A Structured Approach to Successful Telephone Calls

Why do we need training to talk to people?

The number of people who do not have a structured approach to making and taking successful calls – their lack of basic skills required to answer the phone is surprising. This includes making sales calls or assisting someone who needs information.

Making successful telephone calls STL courses London
Learning how to be assertive at work can help you achieve better calls

They forget the basics of

  • What message needs communicating
  • Who we need to communicate with
  • The reasons why a call is being made
  • Am I building rapport by reading the callers behaviour and mood properly?
  • What behaviour I am displaying and is it designed to create trust?
  • Am I spending more time listening than talking?

These basics can be learnt and practised quickly, even in the busiest offices.

Using a set of rules on how to answer the phone, demonstrates that you’re taking them seriously and are therefore building trust and rapport early on whilst displaying professionalism.

These simple things make the caller feel you are handling their query intelligently;

  1. State the name of the company slowly so the caller knows they have the right number
  2. Greet them and state your name
  3. Ask ‘how may I help you today’?

Yes, it’s common sense yet we still hear flippant or throwaway remarks which hardly explain anything to the caller. “Hello, John speaking” doesn’t really cut it.

A structured approach saves time in the long run

Let’s say you need to transfer a call.

There is a polite set-method in our course which will ensure you offer the very best customer service, will save time in the long run and show the customer that you’re interested in him and his business.

With correct listening skills you know how the person will respond by asking if you need to place him or her on hold. How you handle angry people will tell them lots about your confidence and assertiveness: it should be neutral but engaged.

Asking the reason for the call means that you can prepare the third party and comes across as efficient and professional. As a receptionist or call centre agent, you may have to deal with 3rd parties regularly and this is a polite filter.

The basics of telephone skills such as the careful spelling of words, place names and taking telephone numbers for call-back are crucial, especially when dealing with people from different cultures.

Practise enquiring about the caller while you are transferring them. Allow something they’ve said or the tone of their voice to impact you. The degree depends on the rapport you have managed to build with them, but it keeps your interest so that you don’t leave them dangling “on hold” or forget their name (two of the worst errors to make.)

How it looks on both sides of the telephone

Always make sure you ultimately do the right things to minimise misunderstandings and reduce conflict. Forbes lists the 5 best things to do. And knowing that you handled them correctly goes a long way to building your confidence. You are the main ‘face’ of the company, and the first impression the customer gets.

How Quality Customer Service Can Boost Your Profits

It’s a new fiscal year for a lot of businesses. Targets are being set. Commitments are agreed. Customers are made promises.

And the big question that businesses face is how can they expect to grow and generate more revenue from their customer base and new customers if their customer service is not set at the highest of standards?

So, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves, what we can do to improve our service standard. I know it’s not rocket science, create happy customers and we’ll be the beneficiaries of their future business, right?

That’s all fine in theory, however, the customer service fundamentals need to be firmly embedded in the company culture. The service team needs to live, breathe and exude these principles and it must come across as positive in every single customer experience, whether it’s a phone call, an email, a live chat or a written document.

These are the building blocks that every customer service model can be built upon:


There will never be a better opportunity to stand out from the crowd than when a new customer is shopping around, and they encounter you. Be friendly, concise, careful not to push too hard and be respectful of their buying timeframe. Engage them in conversation and listen closely to what they need. Fulfil this interaction by completing any agreed follow up in a timely manner.


This can be an opportunity to stand out and exceed your customers’ expectations. A lot of businesses have their own turnaround times that suit them, but not always their customers. Having a habit or a mantra of consistently over-delivering builds trust long term. This article gives 5 ideas to reduce response times.


Always invest in the time it takes to research about your customers. Your knowledge of how their business works and the challenges they face will serve you well during periods where you are developing the business relationship. Research their Company website, Linkedin page, TrustPilot reviews, Glassdoor or Facebook pages to really understand their business.


If I don’t know an answer to a question, I will always profess to do so. And this is the case when I’m dealing with my clients and my customers. Your honesty and openness will establish your credibility and your integrity in the eyes of your customer.


A lot of businesses out there will only publish the 9/10’s or the 10/10’s for superior service or if they are seeking recommendations or business introductions.


Adherence and making these factors a habit leads to increased levels of customer satisfaction, added long term value, longer serving customer relationships and higher streams of revenue year-on-year.