Never before in history has communication been so immediate and so accessible. Equally, never before have people been so inconsiderate and rude with their communication techniques. In this world, a little bit of phone etiquette goes a long way.
As ladies, we should be setting the precedent for acceptable etiquette. If we don’t hold up the standard for politeness and decency, then who will? This is a great example of how our female sensitivities can improve the world just a little bit.
Basic Phone Etiquette
Answering the phone:
The correct greeting is “Hello”. “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon”, and “Good Evening” are also quite acceptable, but may not be the way to go if you receive a lot of international phone calls from various timezones. You may wish to follow this greeting with your name, your business or household.
My greeting is as simple as “Hello. Lynda Margaret speaking.”
If the call is a wrong number, politely respond with “There is nobody by that name here. Have a nice day”. There is no need to be rude. Do not provide them with any personal information. If they had called the correct number they would already have the information.
A common mistake: If the call is for someone else in your household, do not say “hang on” then drop the phone. You should say “May I ask who is calling?” then say “One moment please, I will see if she is available.” Should the person not be available at that time, you should say “I am sorry but she is not available at the moment. May I take a message?” Don’t forget to actually write down the message and include a return phone number.
Hint: Don’t be afraid to tell your caller that they have phoned at an awkward moment and suggest a more suitable time that they could call you back. It is much preferable to phone back later, than to wonder why the person you phoned is being short with you.
Making phone calls:
A general rule for times is to keep your calls between 9 am and 9 pm, except for Sunday mornings when it is preferable not to phone at all.
Don’t give up on the call until it has rung at least ten times, or has gone to voicemail. Your impatience could result in a person who has rushed to the phone feeling very frustrated and wondering who wanted to talk to them.
If I am phoning an elderly family member, I will always let the phone ring out twice, as a respect that it may take them time to hear the phone, and then get to the phone.
When the call is answered, state your name and the reason for calling.
Keep your phone call as short as possible. You may have interrupted them doing something else. They may have to pay for the incoming call, so always err on the side of too short a call.
With these above tips, you can ensure that your phone calls are welcome. Etiquette means having consideration for other people. I love that, as women, we can help to encourage correct phone etiquette and make this world a little more pleasant in which to live.
If etiquette and feminine charm is of value to you, I recommend that you join our Feminine Foundations Program where we study mindset, self-care, dress, looks, poise, self-development, speech, and etiquette.
What phone etiquette experiences of advice do you have to share?
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