Here at Ruby, we’re all about growth. From how we greet callers to elevating employee experience, finding new ways to improve the way we do things is a part of our culture.
Over the years, and through thousands upon thousands of phone calls, we’ve discovered some “do’s” and “do not’s” in the way of telephone etiquette. We’ve assembled a call-handling guide to help you “Ruby-fy” your phone skills and show callers you care:
Don’t say what. Your tone is just as important as your content during a conversation, if not more so. A short question like “What?” can sound brusque to a caller, even when delivered delicately. If you need to clarify what your caller said, add some padding to your query. Try “Would you mind repeating that?” instead of a simple “What?“
Put some may in your day. Again, padding a question can help it feel friendlier. Rather than asking “What is your name?” or “Who is this?” opt for this standby: “May I ask who is calling?” In fact, beginning with “May I” is a surefire way to soften just about any question well. Try these on for size:
“May I have your telephone number?”
“May I ask what company you’re with?”
“May I offer you his voicemail?”
“May I take a message?”
Pretty classy, right?
Preface your pause politely. When you need a short conversational break to research a caller’s question, it’s best to introduce the upcoming pause. Skip “Just a second” and “Just a sec,” even if a few seconds of silence is all you need. Instead, keep it professional and polite with a phrase like “One moment, please.” If you need more than a few seconds, though, always be sure to follow the next guideline…
Ask before pressing the Hold key. Even the magic word can’t make a statement like “Hold, please” sound warm. Before treating your caller to a bit of hold music, ask permission. “May I place you on hold for a moment?” is the Ruby standard. Another tip from our live virtual receptionist crew is to thank the caller when resuming your conversation. “Thank you so much for your patience” is a great way to get back into the flow of a call.
A final Ruby must: If your caller declines to be placed on hold, don’t place the call on hold. Instead, stay on the line as you do what you need to do.