phone etiquette is essential in the workplace. Spending your days answering and returning phone calls can be tedious, especially when the calls interrupt other tasks that you’re juggling. Implementing emotional intelligence and mindfulness when on the phone may help maintain a professional attitude and make taking calls enjoyable. Here are a few key tips to keep phone conversations polite and efficient.

Phone Etiquette Begins with Tact

While it’s evident that being polite and professional are priorities on any phone call, sometimes other work distractions can cut your dialogue short. It’s helpful to remember that this phone conversation may be the caller’s first impression of the business you’re representing. Basic phone etiquette practices, including identifying yourself when answering and using phrases like “please” and “thank you” when interrupting the caller and ending the phone call, ensure that the caller feels important. Even practices like asking for and using the caller’s name can personalize their experience and enhance their impression.

Be a Good Listener

Being a good listener is easier said than done during a busy workday, but make an effort to make sure the caller feels that their needs are heard. If you’re unable to help or answer the caller’s question at that moment, ask if you can put them on hold or call them back, rather than appearing dismissive. Of course, always ask before putting a caller on hold and thank them for waiting once returning to the call. Being a good listener includes recording the caller’s details, such as their name and number, with accuracy.

Keep a Pen and Paper Nearby

Having a pen and paper handy to jot down comments, questions, and any other miscellaneous details can prevent keeping the caller on the line longer than necessary. Even if you have a perfect memory, it’s easy to forget small details. Having a dedicated notebook always available for phone calls can help limit the phone call’s duration, which can also help fend off frustration––both of which can appear unprofessional. Also, taking notes during the phone call allows you to rephrase the message before ending the call, making sure you didn’t miss any details.

Breathe Deep

Sometimes an incessantly ringing phone can put you on edge––especially when other tasks demand your immediate attention. Exercise a bit of mindfulness by pausing and taking a deep breath before answering the phone when you feel the pressure of getting it all done. Remember your job is to be helpful so, even on difficult calls, proper phone etiquette requires patience.

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