To Use A telephone

Friday, May 30, 2008

Most of us use the telephone on a daily basis, but we may not always do so in the recommended way. Here are some helpful steps for better phone experiences.

When the phone rings, or when you are making a call, mute or turn off the television before attempting to use the phone.
When you receive a personal call, always say "Hello." Do not say anything else, unless you already know who is calling. Jokes, personal greetings, or random words can be off-putting to unknown callers.
When answering a business call, use an approved company greeting. Do not just say "Hello," as some callers will consider this unprofessional.
When placing a call, allow the line to ring at least 5 times before hanging up. This gives the other party enough time to finish (or interrupt) whatever they may be doing and come to the phone. If you called just to chat, hang up at 5 rings, otherwise it may get bothersome to the other party.
If possible, ask anyone you call if it is a good time to be calling. Do not simply launch into a monologue without checking to see whether the other person is busy.
Be sure to state the purpose of the call early in the conversation, and make sure that all important questions are addressed before you complete the call.

  • Have a pen and paper handy, or be ready at the keyboard to write down or type any addresses, phone numbers, dates, or other important facts that might be discussed during the call.
  • Smile while you're talking. This has a proven positive effect on the conversation.
  • If a person does not answer by 5 rings, assume that they are talking on the phone to another caller via call waiting. Excess ringing is annoying while attempting to talk to another person.
  • Note that if you are in the southern United States, stating the purpose of the call too early can actually be considered very rude, and a Yankee(a person from Northeast US) may find people being abrupt to him or her on the phone without understanding why. In the South, you are likely to get much better results, especially if you have spoken to the person before, by asking the person how they are, how their day has been, etc., how their ___ holiday went, etc. What will probably seem like time-wasting chitchat to you can actually pay off markedly in the other person being willing to help you with what you need.

    • Be aware that if the other person says, "Well, I'd better let you go", this is code for "You are talking too much and I need to hang up!"
    • Do not throw the telephone, drop it, or allow it to become dislodged and fall to the floor - the noise can be very rude to the person on the other end.
    • Do not use the phone for abusive purposes. Harassing others with obscene or prank phone calls is not appropriate, and it may be illegal.
    • Do not chew gum, eat food, drink, or go to the bathroom while on the phone.
    • Make sure that background noise is kept to a minimum during the call - including music, television, pets and children.


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