Answering phone calls while visiting or serving customers. How to respond smartly


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You often have to worry about answering the phone calls that come in while dealing with visitors at the office.

  • If it is addressed to the person in charge who is visiting, should I go through it?
  • Can I pick up the phone calls that come to me while I’m a guest?

Both visitors and phone calls are important business communications, and neither can be neglected.

In this article, we’ll show you how to respond smartly when someone calls you while you’re visiting.

Please use it as a reference.

What is a “guest” in business?

A “guest” is a visitor with a purpose.

When a person in charge of a business partner visits the office for business negotiations, or when an acquaintance visits and responds at the office, it is considered “visiting” in business.

The word “customer” is also used when referring to “user” or “purchaser”, but when we say “visitor” in business, we are the one who places the order, not just when the other party pays the money. Also used in case

However, the word “raikyaku” also means that you are welcoming or entertaining, so it is not used for people in the company .

In addition, people outside the company who work full-time in the office, such as seconded or stationed, are not called “visitors.”

The use of “visitors” in business can be summarized in the following three points.

  • Having a purpose or appointment to meet a specific person
  • be outside the company
  • Being a temporary visitor

Etiquette when a person in charge of a visitor receives a phone call

If the person in charge you want to take over is visiting a customer when you receive a call, how should you respond?

Let’s think about how to handle and handle phone calls during guests’ visits.

Priority is given to the customer in front of you during the visit.

If you receive a call while you are visiting, basically we will not answer the call and will call you back or leave a message.

Customers make appointments in advance and use their precious time to visit us.

As a courtesy to the customer who made the effort to visit, give priority to responding to the customer in front of you over the phone.

Say “I have a visitor” and OK

If the person in charge is in the office and can’t answer the phone, what is the proper way to tell them why?

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In this case, there is no problem in telling the person that 〇〇 is currently having a visitor .

It’s normal for customers to visit your company, and if they’re there, they’ll understand that you can’t answer the phone.

However, it is taboo to say the customer’s company name, name, business, etc. You don’t need to give details, just say “I have a visitor”.

Turn back after the visitor has finished

Let’s tell the other party that the person in charge will contact you after the visitor is over, and ask for your contact information and business .

In the case of customer service, the person in charge is in the company, so if you call back as soon as the call is over, it is assumed that you will be contacted within 1 to 2 hours without saying anything.

If it looks like it will take longer than that, check if you are in a hurry and if there is something you can do.

Send me a note in case of emergency

In the case of urgent matters, if we wait until the visitor is finished, the response may be delayed.

In such a case, use memos to convey your business to the person in charge without disturbing the guests as much as possible.

Write down the person to call, the subject, and the urgency in a memo, bow once, and pass the memo to the person in charge.

It’s a good idea to wait until the person in charge has read your notes before leaving in case you have any instructions .

What is the correct way to answer the phone when you are visiting?

Decide whether or not to answer the phone while you are dealing with a visitor based on the situation.

It’s true that it’s best not to answer the phone while you’re visiting, but if it’s an unavoidable situation, the other person will understand.

Remember that you are in front of a customer and try to be polite.

Case1.The phone rang while I was dealing with a visitor in the conference room.

It is polite to avoid doing other errands while you are visiting, and it is polite to use your time for the other person, but there may be times when you need to bring your mobile phone with you, such as when you are planning to receive an urgent call.

Also, the extension phone in the conference room may ring during the visitor.

When you have to answer a call, it is good manners to get the other party’s permission before answering .

Pick up the phone after simply declining, “Excuse me for a moment.”

It is also necessary to set your mobile phone to silent mode so that the sound does not get in the way.

Case2.When I was answering the phone by myself, a visitor and a call overlap

A sudden visitor came while I was answering my phone at the office.

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If you deal with it, the phone will come next time… something happens unexpectedly.

As a general rule, customers are given priority when they are visiting, but if no one else is available to answer the phone, the phone will keep ringing.

The content of the call may be urgent, and if you miss it, you may miss a business opportunity.

If this is the case, ask the customer to wait a moment and answer the phone for a quick review.

  1. First of all, I will answer the phone after refusing a word to the customer.
  2. Tell the person on the phone that you have a visitor and ask what they have to do. I will let you know that I will call you back later if I need to respond. “I am currently dealing with customers, so would it be okay if I get back to you later?”
  3. When you have finished dealing with visitors, call them. At this time, apologize for not being able to respond immediately, such as “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting” or “I’m very sorry for what I said earlier.”

Check the usage of similar words

There are two words that are similar to “visiting”: ” waiting on customers ” and ” meeting “.

Both are words that are used in situations when responding to telephone calls, so let’s review how to use them properly.

Picking up

It is easy to confuse “in visitor” with “in service”.

It is the same word that refers to dealing with customers, but “customer service” is a word used when customer service itself is a business .

Restaurants and service businesses are called “hospitality businesses”. There may be many opportunities to use “waiting on customers” in calls received at stores.

Also, if there is a window in the office, there are times when I deal with customers who visit for application procedures and inquiries, but this is also “customer service”.

Basically, when the person in charge is serving customers, the phone will not be answered and the call will be returned as soon as the customer is finished, but this may not be the case if it is urgent.

In the case of customer service, the other party may not necessarily be the customer addressed to you, so if the content of the call is urgent, you may decide to hand over the customer service to another person and give priority to handling the matter on the phone. .

In a meeting

If you are mainly having a meeting with members of the company, you can say “meeting” .

Recently, many meetings are held online, so even if you are having a web conference with a business partner, you will be in a meeting.

If the other party is in the office, you can say “during a meeting” or “during a visitor”.

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Basically, there is no answering the phone during the meeting, but if it is a meeting with only company members, it may be acceptable to convey urgent matters.

Feel free to answer the phone while visiting! “Canario”

If you receive a phone call while you are visiting a customer, you have to be polite to both the customer and the other person on the phone, and you may end up worrying about it.

Or you may be distracted by the possibility of an important phone call destined for you.

The call forwarding service ” Canario ” provided by NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation is recommended for resolving issues related to answering phone calls during guests’ visits .

AI will take the primary call and receive messages, so you can concentrate on responding to visitors without worrying about the phone .

Benefits for staff with many visitors

  • Forward your calls to your cell phone
  • If you can’t answer the phone, we will keep your message so you don’t have to worry
  • Send the message as text. You can check it quickly even if you are a visitor.

Call attendant benefits

  • All primary correspondence is done by AI, so no phone number is required
  • No need to worry about explaining the reason for absence or leaving a message to the person in charge
  • You can concentrate on your business without having to deal with intermediaries

Using “Canario” solves the burden of answering calls and worrying about missing calls.

Please use “Canario” to respect your time and value your own time.