Copyright © 2001-2005
This telephone tutorial will teach you how to take messages, telephone etiquette, and how to make a call. The telephone is the most used piece of equipment in your office. So it's important that you polish up on your telephone techniques.
While you are here investigate telephone
answering machines, telephone music, telephone training, and phone toy and
games and customer service training references
free head sets .
- Making a call
For today's lesson we'll put some names to your boss, the caller, the
firm, and your self. This will help you understand the lesson
Your Boss - Mr Brown
Firm - Secretarial.com
Caller - Mrs Smith
You - Mary.
The very first step is to set up speed dialing on your telephone to allow quick dialing of numbers you frequently call and to quickly transfer incoming calls to your firm's extensions. Great! No more fumbling for a phone number or extension number.
If you don't have a phone that allows this, its a good idea that you try to get one the next time your phone system is updated. All phone systems will have instructions on how to set this up.
Pen and Paper
Always have pen and paper by your telephone to make notes, if
necessary, when speaking to your caller. It's also a handy
backup if you need to refer to it at a later date.
The 4 things you need to
address in your greeting are:
- Welcome your caller,
Announce who your firm is,
Let them know you're here to help them.
Your company will be
judged on your telephone manner, so it is very important that the first
contact the caller has is with someone who is courteous, happy, and ever
so willing to help. Your greeting will also confirm to them they
have called the right number by announcing your firm's name in your
Always try to pick it up within the first
Now let's have a go. Ok, your phone is ringing, you pick it up within the
first few rings, then you say:
"Good afternoon, welcome to Secretarial
Site Dot Com, this is Mary. May I help you."
The caller will then usually announce their name
and give you the person's name they wish to speak to or some detail as
to what they're calling about so you can connect them to the right
person. (Sometimes it's not this straight forward though).
If they do announce their name, jot it down straight away if you don't
think you'll remember. Also its helpful to make notes when they
give you the reason for their call so you don't have to ask them again
for the details.
Now that you have their name, its always more friendly to repeat their
name back to them when addressing them. It makes them feel
important and that they're not wasting your time. For example:
Smith, if you could hold the line one moment, I'll put you through to
Smith, I'll just check and see if Mr Brown is available to take your
call right now"
This is where its helpful to have your internal extension numbers
already set up, so that all that's required is a glance at the
extension number to see if Mr Brown is on the phone or not (his
extension no. will light up), and then its just a matter of pressing
his number and announcing the caller.
When announcing Mrs Smith's call, you would tell Mr Brown:
Who the caller is
Which line the caller is on
What it was the caller wished to discuss
Mrs Smith is on line 1, regarding the online tutorial on telephone
etiquette. She has a few queries about it. Would you be
able to speak with her thanks?"
or if he's not
available, say something similar to this...
"Mrs Smith I'm
sorry but Mr Brown is out of the office for half an hour. If
you'd like to leave your number, I'll have Mr Brown call you as soon
as he returns to the office."
Now because Mr Brown is out of the office, you'll need to take a
message. It's very important that you get your message
correct - the correct phone number - repeat it back to ensure you have
taken it down correctly.
Now, not always the caller will volunteer what the call is
about. So it's your job to find out. This is for a couple
of reasons. One is that Mr Brown knows what the call is about
and can make sure he's got his supporting paperwork, if necessary,
before he takes the call; the second thing is that you know that Mr
Brown IS the right person to answer the query and not another person
in the office.
Now you must ask the question politely.
could I ask what the matter is regarding"
may I tell Mr Brown what it is in relation to?"
Usually, either of these questions will get you the answer.
Sometimes callers do not want to reveal to you what they are calling
about. If this is the case, you may like to get authority from
your boss to
advise the caller that you
cannot put them through without advising your boss the subject of the
call. If all fails, put the call through but explain to your
boss that the caller wouldn't give you any information about what it
is he/she is calling about so that your boss knows you did your
It's most important that you get the following details from the
Phone Numbers - mobile, office or home
What the call is about
Your written message should also contain:
Your name - so he know's who took the call
The caller may also give you additional information, such as:
Times the caller
will be unavailable
File reference on a letter
If you do get a
file reference, make
sure a copy of the letter is available
for Mr Brown's reference before he makes the call - he may just not
remember the content of the letter without seeing it again.
If you're having difficulty understanding what the caller is saying,
try spelling out the particular words e.g.
Her name is Smith but you can't quite get it. Give
examples, like 'S' for Secretarial, 'M' for Mother, 'I' for whatever
springs to mind etc etc etc
Now always end your call with a
Thanks for calling Mrs Smith, Goodbye.
Making a call
Once again use your speed dial for the numbers you frequently
call. It'll automatically pick up an outside line and dial the
number for you.
When the caller answers, always
announce yourself and either say who you wish to speak to or what the
matter is about.
You would say:
"Hello, it's Mary from Secretarial Site Dot com calling on
behalf of Mr Brown. Would Mrs Smith be available to speak with
If the caller isn't in, find out
the most convenient time to try again, or have them return your call.
You would then say:
"Hello, it's Mary from Secretarial Site Dot com calling on behalf
of Mr Brown. Could I leave a message for Mrs Smith to call Mr
Brown when it's convenient. His phone number is 1234
56789. Thank you. Bye."
At all times always keep your cool even if the caller is being
Books and videos on telephone etiquette are
readily available and I have selected some to help you - my selection for mastering the telephone
Some example replies to say when your Boss is out:
sorry, Mrs Smith, Mr Brown is in a meeting until 4.30 this
afternoon. I'll have him return your call as soon as he's
"I'm sorry, Mrs Smith, Mr Brown is out of town until Thursday
next week. Can the matter wait until his return, or if not, I
could get a message to him if it's urgent?"
If it can't wait, you need to consider the following:
Referring it to another person in the office;
contacting Mr Brown by phone, email or fax and giving him the details so he
can then contact Mrs Smith.
Don't dwell too much on
this aspect, as you would have established some guidelines for
determing when and when not to contact your boss if he was away out of
town, before he left.
See below the type of information you can access
What does the Role of a
The Secretarial role is not for everyone even though it is challenging and
changing. See if you have the desired qualities.
Learn how to use Tips and Tricks
in your Secretarial role
Working with tips and tricks could make all the difference in making you number
one in your profession. See what time saving and other techniques you can
use in your daily routine.
Is there such a thing as
Secretaries throughout the world would certainly work using a code of Ethics -
see how the ethics we have developed can assist you in becoming a valuable
member in the workforce and could even assist you in climbing the corporate
Books written specifically for
the Secretarial profession
Books are still an invaluable learning aid used by the Secretary and great for
continual reference. You will be surprised how just one piece of advice
will be used over and over in the office and as times continue to change you
will have the need to reference these books time and time again.
Does the one resume suit all the
Secretarial jobs you apply for?
You need to know what to include, what not to, and most importantly how to adapt
your resume to the job you are applying for.
Have your say when you visit the
A forum is available for you to share or seek information, comments or advice.
Please feel free to post your questions.
Free Office Tutorials
in the following are available
Telephone Etiquette - Do
you answer the telephone correctly? Are you friendly and let the caller
know you're listening and interested? If not, don't distress, we have a
lesson for you that will make your Company proud.
Making Appointments -
you will learn how to make appointments and what information your Manager needs
so he has all the facts and is prepared. Only then will the meeting will be
Writing Correspondence -
Step by step instructions on how to lay out your office correspondence with all
the relevant information. You will even learn how to write your letter so
the message is conveyed to the recipient successfully.
All about Meetings - There
are many aspects to be aware of to make a meeting run smoothly. If you are
the key person responsible for setting up meetings from preparing meeting
notices and agendas, to taking minutes of the meeting, you are in the right
place. You can choose formats and tools that will make your job easier.
Useful Links for any Secretary
Check out the links we've made available for you to be kept informed, save time,
and awareness of training available.
Need training to master the advance or basic techniques
The training offered on this site is focused to assist you in your day to day
duties whether you need to learn the basics first before proceeding to the more
advanced lessons. You make the choice.
A Secretarial Newsletter
What better way to keep informed then signing on to receive a copy of the www.secretarialsite.com
newsletter. It's totally FREE.
What is MOUS Certification?
Find out more about this certification. You can even take the exam and
receive your MOUS certificate. If you're not quite ready, take the courses
that you need to enable you to become certified.
The Secretarial Site has up to date news on various seminars focused towards
Secretaries, Office Professionals, executive Secretaries, Administrative
Assistants, and Personal Assistants, in locations that may suit you.
Employment agencies are listed in selected countries to save you time.
Can you touch type, or,
do you know your typing speed?
You can quickly and easily take a typing test to check your speed. You can
learn to increase your speed and best of all you will learn how to touch type.
translate this website into another language?
Go now to the website that will make translation easy. All you need to do is
copy and paste this URL http://www.secretarialsite.com
into the window on the website.
When is Administrative
Professional's Day/Secretaries Day
Administrative Professional's Day is always the last Wednesday in the last full week of the month of
April and this full week is dedicated to Administrative Professionals. Mark it now in
your diary so you and your fellow workers can celebrate. Better
still, spread the word and enter it into your Manager's diary so he/she is
made aware of it.
But what happened to Secretaries Day? It has been
renamed to Administrative Professional's Day! Did you know the
National Secretaries Association, now known as IAAP, began this special
Please bookmark this website for quick and easy access in the