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Phone Etiquette Tips
- Do not eat, drink or chew gum while speaking to a caller on the phone.
- Speak clearly and project a positive attitude.
- Have necessary resources available (message pad, telephone list, and pen).
- Identify yourself when answering (“Good morning, Department Name, this is Jane Doe.”)
- Do not converse with others while on a call. If necessary, place the caller on hold (press the hold button and do not lay the phone on the desk).
- Always ask permission to place someone on hold.
- Never leave the caller on hold for too long, without checking back with them and thanking them for their patience.
- When transferring a call, give the caller the extension number you are transferring them to, in case the call is lost.
- When transferring, share the name of the person calling and whether it is a student, staff, faculty or outside caller.
- Take complete and accurate messages:
- Ask the caller for their first and last name. Ask for the correct spelling.
- Write down reason for call, business affiliation, date, time, and telephone number.
- Repeat message and name back to caller for clarity about what you heard.
- Write legibly.
- If the person is unavailable (out of the office, in a meeting, in the bathroom, out to lunch, at a doctor’s appointment), unless otherwise instructed, be discreet about the person’s whereabouts. You might say: “I’m sorry, she’s unavailable right now. Is there something I can help you with?”, “May I refer your call to someone else in the department?” or “May I transfer you to her voicemail?”
- When ending a phone call, always say “thank you” and “goodbye.”
- When leaving a message, make sure to provide your name, the College’s name, department, telephone number, and a concise message.