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9 Phone Etiquette Tips for Customer Service Centers - Voxjar - Blog

9 Phone Etiquette Tips for Customer Service Centers

Phone etiquette can make a significant difference for your business. Harris Interactive found that 89% of consumers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

 But what goes into providing a positive experience for your callers? Here are 9 customer service phone etiquette tips to help you ensure that your call center team is hitting the mark every single time.

1. Answer the Phone Promptly

It seems like such a simple thing, but answering the phone promptly starts calls off on a positive note. This doesn't mean that your reps have to pick up the call the second it comes through. When training new reps, have them aim for answering calls within the first three rings. This gives them time to take a breath and center themselves so they're ready for each call.

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2. Start With an Introduction

The first thing your reps should do after answering a call is to introduce themselves. This differs from what we do in non-business calls. Instead of answering a call with a simple "Hello," your staff should have a script that they follow to ensure that the caller knows who they've reached, the business they're calling, and that the person answering the call is ready to help.

Start with a simple script like, "Hi, this is [your first name] at [your company]. How can I help you today?" From there, your call center representatives can customize the script to match their own personalities (within reason) so they don't sound like robots.

3. Speak Clearly and Professionally

When you talk on the phone all day, every day, it's easy to start talking quickly or mumbling. This is especially true when you first answer the phone. Your warm greeting can quickly turn into confusion for your callers if you're not speaking at a normal pace, speaking clearly, and using professional language.

The words you choose are important. Always be respectful of your callers and stick to the more formal side of language. This doesn't mean you can't joke around with your callers (especially if they're joking around with you), but keep your words neutral and non-controversial.

Oh, and don't chew gum.

4. Listen to the Caller

It's important to pay attention to callers so you don't miss important information your caller is sharing. This goes beyond simply hearing them talk. Active listening is important for quality customer service.

Active listening is a technique of listening and observation of non-verbal cues (like tone), with feedback in the form of mirroring (paraphrasing what the caller is saying back to them to ensure that you understand). It's a technique commonly used in counseling, training, and solving disputes or conflicts.

5. Don't Interrupt

Nobody likes being interrupted. If a caller is going on a tirade, it can be so tempting to interject. But it's not going to help the situation. It's best to just take notes and wait until they've had their say so you can take back control of the call and get to a resolution.

This does not mean that call center reps should be expected to sit and listen to personal attacks or racist, misogynist, homophobic, or other abusive language. If the language being used is abusive, call center reps are well within their rights to interrupt and establish boundaries such as, "I want to help you but I can't do that with you speaking to me like that." If that doesn't work, call center agents should hang up.

6. Stay Upbeat (Even When the Caller Isn't)

There will be times when a caller is rude or grumpy. The knee-jerk reaction may be to let them know all about themselves. Instead, encourage your call center staff to stay calm and turn to empathy. It's important to try to understand why the caller is upset while still maintaining a positive and friendly vibe. Even if the caller is still grumpy at the end of the call, it'll feel great knowing that they handled the call well.

A big part of staying upbeat is the words you choose.

Try to always use positive language when interacting with customers, focusing on what you can do for them instead of what you can't do. For example, if you're out of stock for an item your caller wants and you won't be able to get it for another month, don't just tell the caller they can't have it. Check out the difference:

"Unfortunately, it's out of stock. I can't get that for you until next month."


"That product will be available next month. I can go ahead and place the order for you and it will be sent out as soon as we get it."

Which would you rather hear?

You can even turn this into an upsell if you have an alternate product that fills the same need. Just add something like, "We also have this alternative product that does this, this, and this that the original product does. It's a little pricier but it's in stock right now. Would that work for you?"

7. Ask Before Placing the Caller on Hold

Nobody likes being put on hold. This is especially true if you've already waited to speak with a free representative. When a caller must be placed on hold, reps should ask them for their permission before doing it and explain why it's needed. Keeping the caller informed will make them feel better about being placed on hold because they understand that it's necessary so their problem can be handled.

8. Be Honest

Sometimes a caller will ask a question that just hasn't come up before or that doesn't have a readily apparent answer. In those situations, call center reps should be honest. Let the caller know that you don't have the answer but are going to get it for them.

9. Return Calls and Reply to Voicemails

Sometimes it's just not possible to answer a call. Maybe it comes in during a particularly heavy call time, a company-wide meeting, or after hours. No matter why the call goes to voicemail, it's vital that your call center reps return those calls.

We recommend checking voicemail and returning calls at the beginning and end of each day.


Don’t forget to add these metrics to your quality monitoring scorecard


Publish Date: July 1, 2021 2:05 PM

2022 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services

Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.


Telephone Answering Services
Answer4u offers both SME and corporate sized businesses Telephone Answering Services delivered by our team of professional receptionists. They are all trained to answer your calls, in your company name, whenever you need them most.

All of our client calls are answered in our Nottingham offices, in the heart of England. We have agents working on a 24/7 basis, meaning all calls are answered through the day and night by UK based operatives. No calls are ever outsourced or go to an answering machine.

Each of our clients has their own personal Account Manager, who heads a team of trained receptionists. Our receptionists answer the phone in your company name, explain to your callers that yo...
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Connect Assist

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We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
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Digital Wholesale Solutions

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Digital Wholesale Solutions (formerly Daisy Worldwide) specialise in Global Inbound ITFS and DID Services from 160 countries (covering 7,000+ cities).

We also have International SIP Trunk (66 Countries) – where numbers are presented in a local format.

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Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

* Customer Service via chat, email or phone
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MattsenKumar LLC

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By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

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VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

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Technosys IT Management Bpo, the business process Outsourcing, gives end-to-end transformative administrations for its customers over the globe. The organization's coordinated IT and BPO arrangements approach empowers it to open business esteem crosswise over ventures and administration lines, and address business challenges for its customers. Using inventive business perfection structures, progressing profitability changes, process reengineering, mechanization, and front line innovation stages, Technosys IT Management empowers its customers to accomplish their cost diminishment goals, enhance process efficiencies, upgrade viability, and convey unrivaled client encounter

Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

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Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.

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9 Phone Etiquette Tips for Customer Service CentersJuly 1, 2021 2:05 PM
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