Eight universal telephone etiquette rules everyone should follow

By Brenda Midamba | Wednesday, Oct 16th 2019 at 10:57
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According to the Jumia mobile report 2019, Kenyan mobile operators cover up to 90 percent of the population. This means that telephone etiquette needs to be continuously addressed because it is an encounter that 90 percent of people have daily.

I worked at a call center for a year and picked up a few rules I staunchly believe are essential when engaging in a phone conversation.

A common misconception is that these rules only apply to a professional setting. Telephone etiquette is for every environment, including a casual one, and it is for ensuring a great experience for anyone on the receiving end of your call.

Here are eight rules of telephone etiquette that everyone should follow.

(1) Greetings.

Remember that time or those times someone answered the phone and went straight to their agenda without a greeting? Sucked, right? Do not sail on the same boat. It does not matter if it is your boss or your mother. Greeting someone at the start of the call is critical.

(2) Be audible.

The second most annoying thing in the world after slow internet has probably got to be inaudibility over the phone. Nothing teases the last nerve like the words 'Sorry!' come again!' over and over while on the phone.

There are several reasons that one can fail to speak up i.e., illness, you are probably in a meeting, you have a sleeping toddler in the house, etc. And in as much you can excuse yourself from these, there is no excuse for always being inaudible on the phone. Try and articulate your words and be considerate to your recipient.

(3) Do not be loud

Hold up! It is one thing to be audible, and it is another thing to be loud and obnoxious over the phone. Do not confuse the two. Like there is a thin line between confidence and rudeness, these two are often confused for the other. You need to mark the difference.

(4) Listen

When I was working at the call center, I remember how key it was for me to listen attentively to the customer to avoid taking wrong orders. This skill has somehow moved along with me, even in my daily phone conversations. I know you know how irking it is to keep repeating the same thing over and over to an inattentive friend. Do not be that person to someone else.

(5) Avoid loudspeakers in public.

I, for one, know a thousand people, if not more, who have a problem with this. There is a form of discomfort that creeps in when someone switches to loudspeaker mode in public. Unless you are the nosy type, no one cares about other people's private phone conversations. Keep the loudspeaker off unless it is essential.

(6) Avoid multitasking

I am a woman; we harness the power of multitasking from the universe. However, even the multitasking pros can be amateurs when speaking on the phone. You can miss out on very vital information. Excuse yourself if it is not a good time to speak or hold the activities and finish with the call first.

(7) Do not chew and talk.

This is for obvious reasons. If you have never experienced this, try making a test call with a friend and ask them to chew while on the phone with you. Swallow the food on your mouth before receiving the call and avoid chewing while speaking.

(8) Answer on the third ring.

During my time as a telephone operator, we were advised to receive the call on the third ring because it allows preparation and detachment from any activities we may have been partaking. The same applies to the everyday call; You could probably be working, cooking, walking, etc. and waiting for the third ring allows you to disengage from that activity to create a conducive environment to receive your call. It also allows you to find a quieter environment if in case your premise is loud for better communication.

I hope you found this article helpful, and most importantly, I hope you get to put these tips into practice on your next phone call conversation.

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