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Proper Business Communication Tips

Communication, whether over the phone, online, or virtually, is a critical tool for various businesses and industries. Knowing the proper communication etiquette can help further your career and improve business success. Here are some important communication etiquette tips.

Answer Quickly
Be sure to answer the phones promptly. Most people will not stay on the line longer than five or six rings, and those who are patient will likely not be in the greatest mood once you finally answer. If it takes too long to answer the phone, people will assume that your business is understaffed or disorganized.

If you are on the line and the phone begins to ring, politely ask the customer if they would mind holding to answer the second call. Most people will appreciate that you asked first, but if you cannot get to the phone, be sure that you have voice mail options available or a menu to appropriately route the call.

It is smart to rehearsing what you will say when you answer a call. A polite and informative greeting is usually standard in most workplaces. Aside from the actual greeting, you should also be mindful of your tone. Even on the toughest days, it is important to keep a polite tone and demeanor when conversing with customers.

Instead of “transferring” the call, try “connecting” the call to the right person. Not only does it sound friendly, but customers may feel like they are constantly being passed off from person to person.

Always ask before placing someone on hold, and only do it if it is absolutely necessary. No one likes to be stuck on hold, and if the situation is handled improperly, it could reflect poorly on your business.

Proper Ending
Before ending the phone call, make sure to inquire if there is anything else you can help them with. If the answer is no, thank them for calling and use their name when appropriate. This will make the experience more personalized and proper.

Of course, none of this matters if you don’t have a reliable business phone system. If you’re having trouble with yours, fix that problem and then implement the tips above.

Cell Phones
When it comes to cell phone use in the workplace, it can be hit or miss. While your smartphone may help you in some areas of your job, improper use can end up hurting your career.

  • Avoid checking your phone during client meetings. The exception would be if you work in an emergency field (ex. on-call physician), but even in that case, you should let the person know you are expecting an urgent call.
  • Keep your phone out of sight (in a purse, briefcase or drawer) when someone is in your office. Having it out on your desk is a reminder to your guest that something is more important than them.
  • Networking events are meant for in person communication. Do not use this time to check your social media feed. Unless it is an urgent phone call you are waiting on (which you should inform other person about beforehand), let your phone ring and stay focused on the conversation at hand.
  • Checking email during a business meeting is rather unprofessional and rude. Having your phone on the table during a business meal is another way to turn off your guest. And in general, anytime you are looking at your phone, you are diverting your attention away from whoever is speaking. Put your phone down or put it away and be present.
  • You have probably experienced it at some point in public – you can’t help but hear someone else’s phone conversation because they are talking so loudly. Don’t be that person. Keep a normal tone, and if your conversation is personal, try to find a private area to conduct the call.
  • Personalized ringtones were fun once, but in a business setting, you should keep it professional. A simple ring should suffice, but it may benefit you to keep your phone on silent or vibrate when in office to avoid any disruptions.

Online Communication
Communicating online can be tricky. Because it lacks tone, body language, and visual cues, messages can be misinterpreted.

When it comes to email, Make sure your subject line is clear and keep the body of the email short and to the point. Avoid using all caps, be sure to use proper punctuation, grammar, and complete sentences.

Instant Messaging
Before you message someone, you should know the person. Receiving a message from a stranger can be off-putting. Begin with a short greeting and keep the conversation light. For more pressing issues like bad news, or the changing a meeting time or venue, a phone call would be a smarter option. And remember to end the conversation with a brief closing (ex. “thank you”).

These are just some of the ways you can improve your business communication etiquette. Do you have any other advice to share? Have you experienced a business communication faux pas? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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Article Name
Proper Business Communication Tips
In business, communication, whether in person or virtually, is a key tool for success. Here are some basic phone etiquette tips and communication advice.

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