[Basics of Business Etiquette] What are the points of creating a company telephone manual?


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In addition to general business etiquette, there are also company-specific rules and conventions when it comes to answering telephone calls at companies.

The telephone handling manual is useful for learning the procedures and manners of telephone handling work that are often remembered.

In this article, I will explain the basic etiquette that you want to include in your company’s telephone manual.

Arrange the content introduced and use it to create your own manual that reflects your company rules.

Acquire the basics of business etiquette by answering company telephones

Among the younger generation, there is an increasing number of people who say that they “rarely use landline phones” and “have never used a telephone intermediary”, and many people feel that they are not good at handling landline phones.

However, it is never a waste to experience telephone correspondence during the new employee era.

Telephone calls are a valuable opportunity to communicate directly with business partners and customers.

By answering the phone, you will be able to gain a deeper understanding of your company’s business, such as the temperament of your business partners and the needs of your customers.

Also, phone etiquette applies to customer service and customer service, so by answering the phone, you will naturally acquire the practical ability to deal with customers.

Answering the company phone is also an important step in laying the foundation for your work.

Manual for responding to phone calls at work

When a new employee joins a company, they often start by answering incoming calls.

Let’s check the etiquette when answering the phone at the company.

Pick up within 3 calls

When the phone rings, stop what you are doing and pick up the phone as soon as possible.

In general, it is said to be business etiquette to pick up within 3 rings, but depending on the company or department, there may be rules such as “within 2 rings” or “first call”.

Write down your rules in your manual.

Give your company name and name

In business, the person answering the phone will give their name first.

“Thank you for calling me. I’m Tanaka, sales department of 〇〇 Co., Ltd.”

If you do not pick up the phone within 3 calls, you may call yourself “Thank you for waiting. Co., Ltd. …”.

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If your company has decided on the first voice or how to say your name, let’s specify it in the manual.

use the correct honorific

When answering the phone, it is necessary to use the correct language suitable for the business scene.

For example, in the first person, it is common to use “watakushi” regardless of age or gender.

In addition, we use respectful language for the other party (the company) and humble language for our company.

Honorifics and humble words are easy to confuse, so let’s organize them so that they can be used properly.

Examples of honorifics

Basic form Honorific example sentence
To tell say As Mr. ○○ said
look take a look I will send you the materials, so please take a look.
come come, come, come Thank you for coming today.

Examples of humble words

Basic form Humble language example sentence
To tell say, say 〇〇 from our company said
look see I saw the document
come visit, ask I am planning to visit you tomorrow

Repeat the person’s name and key words

If you make a mistake in proper nouns such as the name of the person you are calling or the company name, you may lose credibility as a company.

It is safe to get into the habit of repeating, “I am Mr. Takahashi from XX company.”

Even if you couldn’t hear it the first time or misheard it, repeating it will give you an opportunity to check it.

Manners when holding

“Hold” is a convenient function that allows you to pause a call for intermediation or research, but keep in mind that you are making the other party wait while you are on hold, so be careful not to overuse it.

A word before I put it on hold

It’s annoying when someone suddenly puts your phone on hold when you’re about to say something.

Decline before hitting the hold button so you don’t interrupt the other person.

Some people don’t like being kept waiting, so it’s safe to put it on hold after getting the other person’s consent, saying, “I’ll look into it, so is it okay to put it on hold? “

Release within 30 seconds

The hold time is said to be limited to 30 seconds.

It may seem short to do some research or talk to your boss, but 30 seconds is a very long time for those who are waiting.

Aim for 30 seconds per hold, and if you can’t solve the problem, cancel the hold once and ask the other party if you can wait.

Incoming calls are charged to the other party, so if the call is going to be long, it may be better to call it back.

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Closing etiquette

“All’s well that ends well” applies to company phone calls as well.

Even if you are doing a good job, if the end of the call is messy, it will be ruined.

Do not let your guard down until you hang up the phone, and try to be polite.

Make sure you don’t forget to ask

At the end of the call, check to see if there are any omissions in the other party’s name, company name, contact information, business, etc.

Make sure you have all the information you need, especially if you have been asked to do something or have a message for another employee.

If you have any questions or concerns, please clear them before hanging up.

name one last time

When you finish the call, give your name again, saying, “Yes, 〇〇 from the sales department has responded.”

If you know the name of the employee who accepted the request, you can give the other party a sense of security because you can name them if you need to contact them for additional information.

You may forget to give your name when you pick up the phone, so it’s a good idea to say your name again at the end.

After the other party hangs up, gently hang up the handset

It’s good manners to say “the caller hangs up first”.

When receiving a call, wait until the other party hangs up before hanging up.

If the other party does not hang up easily, wait for a while, say “Excuse me,” and then hang up.

If you put down the handset too vigorously, the other party will hear a “Gachan!”

Out-of-office manual

If the person in charge of the caller is not at the company, it is necessary to listen to the business, think about what kind of response is necessary, and then send the message to the person in charge.

There are three main ways to deal with absenteeism:

  • Call back when the person in charge returns
  • say you got a call
  • Respond on behalf of representative

For urgent matters or matters that can be handled by someone other than the person in charge, the person who answers the phone may respond instead.

However, in many cases, you will have to leave a message to the person in charge, so it is a good idea to create a manual on how to respond when you are away and how to leave a message.

Leave it in writing for later confirmation

As a general rule, it is recommended to leave messages in writing, such as on paper, by e-mail, chat, etc.

This is so that the person in charge can follow up when responding.

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In addition, keeping a record helps avoid misunderstandings of what is said and what is not said, and prevents miscommunication .

Summarize concisely with bullet points

The point of a message memo is to summarize it concisely so that you can understand the purpose at a glance.

example in writing

“At 15:30 on February 15th, I received a call from 〇〇 from company A. They said they would like to discuss the start time of the meeting tomorrow. Please call me back. Contact information is XX. I am -XXXX-XXXX. I will be at the office until 18:00 today. After that, please call my cell phone.”

Bullet example

  • Date and time February 15 15:30
  • Sender A Company 〇〇
  • What time tomorrow’s meeting will start
  • Contact number: XX-XXXX-XXXX (until 18:00 today) After that, please contact your cell phone

Bullet points are much easier to read than long sentences.

It is also recommended to prepare a message memo template with the required item names printed.

Article Summary

I explained the basic manners of telephones that are useful for creating a company’s manual for handling telephone calls.If you have your own version of the manual that includes internal rules in addition to the content introduced in this article, new employees will be able to try answering the phone without confusion.

Answering the phone is also a chance to learn basic business manners.

Please use the manual to improve your basic business skills.