Talk Your Way to Success With Our Top Five Tips on Telephone Etiquette

Apart from a neat, tidy reception area with a helpful, smiling receptionist, the telephone is still one of the principal methods of communication between your business and clients.  It might be the first time a prospective client contacts you or your company and could be instrumental in giving a good, positive impression on a caller.

Below are my five tips to help with some basic telephone etiquette:-

1. Prepare yourself as soon as the telephone rings so that you answer promptly with:-

  • your complete attention;
  • professionalism;
  • enthusiasm, with a pleasant manner and a smile; and
  • confidence that you will either deal with the matter in question; or pass it on to a colleague specialising in the particular enquiry.

2. A good policy is to answer calls within three or four rings to prevent a loss of interest.

3. Speaking clearly, introduce yourself and your organisation so callers are aware they have reached the correct number and that they will be dealt with effectively.

4. If callers cannot be put through to the person they ask for, they must be given the option of:-

  • being transferred to their secretary or manager or anyone able to help; or
  • leaving a voicemail message.

5. When recording your answerphone message, it is helpful and reassuring to have in place a professional, clear, short message stating your name and letting callers know that:-

  • they will receive your returned call as soon as you are able;
  • you are away from the office and will return their call on your return on a given day and date.  Make a note in your calendar to remind you to update both phone and e-mail messages before and after holidays;
  • they can leave a message which will be dealt with as soon as possible; and/or
  • they can revert to the switchboard to be transferred to a colleague in the office.

A good, clear voicemail message should create a feeling of confidence that your client will be dealt with efficiently once the message has been received.

Maureen Lock – Secretary

Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors is an accountancy practice based in London. Westbury have been providing Accounting and Tax solutions to small and medium sized businesses since 1936. Talk to the team at Westbury on 0207 253 7272 or visit