Phone Answering Policy and Procedure: Tips for Businesses

Adam Alred • 10 Dec 2022 • 2 min read

Despite the rise of social media messaging and live chat services, communication by phone is still popular and is likely to stay that way, especially when people need customer service. For a business, it’s crucial to have a phone answering policy and procedure in place that ensures that each employee knows the protocol when the phone rings and each customer gets the best experience possible. There’s an art to providing good customer service by phone, but it’s fairly simple to learn.

Phone Answering Protocol and Etiquette Tips

  • Answer the phone by the third ring out of respect for the caller’s time.
  • Offer a standard greeting. “Hello” is standard for personal calls, but at a business, you’ll need a more specialized greeting. At a minimum, you should say the name of the business and ask how you can help the caller. It’s also a good idea to include your own name. An example of a good greeting might be, “Thank you for calling Bob’s Pizza. This is Mary. How can I help you?”
  • Smile! Even though the person on the other end of the line can’t see you, when you smile, the tone of your voice naturally changes to sound more upbeat.
  • Use common and professional language. Slang can sound unprofessional, and jargon can be confusing for customers. If you can, try to avoid using filler words like “um” or “like” as well.
  • If you need to put someone on hold, ask for their permission first as a show of respect for their time. It’s a simple gesture that can go a long way with customers, especially if you’re facing long wait times and low staffing.
  • Take messages for your colleagues or superiors so they can pick up where you left off seamlessly, without having to ask the customer to repeat information.
  • End the phone call on a positive note by wishing them well or thanking them. This often makes customers feel more positive about the call and the business as a whole, so they may be more comfortable doing business with you in the future or calling to make other requests.

Outsource Your Calls to a Service That Understands Good Phone Answering Policy and Procedure

At VoiceNation, our U.S.-based operators are highly trained in phone answering etiquette and understand how important it is for your customers to get the best treatment possible. Our phone answering protocol provides prompt, professional service to every caller, every time. We can also use tailor-made scripts that you’ve come up with to ensure that every person who calls your business gets a seamless experience, just like they’ve spoken to a member of your staff. And our live answering service is always here to handle your calls, 24/7/365, so your customers will never have to call back later to speak to someone. Sign up for a free trial today to see if VoiceNation is right for you.

By Adam Alred

VP of IT @ VoiceNation