WORKING ON THE PHONE
The reliance on email for business communication has meant that the
business telephone conversation is playing a less important role in
contemporary office life. However, when a customer wants an answer
or a client wants clarification, then often they will rely on the
direct call. Like most aspects of business English, it pays to
learn a few key phrases that you can use for every call.
You should learn a standard address with an appropriate
not Hi or
Hello.), the company name and your own name. Often people only use
their own name, but this is frustrating for a caller who wishes to
talk to a company representative, and not an individual person. If
you wish the caller to wait, then you can ask them to Hold the line, please
, but not
which is too
direct. Always make it clear to the caller what you are about to
do. For example if you are going to connect them, then use the
standard I’ll just put you
. If you have put a caller on hold, you should always
go back to them every minute or two with the following I’m afraid the line’s still busy
Do you still want to wait
If the receiving person is busy then you can use, I’m afraid, she’s in a meeting/she’s not in
the office today/she’s not at her desk at the moment.
Always offer to take a message, Can I take a message?
or Would you like to leave a message?
Always check the information by repeating it back to the caller,
Can I read that back to
This is crucial if names, numbers or addresses are
involved. If you don’t hear particular parts clearly then use
phrases such as Did you say…..? or
Finally, confirm what action you are going to take I’ll make sure he gets your message
I’ll get her to call you back
Always end the call politely, Thank you for calling, goodbye