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ARTICLESTelephone Manners


The communication industry is working hard to make things easier and more convenient for consumers. Why walk when you can talk is the slant. This concept has got users so enamoUred that at times people call from one end of the room to the other end not realising that the call actually travels half way round the globe to connect. Its convenience and importance has not spared even those who otherwise led a rustic lifestyle.

While this is definitely a boon, do today's businesses take advantage and optimise its use? 

Give a moment to reflect on your business, customer enquiries, service and satisfaction. There was a time when you had 1000 enquiries a month. Most of them were in person barring a few 100 who could afford a telephone. As time progressed communication turned revolutionary. Telephones became smaller, features were loaded, long distance calls - what's that! And to top it all, prices dropped making it affordable to more and more people who took to the telephone as a means of communication. Over time, added with growth, today you have 9900 enquiries thru phone and maybe 100 customers who walk in.

This stark reality should get anyone jumping from his chair and heading straight towards the reception, sales counter, enquiry desk or wherever customers first contact the company to check what's happening.

Is the telephone used well so as to improve and increase business? Are you managing to convert a caller to a customer? Do you invite your customer, do you entice your customer to start doing business with you. Are you smiling on the phone?

Smile on the phone is a vital ingredient that adds flavour to customer service. It is what draws a customer to your company. For only when you smile on the phone can you get the caller to smile and feel wanted. Only then will he feel like going ahead with his query. Only then will he consider doing business with you. Only then will he think of becoming your customer. It is the starting point.

While one cannot control customer thoughts one can definitely set it thinking in a favourable and right direction. This would be possible when a customer is able to visualise a friendly person on the other end. For this you need to smile on the phone. Be warm and friendly. Sound efficient and professional. Put life in your voice. Ensure words speak louder than actions.


It might sound silly to smile on the phone. However one way of doing this is to be able to see yourself smiling and look willing and ready to assist the customer. For if you are looking positive and smiling this is sure to reflect in your voice and words. Try it. Furthermore think for a moment that the voice you are hearing is real and not through any gadget. Visualise the caller to have come in person and give him that beautiful smile. A smile, that transmits through the phone to the caller. Remember this is the starting point and you better do it well to get his business.

Your response to the call sets him or her visualising the person on the other end. The manner you answer the call has definitely triggered an image of the person answering it. She sounds efficient; he has a lisp; hope she knows what she is saying; oh! How he breathes into the phone; she sounds beautiful. Pre-conceived notions set him thinking in favour or against the organisation. It is hence imperative to sound warm and friendly such that would assure the customer that he has called the right number.

Just as a customer is free to imagine the person on the other end, you can also imagine your caller. While you may visualise the caller's voice, size, colour, age etc don't forget to visualise him as the person with whom you are going to start a conversation and depending on how you respond he will decide on doing business. He is your potential customer, a person who can make or break your business. Go the extra mile. Put that much more effort to make him feel welcome and wanted.


Making the caller feel wanted depends in the manner you address the call. With this call and depending on how the call proceeds he is setting standards of the company. He is determining his future with the company. How soon was the call answered, how did you sound when you started the address. Did you speak in a hurry, were you composed, was your voice very low or did it bellow, were you clear in the address, did you pronounce your company as 'Abuzee n company' or was it 'A B C and company'. The manner of your address will set the customer forming an image of the company. A call answered well gives confidence to the caller that he is in the right place. They sounded efficient they must be good. It is important to sound efficient and professional for him to feel like meeting you.


The life you put in your voice reflects the kind of organisation. You need to sound bubbling with energy and enthusiasm to be able to transmit the same exuberance to your customer. For this helps entice him to come in person and check things out for himself. Imagine a person answering, who sounds as though he just woke up from his sleep. What impression will the customer have? How will his thoughts run? Will he want to continue the conversation or will he try to cut the call ASAP to call another company.

In short, do you want to talk, relate or do business with an organisation that sounds dead and morose or with one that sounds full of life and vitality?


Words should speak louder than actions. The logic is simple. As a customer walks in you would smile and greet him and in return the customer smiles back at you. Now the customer has seen your smile, he is well aware of the attention he is receiving; he is seeing the person behind the voice. He has received positive vibes all along and hence decides to go ahead with his enquiry.

A telephone call does not give him all these advantages. He cannot see you or your smile.

It is then important to translate those actions to words such that he will understand to decipher to actions.

Since he cannot see you, it is important that we make up the shortfall with the only line of communication open to us, which is our voice and words. You have to use it to the optimum to compensate the other lines of communication.

Remember a call is all that you have, to start with. Make the most of it. SMILE ON THE PHONE.



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