Respond smoothly even when you are not there! Introducing how to respond to calls when there is no person in charge


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I get calls on my company phone that aren’t addressed to me.

It would be nice to be able to handle calls addressed to other staff members immediately, but I would be more careful about handling calls when I am not at my desk.

In this article, we will introduce tips for responding to incoming calls when the person in charge is not available.

Tips for answering the phone when the person in charge is not available

If the person in charge is specified by name on the phone, first check the presence status of the person in charge .

  • If the person is in the office: Put the call on hold and ask if the person can take the call before transferring the call.
  • If not: Check the reason and period of absence from the schedule, etc., and inform the other party.

First of all, a word of apology

  • “I’m sorry. 〇〇 is currently having a meeting.”
  • “I’m sorry. 〇〇 is working from home today.”

Even though the other party is spending their precious time calling you, if you don’t have a person in charge, you can’t get in touch with them immediately, and you’ll have to wait.

Regardless of the reason for your absence, it is a good idea to apologize first and then explain the reason for your absence .

Response 1. Listen to the business and send a message to the person in charge

The best way to deal with the situation when there is no person in charge is to ask the other party about the business, send a message to the person in charge, and have the person in charge contact the other party .

For the other party, it is most certain that the original person in charge will respond, so in many cases they will wait until they can contact the person in charge.

Action 2: Transfer to another person in charge or person in charge

When there is no designated person in charge, it is also possible to intervene if a member of the same team or the person in charge can respond instead .

For calls addressed to other departments or representative calls, it may be easier to connect with the department in charge and have them respond rather than listening to the person who answered the first call without knowing the person.

Response ③ Do what you can do instead

When the original person in charge is not available, if there is something I can do on my own , I may take care of it instead .

If the person is in a hurry and needs immediate attention, or wants answers to general questions, it’s helpful to do all you can on the spot.

See also  Peace of mind when teleworking or going out! How to forward landline calls to mobile

On the other hand, by responding instead, it is possible to give the wrong guidance or affect the relationship between the person in charge and the other party, so it is necessary to make decisions according to the situation.

Also, be careful not to stop your own work due to dealing with work that is not in charge.

Tips for creating a message memo

When I receive a call when the person in charge is not available, I often use a memo to communicate the matter .

Memo paper and sticky notes are fine, but it is recommended to make a dedicated message memo so that you can convey the necessary information without exception.

It is convenient to create a template for items when sending messages not only on paper but also by e-mail, chat, etc.

In addition to the other party’s name and business, I will explain the items that should be written in the message memo.

date and time when the call was received

When I receive a phone call, I always check my watch and write it down on the answering memo .

By knowing the date and time of the call, it is possible to determine the priority of response and to follow up appropriately when returning.

check if it’s urgent

When receiving a message when the person in charge is not available, if the other person is concerned about when the person in charge will return or wants a specific action, the matter may be urgent.

Ask them, “Is it urgent?” to confirm the deadline .

If you are in a hurry but can make it in time even if you transfer it to the person in charge, write down the fact that it is urgent in the message memo and let the person in charge handle it.

In the event of an emergency, respond flexibly to the situation, such as contacting the mobile phone of the person in charge or reporting to the person in charge and asking for instructions.

Find out how the other person prefers to be contacted

It is common to have the person in charge call you back when you are out of the office . In some cases, the other party does not want to hear back from you.

In this case, let’s ask the other party’s preferred contact method and response method .

Ask for a call-back number and available hours

If the person in charge calls you back, the contact number may not be the same as the number you are calling. Be sure to check it even if it is troublesome.

Company phone numbers may switch to voicemail outside business hours.

Also, there may be times when it is inconvenient for the person in charge to call you directly or on your cell phone.

If possible, make sure you know when you can be contacted, so you don’t have to cross paths again and again.

[By case] How to respond to calls when the person in charge is not available

Have you ever been in trouble because you checked the reason for the absence of the person in charge in the schedule, but you don’t know how to tell them?

See also  Check telephone etiquette when the person in charge is out of the office [Basics of intermediary]

We will introduce how to communicate in a business-friendly way according to the reason for absence when the person in charge is not available.

going out/business trip

If you are a salesperson or work mainly on the outside, the other person is convinced that it is natural to go out.

Also, depending on the job, there are some tasks that require business trips.

Going out or going on a business trip is recognized as an unavoidable part of your work, so you can honestly tell them that you are out of the office or that you are away on a business trip .

Please understand that the person in charge is not in the company, so it may take some time to get back to you.


When dealing with visitors or at a meeting, for business reasons, it is okay to say, “We are having a visitor” or “We are having a meeting.”

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of cases where it is done remotely, but when you say “I am visiting a customer” or “I am having a meeting”, the other party often interprets that the person in charge is in the company. It becomes a nuance that can be taken.

Toilet, lunch, cigarette break

If you are temporarily away from your desk to go to the toilet or smoke during work hours, or eat out at lunchtime, you will return in a short period of time.

In this case, regardless of the reason, it is okay to say, “I am out of my seat right now.” It’s an expression used when you can get back in touch within a few minutes to an hour.

leaving work

If the person in charge hasn’t already left the office, it’s safe to say, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

If you receive a phone call, it means that the other person is still at work . is preferred.

sick leave

If the person in charge is absent due to sickness, there is no need to tell the reason or the name of the disease.

If there is no specific instruction from the person on how to respond, it would be safe to say “I am taking a break”, which is the same as when you are on a general vacation . The same is true not only for the person himself/herself, but also for reasons such as “children’s fever”.

If you are absent for a long period of time due to a leave of absence, etc., follow your supervisor’s instructions.


Recreational leave should be limited to the phrase “I am on leave.”

It doesn’t matter if the person himself/herself tells the business partner, but depending on the situation, it may give a bad impression, such as “The delivery date is approaching, but it’s still fun.”


If the person in charge has been transferred to another department or is no longer at the company after retiring, tell them, “I have been transferred to another department,” or “I retired in ____,” and pass it on to the next person in charge .

If you don’t know who the person in charge will be taking over, ask your boss.

I’m at my desk but I can’t answer the phone

Everyone has this when they are busy with other tasks and can’t or don’t want to answer the phone.

See also  Understand the basic flow of telephone correspondence! Flow charts are recommended for manuals

However, if you say things like, “I can’t answer the phone right now,” it can give a bad impression that you’re here but you’re avoiding me.

In such a case, give a safe answer, such as “I’m away” or “I’m on another call” depending on the situation.

If you use Canario’s transfer service, the person in charge will respond directly!

Answering incoming calls when the person in charge is not available is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, such as checking the schedule, explaining it to the other party, and receiving a message.

On top of that, you may end up being exhausted because you have to follow up on work that is not your responsibility in order to respond urgently.

With the Canario call forwarding service provided by NEC Networks & System Integration, when the other party appoints a person in charge, the call is immediately forwarded to the person in charge!

Since the call will be answered on the phone of the person in charge, there is no need to go through the trouble of intermediary.

Customers are stress-free because they are connected directly to the person in charge without going through others.

If you are worried about answering the phone when there is no person in charge, please try it.

Article Summary

Here are some tips on how to answer the phone when the designated person is not available.

There is no correct answer for answering the phone.

Even if you can’t respond perfectly right away, it’s effective enough to follow basic business phone etiquette and respond in good faith.

If the burden of answering the phone is so heavy that it affects other work, you can use the convenient phone answering service Canario to eliminate the “intermediation” itself.