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How to Answer the Phone? Best Tips, Tricks, and Etiquette


One might think phone calls were the ultimate remote communication medium in the world a decade ago. However, modern technology has diversified communication mediums, from Skype, VoIP, app-to-app calling solutions, texting, and social media – can you say the good old phone has died? And how to answer the phone while following the proper etiquette?

It is the opposite, and phone calls are making a solid comeback in the pandemic. Verizon reports it now has to handle more than 800 million phone calls per day on average. Similarly, AT&T revealed the cellular call volume is up 35 per cent, and the Wi-Fi-based calls had nearly doubled.

The American Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said, “We’re craving human voice.” And to fulfill the growing desire, nations across the world are employing phone calls like never before.

While it is not entirely about the frequency of calls but the time we’re staying on the phone. Verizon highlighted a 33 percent increase in the call duration from pre-pandemic averages. Verizon’s chief technology officer Kyle Malady said, “The pandemic restrictions of staying at home have renewed the people’s hunger to stay connected, voice to voice.”

According to research, the number of calls from consumers in the buying cycle is increasing while the length of calls to businesses significantly increased by 22 percent. However, as the number of phone calls is on the rise, many people don’t exactly have the knowledge of phone etiquette, especially among the younger generation.

With this in mind, here are our top telephone etiquette tips on how to answer the phone to grow professionally and personally in 2021 as a business and learn proper manners as a person.

What is Phone Etiquette?

Phone etiquettes are the manners and modes to represent yourself and the organization to customers during telephone communications. For example, how you greet the customers, your tone of voice, listening skills, word choice, and the way you close the call.

Following the proper phone etiquette can help your business to:

  • Show professionalism
  • Great first impression
  • Improve customer loyalty and trust
  • Attain high customer satisfaction

How to Answer the Phone at Work?

Answer Quickly

Being a professional entails being always available to customers and answering calls immediately. The last thing you would want is to keep a customer waiting and send them to voicemail. Always stay focused and alert to answer your phone at all times, excluding breaks. It is highly recommended to respond within three rings to have enough time to prepare and get into the zone. While picking up the call at once may leave you perplexed.

Introduce Yourself and the Business

The first thing after picking up the phone should be to introduce yourself and the business identity. By doing so, you’re asserting your credibility and informing the caller who they’re speaking with.

Speak Calmly and Clearly

Your voice is the only thing communicating with the customer, be calm, enthusiastic, and clear. Your voice is the only impression the caller will get and judge you based on your voice, as they can’t see your body language. Therefore, you want to speak as clearly as possible, projecting your message without being loud. A strong and confident voice can make the customer trust you and associate it with the company and its people. However, if you’re unable to hear or be heard, ask the customer to hand up immediately and call back.

Listen Carefully and Take Notes

When listening to the customer, be attentive and actively listen to the concerns throughout the conversation. Only after hearing everything you can have a clear and remedial response to their comments. Hence, proving to your customer that you’re present all the time and are empathetic to their inconveniences. In addition, taking notes during calls can help you keep a record and is immensely helpful post-conversation.

Stay Cheerful

You never know what the person on the other side of the phone is going through or having a bad day. Therefore, when a customer is rude to you, try to put yourself in their shoes and understand why they’re upset.

The main point is to always stay positive and friendly, particularly in the face of negativity. Your positivity might be enough to turn the caller’s outlook right around. Therefore, try to make the call experience as best as possible and create a loyal, lifetime customer.

How to Answer the Phone at Home?

There are no distinct rules for good phone manners in your home life contradicting office etiquette. The same business phone manners that you use at work are entirely applicable to your personal life. Though there might be some additions, some home scenarios call for added care and etiquette. For example, your mother doesn’t want to listen to you typing at the other end of the phone conversation or doing any other chores any more than your clients do.

Find a Quiet Environment

In case you’re in a loud and noisy environment, move somewhere quieter before answering the phone, or you can turn down the television or music. A calm atmosphere will allow you to hear the person on the other side of the phone with complete focus and make sure they can listen to your responses.

Don’t Be Distracted

Before answering a phone call, you should stop other tasks and take a moment to gather your thoughts. A distracted mind can lead to miscommunication between you and the caller you’re speaking to. On the other hand, if you’re fully available, the person on the other end will feel your full attention. For example, if you’re watching TV or reading a book when the phone rings, stop everything before attending the call.

A Polite and Pleasant Tone

Speak in a pleasant tone of voice to say “Hello” and state your name. And if you don’t recognize the caller, you can politely ask for the name. Even if you know it’s a friend or family member, you should always be polite and greet them warmly, just like you’d do when they would come to your home. Say something like, “Hi Ben! How are you doing?”

Take Notes

If the call is intended for another family member who’s unavailable at the moment, take down the caller’s information. Say something like, “I’m sorry, Mrs. Ben, my mother is not available at the moment. May I take a message?” Make sure to record the name of the person, phone number, and the reason they’re trying to reach the person on a notepad in legible and clear handwriting.

How to Answer a Phone Interview Call

Phone interviews are becoming more common these days, with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic hanging over our heads. It can be very convenient because you won’t have to dress up and show in person to an interview. However, it doesn’t mean you can take it for granted. You have to be professional and polite while maintaining a courteous tone throughout the conversation.

  • How to answer an interview phone call?

The most crucial part of a phone interview is answering the phone call when it rings. You are most probably expecting the call, and you need to answer the phone professionally. Greet the interviewer professionally while saying “Hello” and then state your name clearly. If you fumble with words when you answer the phone, the interviewer might think you lack communication or social skills.

  • Let the interviewer know you were expecting the call.

The interviewer will return your greetings and let you know their names and who they are. If you have a weak memory, jot down their names, so you don’t forget, and let them know you were looking forward to hearing from them and excited to discuss the opportunity at their company.

  • Address the interviewer cordially.

You need to dress formally and sit up straight to reinforce the fact that it’s a professional interview. Though you might think you’re on the phone and can do whatever you may like. But be careful about getting into a more casual tone.

  • Listen carefully and take a moment before responding.

Voice is the only input that can be difficult to comprehend the sense and stay focused. Focus on what the interviewer is saying. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say or drifting off to another world.

The main benefit of a phone interview is that you can jot down notes as the interviewer is asking questions. This can give you time and space to ensure you answer the question completely. The approach can be instrumental if the interviewer asks a multi-part question. You can easily impress the interviewer with an organized answer.

  • Speak clearly and don’t mumble

Even if your call connection is clear and crisp, it is comparatively more difficult to understand someone over the phone than it would be in person. You can overcome the issue with slow, deliberate speech and enunciate words. Don’t place hands on your face or talk lying down as the voice clarity can be affected.

  • Ask questions to showcase your interest.

Like any other communication, make the interview a give-and-take conversation. The interviewer probably would ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview. You need to also take it upon yourself to ask questions during the interview whenever the opportunity presents itself. That will voice a sense of interest and enthusiasm from your end.

How to Get Someone to Answer the Phone

Everyone, executives, buyers, or your boss, wants to take calls from precise and practical people. You might be asking for assistance on a project, intervention on a problem, or insight on an impending challenge; it doesn’t matter. What matters is gratitude and developing a constructive relationship where the phone receiver doesn’t feel drained or trapped. Plan before calling and be optimistic, simple, and fast in conveying what you want.

  • Leave a message

In case someone you’re trying to reach is not picking up their phone. The first thing you should do is inform the person why you’re calling, how urgent it is, and how soon they need to get back. For example, if you’re calling your manager and he’s not picking up, make sure you send a text with all the essential details of why you’re trying to reach him – “Hi, Mr. Ross, I’m trying to call you regarding the project nova. We have a deadline tomorrow, and I need your input on one of the features. So please call me back as soon as possible.”

  • Set time expectations straight

Set the time expectations straight and inform the person you’re going to call at what time and hour. So they can make themselves available for the call. And once you call, you can again intimidate that you’ll just need a few minutes of their time.

  • Re-connect first and fast

Connect fast and precisely put yourself in the picture with the receiver. For example, “I was thinking of you the other day when I came across..” or “I need your input on the project I’m planning to start working on.”

  • Give before you ask

Give something to the person on the other end before you ask what you’re calling for. Then, compliment them and your relationship with them by saying something like, “The thing you said in the past stuck in my mind, and motivated me to do..” and tell them why it was helpful and essential. A compliment or good news can always boost and prompt the phone call receiver to be open to your requests.

  • Know what you want specifically

Be precise and convey what you want directly. For example, if you’re trying to figure out something or need anything, ask the person how they can help. The request needs to be specific and a selection from options. The conversation should always be tighter and let the person choose from the possibilities rather than brainstorming.

  • Thank and exit

Finish with a positive attitude and highlight you got what you needed. And thank the person for taking the call and helping you.


Do you follow telephone etiquette either in the office or at home? Think about it the next time your phone rings. Technology is changing the way we interact and the ways we show respect and compassion towards other people. However, etiquettes are always in style and needed. Whether you want to sell a product, communicate with your family, or call your boss.

It might seem trivial to you, but every word on a phone call matters. And especially how you say those words can matter even more. Without following proper manners and etiquette, you can decrease your massive support and potential revenue. So if you need a cheap international calling solution to connect across the continent and within the UK – Talk Home offers a reliable and crisp calling experience because your voice matters.



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