MASTER YOUR BUSINESS ENGLISH TELEPHONE SKILLS
Mastering Business English Telephone skills are vital, as we live in a competitive, fast-moving world and I cannot stress enough, the importance of having excellent English Telephone Skills in your business.
Remaining polite, focused, helpful, pleasant and never forgetting that positive tone, will help with customer retention and repeat business.
Receiving and Answering a Phone call
The initial contact often sets the tone for the rest of your call, even if you’ve fallen on an unhappy customer. Remember, you reflect/portrait the image of your company.
- Good morning, thank you for calling SeaNixon, this is Carol. How can I help you?
- Good afternoon this is Carol speaking. Can I help you?
- Good morning, thank you for calling SeaNixon. May I help you?
Making a Call and Asking to Speak to Someone
- Good morning, this is Pascal from Chillax GmbH, may I speak to Mr Jones, please?
- Good morning, could you put me through to your Sales department, please?
- Good afternoon, this is Steve from SeaNixon in Germany, I am calling about our meeting on Friday.
- Good morning, I would like to talk with Mr Jones, please.
- Good Morning, this is Natalie from Sales4You, is Mr Jones available?
- Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve dialled the wrong number.
Acknowledging a request
- One moment please, I’ll connect you.
- May I ask who’s calling?
- Could I have your name, please?
- Of course, hold the line please, I’ll put you through.
- Yes, he’s in the office, putting you through.
Putting Someone on Hold
- Would you mind holding for a moment, please?
- Mr Jones is on another call, would you like to hold, or should he call you back?
- If it’s ok with you, I am going to put you on hold and see if Mr Jones is available.
- Please hold the line, I will put you through to Mr Jones.
Clarifying and asking for Repetition
If you did not understand what the person was saying, there is no harm in asking for clarification. Better ask, than hang up with the wrong information.
You can use the International Spelling Alphabet (Phonetic Alphabet). It is often used for spelling out names and words over the phone, especially when both parties do not speak the same language.
- I’m sorry, I did not catch that. Could you please repeat yourself?
- Would you mind spelling that for me? (e.g. C for Charlie, A for Alpha, R for Romeo, O for Oscar and L for Lima) Ah Carol, thank you very much.
- Let me confirm my understanding, do you mean …….
- I’m just going to read that number out again to make sure I have taken it down correctly.
- Would you mind speaking a little slower?
- I can’t hear you clearly, we have a very bad line.
- Did I hear you correctly sir, you will be there between 16:30 and 18:00?
The NATO Phonetic Alphabet
|A – Alpha||F – Foxtrot||K – Kilo||P – Papa||U – Uniform||Z – Zulu|
|B – Bravo||G – Golf||L – Lima||Q – Quebec||V – Victor|
|C – Charlie||H – Hotel||M – Mike||R – Romeo||W – Whiskey|
|D – Delta||I – India||N – November||S – Sierra||X – X-Ray|
|E – Echo||J – Juliet||O – Oscar||T – Tango||Y – Yankee|
Taking a Message for Someone
- I’m sorry, Mrs Nixon is not available at the moment, can I take a message for her?
- I’m sorry, Mr Jones is on another call, may I take a message for him?
- I’m sorry, he’s busy at the moment, can I take a message?
Leaving a message for someone
- Please tell him that I cannot attend the meeting on Friday, 2nd October.
- Yes, could you please have him return my call.
- Yes please, let her know that I will be available Tuesday at 8:00.
Ending a phone call
- Thank you for calling. I will make sure Mr Jones gets your message.
- Thank you for calling. Is there anything else I can help you with?
- Thanks for calling and I wish you a nice day.
- Thank you, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you.
An Example of a Dialogue regarding a Delayed Order
|Good morning, I’d like to talk to Mr Blogs, please.||Certainly, could I just take your name sir and then I’ll put you straight through.|
|It’s Pascal from Workaholics GmbH Berlin||Hold the line please, I’ll put you through|
|Good morning, I’m calling about your outstanding spare parts order, number. 499877||Hello Pascal, I hope you haven’t run into any problems and are calling with bad news.|
|Well, unfortunately, yes. I’ve just had a call from our shipping department, and they won’t be able to ship the goods before the end of the month. Would this still be acceptable?||Oh No! We must receive the goods next week at the latest, as we have a commitment. How can you help me speed things up?|
|Ok, there are a couple of options that may work. First, I will contact our shipping department and see if we can get your order directly shipped to your address. Then we could use a different courier company. I hope this will not generate extra costs. I’ve had a good experience with STP.|
I’ll see what I can do and get back to you within two hours.
|I really appreciate your prompt help with this issue, as it would be a total disaster if we did not receive this order next week.|
|My pleasure, is there anything else I can help you with?||Nothing at the moment thanks but I’m looking forward to hearing back from you shortly.|
|Of course. Goodbye||Thank you.|
- Do not hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or via Chatra, if you have any questions or if I can be of further help.
- Zögern Sie nicht, mich unter email@example.com oder über Chatra zu kontaktieren, wenn Sie Fragen haben oder ob ich weiterhelfen kann.
- N’hésitez pas à me contacter firstname.lastname@example.org ou via Chatra, si vous avez des questions ou si je peux être d’une aide supplémentaire.