What to do when you can’t hear the other person’s voice [Etiquette for answering business calls]


・Since this content is intended to provide general information, it includes initiatives in which we are not involved.
・Photos and images used in the article are images. It may differ from the content provided by the actual product or service.
・The content of this blog is based on the information at the time of publication. Therefore, regarding the content of the product, images and operation procedures may differ from the current version due to version upgrades.

This article describes general efforts and does not introduce the efforts of NEC Networks & System Integration. Please note.

Have you ever been troubled by not being able to hear the other party’s voice on the phone or having difficulty in hearing the content?

When answering a phone call or leaving a message when you are out of the office, if you can’t hear the other party’s name and business, you will not be able to answer the person in charge accurately.

In this article, we will introduce what to do when you cannot hear or have difficulty hearing the other party’s voice when answering the phone for those who are not good at listening to the phone.

Reasons why you can’t hear or have difficulty hearing when answering the phone

In the first place, telephone voices are more difficult to hear than human voices because they sound muffled and contain noise.

In addition, the quality of the other party’s voice, the way they speak, the content of the conversation, and the environment in which they speak affect the way they hear them, creating situations where they cannot hear or are difficult to hear.

the other party’s voice is low

If the other party’s voice is soft or if they speak in a low voice, it will be difficult to hear them on the phone.

Of course, the voice quality may be the cause, but the loudness of the voice on the phone may be due to the circumstances of the other party that we do not understand, such as “I tend to keep my voice down because there are people around me.”

fast talk

If the other person speaks quickly, it will be too late to take notes while listening to what is being said on the phone.

Some people are naturally fast-talking, but there are also people who tend to talk fast when they have a lot to talk about, and people who tend to talk fast only when talking on the phone.

difficult names and proper nouns

If the name of the other party is unusual, it may not be possible to catch it all at once.

Also, it is not unreasonable to hear proper nouns such as company names and product names accurately if you do not know them from the beginning.

weak signal

It has become commonplace for business calls to be made not only from landlines but also from mobile phones while away from home.

See also  Summary of business etiquette when putting a call on hold【Let's respond smoothly】

In the case of mobile phones, the call quality is inevitably inferior to that of landlines, and depending on the communication environment, the voice may be choppy or the noise may be so loud that it may be difficult to hear.

noisy environment

The microphone of the phone is sensitive and picks up the sounds around you unexpectedly.

Have you ever laughed wryly because you could hear the chatter around you behind the other person’s voice?

If you are talking in a noisy place, you will pick up the surrounding conversation and noise, making it difficult to hear the voice of the important person.

What to do when you can’t hear or have trouble hearing when answering the phone

Unlike face-to-face communication, you cannot see the other person on the phone, so you cannot rely on their facial expressions or gestures.

Even when you can’t hear the other person’s voice, you need to survive through voice and verbal communication until the end.

Here are some solutions for when you have trouble hearing or hearing your voice.

turn up your volume

The phone has a volume button that allows you to adjust the volume of what you hear from this earpiece.

If you think you can’t hear the other person’s voice because it’s too soft, try turning up the volume on your phone first.

use a headset

When you hold the handset to your ear and talk, you can also hear sounds around you, so it may be difficult to focus only on the voice of the other party on the phone.

In such a case, how about using a headset for telephones used in call centers ?

Even small sounds become easier to hear, so you can concentrate on what the other person is saying.

Indirectly tell someone you can’t hear

If you turn up the volume on your phone and still can’t hear it, you still have to ask the other person to speak a little louder.

However, at this time, it is NG to directly say, “I can’t hear you because your voice is too low” or “Please speak louder . “

“I can’t hear you because your voice is too small.”

In business etiquette, there are phrases to use when you can’t hear the other person’s voice on the phone.

  • “I’m sorry, it seems that the call is a little far away.”

I don’t usually use the expression that the phone is far away, but it’s an expression that can be conveyed properly when dealing with phone calls.

If you are told that the call is too far away, the person on the other end will raise the volume of their voice a little.

have them speak slowly

When the other person speaks too fast to understand, I want to encourage them to speak more slowly. However, even in this case, it may be difficult to say, “Please speak slowly.”

See also  How do I transfer a call to another extension? Explanation of how to operate with a business phone

In that case, there is a way to change the speed of the conversation from here .

Have you ever been lured into speaking fast when you were talking to a fast talker?

Conversely, if you speak slowly, the other person may get annoyed and slow down.

listen to kanji

If the other person’s name is unusual and you can’t understand it even if you hear it by sound, try listening to the kanji notation by asking, “What kind of kanji would you write in kanji?”

If you know kanji, you will also know how to read them.

Also, names such as “Ishii-san” and “Nishii-san” that sound similar and are easy to mishear can be distinguished from “Ishii” and “Nishii” by listening to the kanji notation.

repeat proper nouns

Unfamiliar proper nouns are difficult to hear and remember perfectly the first time.

It is not uncommon for company names to be difficult to remember because they are long names or contain foreign words.

When you come across a proper noun, repeat it on the spot to check it.

Immediately after the other party introduces himself/herself, it is natural to repeat, “Mr.

If you still can’t hear, call back

If the inability to hear is due to ambient noise or radio wave conditions, it may not improve unless the environment is changed.

In such a case, please keep in mind that there is a method of “hanging up and calling back” .

If you call from a mobile phone, it is often caused by the other party’s environment, but refrain from blaming the other party.

  • “Excuse me, but the signal seems to be a bit weak, so would it be okay if I call you back?”

With this, the other party will also notice that “the signal situation here seems to be bad”, so they will move to a place with better signal conditions while calling back, or say “I will call again after calm down”. Sometimes they will call you back.

Points to note when you cannot hear the other party

Even when you cannot hear the other person when answering the phone, you must follow business etiquette and respond politely so as not to be rude to the other person.

Let’s check the points to note so as not to fail to respond.

ask politely

If you are in a hurry and say, “I didn’t catch what you just said!”

If you can’t hear it, stay calm and ask:

  • “Could you say that again?”
  • “May I ask you one more time?”

If you ask politely, the other person will be more than happy to respond.

don’t blame others

Even if the other person’s voice is soft or the surroundings are noisy, blaming them will make them feel uncomfortable.

“I’m afraid your call is far away” is a business phrase to get the other person’s attention while blaming the phone for your inability to hear.

Use cushion words when you hear the same thing over and over again

When answering the phone, it is NG to leave unheard parts or unfamiliar words .

See also  I'm not good at answering the phone, I can't do it well... Things I want to keep in mind to overcome

Sometimes you may have to listen again and again until you get it.

If you make someone say the same thing over and over again,

  • “I’m really sorry but”
  • “Excuse me very”

If you use cushion words like this, you can ask politely while caring for the other person.

AI takes over the phone call! “Canario”

If you are having trouble with phone calls, such as “I can’t hear the other person’s voice” or “I’m not good at listening,” how about introducing “Canario,” which uses AI to handle phone calls?

AI capable of high-precision speech recognition listens to the other person’s speech and converts it into text.

If there is a designated person in charge, the name of the person in charge will be heard and automatically forwarded to the mobile phone, so you will be freed from troublesome intermediary correspondence.


We have summarized what to do when you can’t hear the voice on the phone or it is difficult to hear.

  • Turn up the volume on your phone or use a headset
  • If you want them to speak a little louder, tell them in a roundabout way, “It seems that your phone is far away.”
  • control the speed of the conversation
  • Understand by checking the kanji notation and repeating
  • Call back to improve call experience

With the AI-based call forwarding service “Canario,” it is also possible to convert messages to text using AI.

Please contact us if you are interested.