Do you ever feel that when speaking with someone face-to-face you can communicate using things such as facial expressions and body language, but on the phone it is harder to communicate because you cannot see their face?
Today we will be introducing basic phrases and precautions to use during phone calls in a work setting.
Basic Phrases Used on the Phone
Let’s look at how classic phrases are used, from when you take the phone call until the call ends.
Taking the Phone Call
First, take the phone call. It is desirable to pick up the phone within three rings.
“Yes, this is ◯◯ company.”
Give the company name when you take the phone call. Please be careful of talking too fast and speak clearly so that it is easier for the caller to hear.
“Thank you for your time.”
This is a fixed phrase. It can be used regardless of whether there is a transaction. This phrasing is OK even if the person has never called before.
There are times when it is hard to hear what is said on the phone. If this happens, be certain to ask for the phrase to be repeated.
“Please excuse me. The phone seems to be distant.”
If the caller’s voice is soft, use this phrase instead of asking them to raise their voice.
“Will you please repeat the last part?”
This phrase is used when you did not hear what the caller said. However, do not interrupt the caller but instead wait until there is a break in the conversation.
“May I ask your name again?”
This is used to reconfirm the caller or company name. Take a note of the caller or company name so you do not forget.
Connecting a Phone Call
This is how to take a call that has been placed to another recipient or department.
“You are looking for ◯◯, correct? Please wait one moment while I transfer your call to that department.”
Repeat the name of the recipient or department then transfer the call once you are sure of the recipient or department.
“I’m sorry. ◯◯ is currently on another phone call. May I call you back as soon as they are done?”
Use this phrase when the recipient of the call is on another phone call. If the caller agrees to be called back, ask them for their phone number.
“Please wait one moment.”
It is rude to put someone on hold abruptly. Always add some words before putting someone on hold.
Receiving a Message
There are times when you will have to take a message if the recipient of the call is unavailable.
“If you would like, I can take a message for ◯◯.”
If the recipient of the call is unavailable or the caller does not agree to be called back, take a message from the caller.
“I would like to confirm the contents of your message just in case.” or “I will repeat your message.”
When you take a message, be sure to take a note and repeat the message back to the caller to be sure of its contents.
Ending the Phone Call
When you have finished your business, hang up the phone, but the way you hang up can make a big difference in your impression.
“Thank you for your call.” or “Please excuse me, goodbye.”
These are some ways you can end the phone call, but make sure you do not end the call first. End the call only after you have confirmed that the caller has ended the call.
Taking Mistake Calls
Handle even mistaken phone calls with care.
“This is ◯◯ company. Excuse me, but where are you trying to reach?”
“Excuse me, but who are you trying to reach?”
Ask these questions to check the phone number the caller is trying to reach.
“The number you are trying to reach is not our company’s phone number.”
Tell the caller in this way that they have called the wrong number, say “Please excuse me,” then end the call after the caller has ended the call.
Using “Cushion Words” Well
“Cushion words” are used before introducing the main topic when asking for something, inquiring about something, or refusing something. Using cushion words gives your speech a gentle impression. Try using these cushion words when taking phone calls.
・恐れ入りますが "Excuse me, but"
・失礼ですが "If you will excuse me"
・あいにくですが "I am sorry to say"
・もしよろしければ "If you do not mind"
・念のため "Just in case"
At first glance, answering the phone may seem difficult, but once you get used to it you should be able to do it just fine. Please refer to the phrases introduced in this article.
Since you cannot see your face on the phone, the impression of your voice is very important. If you speak clearly, cheerfully, and confidently, you will make a good impression on the other person.