Telephone Etiquette

Teamwork 2

My career specialty in the Hotel Business for many years was Room Service or In Room Dining. This is a business whose source of revenue was over the phone. The response had to be courteous, accurate and fast. There may be 1 or 2 people to respond to the requests coming from tens to dozens and occasionally, over 100 people during a meal period. There are specific guidelines and techniques that have proven successful over the years.

  • Answer within 3 rings. The longer it takes, the higher the chances of losing the call.
  • Greeting: “Thank you for calling….this is …, how may I help you?” Don’t rush the greeting, it then sounds like you are overwhelmed.
  • Smile on the call. Try it. Place calls to each other and smile and frown. Moods come through the call. If you are happy or angry, emotions affect your tone, and your tone affects the call.
  • Write it down, have a call log or template for each call to be recorded, not scratch paper. If a simple call sheet will do, use that. If you have a dedicated team to answer calls, work with the team to find or come up with something that works. Participation means buy in, buy in means commitment to success.
  • Don’t rush, get it right.
  • If you have to place someone on hold, ask their permission and wait for their response. Too often this step is missed and the call is lost due to a caller’s frustration at having to wait.
  • Do not allow the hold to last more than 30 seconds without reconnecting to the caller.
  • Thank them for holding, if you have to keep them longer, then ask for a call back number, get a brief description of the reason for the call and arrange a follow up time, say 30 minutes at the maximum. The longer you take the quicker they can call someone else.
  • Use the customer’s name in the conversation, at least 3 times at the beginning, middle and end of the conversation.
  • Read the information back to the caller confirming you have all the information, the phone number is right, the reason for the call, payment information, address, whatever is important in the conversation.

Practice. Call each other and role play. As with anything else, the more you practice, the better you get.

8 thoughts on “Telephone Etiquette

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    Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out
    pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where
    to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

    1. Lynn Herkes

      It’s not too difficult to start your own blog. I recommend going to and type in “Start a Blog”. That will give you a gagillion books (audio and paper) to get you started. Mike Omar authored “How To Start a Blog That People Will Read” which was a super quick read and very informative. The most important part is to take the time to figure out who your target market is. Who do you want to reach and what challenges and frustrations are you trying to solve for them. If you can answer those questions, then you just need to set it up and start.
      Lynn Herkes

    1. Lynn Herkes

      thank you. I have been very lax with keeping up on this blog due to the non-interest for the first few months. I will try to post much more often. Thank you again for your input.
      Mahalo and have a great day,
      Lynn Herkes

    2. Lynn Herkes

      Aloha and Mahalo for your kind words!
      We are just gearing up to post a lot more. Please feel free to provide comments, suggestions, or any topics of frustration or challenges that you have. We would love to hear from you.
      Hope you have a fantastic New Year!
      Lynn Herkes