Answering the Phone: Easily Confirm Information with a Spelling Alphabet


Do you keep a spelling alphabet at your desk? If you answer telephone calls and take messages, our expert virtual receptionists recommend it! The live virtual receptionists at Ruby® Receptionists often use these guides to confirm spelling when they are handling calls and taking messages.

Just what is a spelling alphabet, you ask? It’s a list of words used to clarify letters: A as in Alpha, B as in Bravo, C as in Charlie. You’re probably somewhat familiar with the International Civil Aviation Organization alphabet used by the police and military during radio communication (and often referenced in cool action films). We equip each new virtual receptionist at Ruby with a copy of the ICAO alphabet. Check it out on your left! We also give our phone answering experts a copy of the list you see on your right, which we tweaked ourselves — we like to have options, because after all, asking “Was that P as in Papa?” might sound weird, right?

Creating a spelling alphabet of your own can be fun.  When crafting a spelling alphabet, be sure to pick words that capture the unique sounds of letters. P as in potato is great; P as in peach is not, because peach rhymes with beach, and P rhymes with B. The point of a spelling alphabet is to make distinguishing between similar-sounding letters a cinch, so take special care when picking words for sound-alikes such as M and N, P and B, and S and F. Whether you use the ICAO or make your own, a spelling alphabet is a great way to improve your phone answering and message-taking chops!

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