When it comes to call answering, we’re true professionals. We’ve been in the virtual receptionist business for years. During that time, we’ve worked with dozens of skilled receptionists, answered hundreds of thousands of calls, and found ways to inject friendliness and customer service into professional phone conversations.
We believe in sharing what we know, so if you’re answering the phones at your business and want to make sure you’re taking the right approach, you’ll love these 3 answering strategies.
Here are 3 ways to answer the phone professionally when you don’t have a receptionist.
3 Ways to Answer the Phone Professionally
Thank you for calling Conversational, how may I help you?
This greeting is short and professional, but still polite. If you don’t want to identify yourself as an individual, just say the company name and ask how you can help the caller.
Sometimes, business owners prefer to keep their CEO/Founder status hidden if they’re answering the phones. Being the CEO and taking time to interact with customers is fantastic, but callers tend to assume that the company is very small and less trustworthy if the owner is the one taking calls.
Thanks for calling Conversational. This is Jane, how may I help you?
If you don’t mind revealing your name to callers, use this greeting instead. When you can add a personal dimension, such as your own name, to a call, it results in better customer service.
Additionally, when you share your name with the caller, they have an easy way to know exactly who they spoke to should they need to call back or find information about the call later. Customer service works best when both sides know who they’re speaking to.
Good afternoon! Thanks for calling Conversational. How may I help you?
While all three greetings here are very similar, it’s smart to have a few in rotation to use so you’re not parroting the same phrases over and over. By adding a time-specific, positive greeting to your answer (Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, etc.) you connect with the person on the other end of the line.
We always like to make the greeting as enthusiastic as possible without spilling over into cheerleader-esque. We teach our virtual receptionists to smile while speaking on the phone to ensure a natural, positive inflection goes into the voice. Callers notice when the person they’re speaking to is passionate about their job and when it’s a chore for them.
When it comes to answering personal phone calls, there are a lot more options than answering business phone calls. You can pick up the phone and say hello, hey, or what’s up to a friend without issue, but try doing that to a customer and you’ll likely receive a complaint.
Business callers want to know that they’ve reached the company they were trying to dial and they need to know that you’re polite. That’s why we recommend thanking the caller for their time and telling them what company they’ve reached right away.
If you notice, the three call greetings above contain at least two of the following elements:
- Greet the caller
- Tell the caller who you are
- Thank the caller*
- Tell the caller what company they’ve reached*
*A call cannot be answered professionally without these two elements. Thank the caller and let them know what company they’ve reached before doing anything else on the call.
There are many more ways to answer the phone professionally, but these three are the most commonly accepted. Try using these 3 phrases when you answer the phone to make your customer service more consistent.