Handling Telephone Calls
Handling telephone calls is a necessary to people who have to make business calls every day. Telephone calls act as catalysts in business processes. Sometimes they are convenient for short talks and discussions about a matter that needs several people’s attention. At others, they make it easy for colleagues, partners, and even team members to consult each other and make a decision. At times, conversations can even become lengthy over a detailed discussion. Telephone calls have become a part of business day routines, therefore, knowing how to handle them is crucial. Here are a number of tips on how to ask for someone, leave messages on the phone, and refer to previous calls.
Asking for a person on the phone
Since many telephone calls are made throughout the day, companies use central lines and extensions to direct calls to people inside. When you make a call, you either need to wait for the guide to the departments or dial the extension that belongs to the person you wish to speak with. Another option is to ask an operator or secretary to connect you to your contact. Depending on whether you had arranged for a phone conversation, if you know your contact is in office, or whether you wish to know whether they are in fact available, your language and wording can differ. Handling telephone calls involves communication with secretaries and operators as well.
You prearranged the call
If you have discussed talking over the phone with your contact, they will probably be waiting for your call. Your contact may even inform their secretary (if they have one) to put you through once you have called. Regardless, it is common for a caller to state that the call is prearranged. This can be a reminder for your contact if they had forgotten about the arrangement.
– Good morning. How may I help you?
– Good morning. This is Jack Bender (from Lotus). ……………
I would like to speak to Mr. Singh; we had arranged for a phone conversation last week.
Mr. Singh and I had a call arrangement for 11pm. (indirectly asking for Mr. Singh)
I had arranged a phone call with Mr. Singh to discuss terms of payment.
Since the telephone conversation is not prearranged, you need to ask if your contact is available. You also need to ask if they have the time to talk. The secretary may put you through, ask you to wait, or ask if you would like to leave a message. Knowing how to respond to each is a part of handling telephone calls.
Is Mr. Singh in the office at the moment? I need to have a short conversation with him. Please tell him it is urgent.
Is Mr. Singh available right now? I would like to talk to him about our business deal.
Your contact is not available!
If your contact is not available, you may be asked to wait or to leave a message. Of course you always have the option to send them an email to discuss issues if they are not urgent. However, if a phone conversation and instant discussion is necessary you can wait, ask the secretary to tell your contact you called, or leave a message. Leaving a message depends on the degree of sensitivity, importance, and confidentiality of the message.
– Good morning. How may I help you?
– Good morning. This is Mahan Eftekhari (from Lotus). I would like to speak to Mr. Singh please.
– Mr. Singh is have a meeting. The meeting will end soon. Would you like to wait/leave a message?
Yes, I’ll wait. Please let him know I’m waiting to talk to him when his meeting is finished.
I’d like to leave a message. Please tell Mr. Singh we have to finalize the orders before Wednesday. We need to discuss the terms of payment.
I’m afraid I have to be in a meeting soon; could you please let him know I called?
Unfortunately I can’t. Please tell Mr. Singh I need to speak with him personally.
I’m afraid I can’t wait. I’ll call back in 10 minutes.
Referring to a phone call
Many telephone conversations and correspondence are made based on a previous conversation. In that case, it is common for contacts to refer to the conversation made before. This makes it easier to remember the topic of the conversation. It also clarifies the purpose of the current conversation or correspondence.
On email/telephone conversation
Referring to our conversation last Tuesday, please find attached the finalized order. (formal)
Thank you for your recent telephone call about the order. Based on our conversation, we have made revisions and I am sending you the finalized version.
Following your telephone conversation with Mr. Bender, I’m calling to let you know your order will be ready before June 6.
As you and Mr. Bender have already arranged the terms of payment on a call last week, I will move on to other details you wished to discuss.