Receptionist Etiquette Tip: Three Ways to Let Callers Know You’re Listening

Ruby's virtual receptionists let callers know they're listening!
Photo by Phillie Casablanca

If telephone answering is part of your job, you know how important it is to be a good listener. The remote receptionist crew at Ruby uses these three tips to show our excellent listening skills to callers:

Restate.

When a caller gives a lot of information, paraphrase it back to the caller in your own words. This lets a caller know you’re paying close attention, and helps to ensure that any message you take will be complete and detailed. Take a cue from our virtual receptionists and repeat telephone numbers, addresses, and any numerical information callers give, and confirm company names, street names, city names, or any easily-confusable words. If you’re unsure how to spell your caller’s name, be courteous and verify spelling when taking a message. Your caller and your employer will appreciate the extra care you take for the sake of accuracy!

Relate.

If your caller shares news or information that seems important to them, reach out and share some supportive words. Simple statements like “That’s so wonderful to hear!” and “I’m happy for you!” will improve a caller’s already-good mood. When a caller relays something troublesome, show your kindness with a comment like “I’m so sorry to hear that.” People love to feel understood, so if you are moved in an empathetic way by your caller, try showing it. Don’t force it — always be sincere when relating to a caller. But when you honestly feel like sharing a few words of encouragement with your caller, take the time to do so.

Use your caller’s name.

There’s no simpler way to let a caller know you’re listening than to use the caller’s name. Try repeating a caller’s name as soon as they give it to you. A simple “Thank you, [Name]!” is a great way to get the job done. People love hearing their names for all sorts of reasons, and when a caller hears his or her name from you, their confidence in you as the office receptionist will be instantly established. You’ll build a personal rapport while assuring the caller that you’re listening carefully. What a great way to begin a telephone conversation!

We hope that you’re finding this “Receptionist Etiquette Tips” series helpful. If you’d like us to explore a specific topic in the future, we’d love to hear from you! Please post your suggestion in the comments below.

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