Great telephone greeting

As a Ruby virtual receptionist, I have the opportunity to be the first point of contact for our clients. I — and my fellow receptionists — always have a friendly, professional, and clear tone when speaking with callers; we like to call this having “Ruby tone.” However, there is another aspect that is just as crucial as tone and that is having a well-crafted greeting. Your greeting is like your profile picture on Facebook. It is the first impression your callers get about your business. After saying hundreds of greetings a day, I have noticed that there are a few specific aspects that contribute to a great greeting.

Sound Natural

Overall, the getting should flow and be easy to say. A difficult greeting that you stumble over may come off poorly. Sincerity will help you sound natural. Take a moment before saying the greeting to clear your throat and think about what you are about to say. A smile helps, too!


“Good morning,” “good afternoon,” and “good evening” go a long way. Some businesses like to take it a step further with custom greetings like, “It’s a great day at Main Street Insurance. How may I help you?” A welcoming opener to your greeting is a nice way to ease into the call and to show your callers that you are not too busy to be polite. I often get great responses from callers like, “Good morning to you!” or “You sound so pleasant!”

Offer Assistance

“How may I help you?” is a natural way to end your greeting. Callers know that this is their cue to talk, and it’s warm and welcoming. Improper English can be a big turn off, so don’t forget to use “may” and not “can.”

Not Too Long, Not Too Short

A greeting that is too long may be off-putting to callers, especially familiar or frequent callers who could hear it several times a week (or day!). On the other hand, a greeting that is too short, or cuts off abruptly may cause confusion for your callers or may come off as curt and impolite.

Introduce Yourself

You don’t necessarily have to introduce yourself individually, but it is important to introduce the company. This way the caller knows right away if they have the correct number. A good example of this is by saying “Smith and Wright Law. How may I help you?” Instead of “Thank you for calling. How may I help you?”

I hope that these tips are helpful when thinking about your company’s greeting. Remember that your greeting is often your caller’s very first impression of your company. It can even be the difference between a potential new client choosing to work with you or another business. It is not uncommon that I hear something along the lines of, “Your office was so professional and kind that I decided to go with you.” So keep it simple and direct while maintaining character and manners and you will be ready to wow your callers!