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ARTICLESTelephone Manners


Telephone communication is as exhaustive as direct service to a customer. Barring visual communication, all aspects of service are applicable here.


If you have committed to the customer that you will call back with replies to his queries then do so at any cost. Call him even if you do not have anything concrete or positive. Even if things are at status quo let the customer know it. If you have told him that you would call him by 1100hrs then do so by 1100hrs. The logic here is very simple. The customer has called you, as he needs to get something from you. You have promised to call him back. He is hence waiting for your call. By calling him in time and not keeping him waiting only goes to shows how important the customer is to you. Even if your reply is not affirmative get back to the customer and get it over with. Sooner the better. Customers respect honesty and forthrightness.


Just as the customer cannot see you, you cannot see the customer. The only difference in this scenario is that while you have to go out of your way to communicate effectively, he need not put in the same effort. He has to put his problem in the best way he knows. It is our duty to elicit enough information to help serve him better. His concept of directions could be totally different from what you visualise. His explanation of the product, colour, specification or size would be, as he perceives it. What is gray to him could be metallic silver to you. Red means crimson. Jumbo to him is medium to you. It is our duty to exhibit patience and manage the call such as to understand his requirements, seek clarifications if necessary, repeat it to him so that he understands what he is going to get is what he asked for, and then render service and solutions.

While closing a call make sure that your customer disconnects before you do. Contrary is impolite.


Jim called 'Round the Clock' technology consultants to enquire about their working hours.

The call is answered in the first ring ...

'Thank you for calling Round the Clock technology consultants.

If you know the number of the person you wish to speak to please dial now or dial 1 for showroom sales, 2 for sales support, 3 for service, 4 for administration, 5 for accounts

'1' (as his finger was on that button)

Please dial 1 for Information Technology, 2 for Wireless systems, 3 for Design solutions, 4 for ...

'2' (which happens to be his date of birth)

Please dial 1 for Tim, 2 for Barry, 3 for Jane, 4 for Roy


rings thrice ...

You have reached the voice mail of Roy. I am sorry I am unable to take your call. Please leave your name, telephone number and a brief message after the beep or you could dial '0' to go back to the previous menu.


Please dial 1 for Tim, 2 for Barry, 3 for Jane, 4 for Roy ...

Jim thinks 'isn't there a human being I can speak to, just to know their working hours'

Out of sheer frustration Jim hangs up and tries another consultant.

Organisations delirious with technology often tend to replace machine to man. While this might seem impressive, they fail to realise that a machine can never service a customer with the human touch. After all, the customer is also a human being. Someone, who can think, feel and act.

Give him the due importance, have a smile and pay attention to his call. Sound efficient and interested. Be polite and help him with his needs. Remember it is all about WHAT you say and HOW you say it. After all his satisfaction is our business.



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