Receptionist Etiquette: Setting Great Expectations for Callers, Part 1

Telephone etiquetteThe virtual receptionists at Ruby® love taking care of our callers and clients. Our telephone answering champs work hard to represent our clients well while giving callers the help they need, and that means setting reasonable expectations for callers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be treating you to a few expectation setting tips. To kick things off, here’s our first receptionist etiquette tip for setting great caller expectations:  Avoid saying “She’s on the other line at the moment.”

This statement may be true, but letting your caller know the person they’re trying to reach is on the other line may cause the caller to infer that their call will be returned shortly, and that’s not always the case. Furthermore, saying “She’s on the other line,” may prompt your caller to say something like “Great! I’ll wait on hold until she’s off the phone,” which can be problematic for many reasons. Sure, she may be done with her current call in a minute or two, but who knows if she’ll be free to talk to your caller then?

If phone answering is part of your job, talk with your employer and decide on a standard response to use when she’s on the other line, away from the phone, or otherwise indisposed. Our remote receptionists like “She’s away from the phone at the moment.” Another good option: “She’s unavailable at the moment.” Both of these responses are best followed by an offer of assistance. Here’s one way our live virtual receptionists do it:

She’s away from the phone at the moment, but she’ll be happy to return your call. May I have your telephone number?

Do you have any telephone etiquette questions for the Ruby team? We’d love to take a shot at answering them! Share @callruby on Twitter!

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