10 Tips for Clear Business Phone Calls

Etiquette, at its heart, has always been about making communication easier and clearer. It’s much simpler to understand each other when we agree on the forms, rules, and standards used in written and verbal communication.

Phones are here to stay, but they present their own challenges in communication. They can be difficult to understand each other over, given that while tone is present, expression is not.

We present the best tips for making business phone calls clear, effective, and simple for everyone involved.

Represent Your Company At All Times

Phone calls present challenges to most team members. Understanding the brand voice is a difficult, important part of integrating into the company as a whole. One should never get too casual, offer personal information, make negative jokes, or bring up potentially controversial subjects during a business call. Use the overall brand voice, but stay professional.

Be Personable

It’s important to care about and listen to the person with whom one is speaking. They’re a person, not a consumer, not just a cog in some other company. Whoever they are, they have issues they need solved, and have their own reason for being on any given call. Use the caller’s name, express empathy whenever possible. It helps if you can express to a contact that you understand the problem that they’re experiencing.

Be Prepared

Phone calls can make a day hectic, but they get easier when one is prepared as much as possible. Understand the reason for the call, have the details on hand for all the relevant products, services, and customers involved in the conversation.

Take Notes

Even if you think you can solve all the problems and handle all logistics right there on the call, take notes anyway. Whether by pen and paper or in the most advanced customer relationship management software known to man, document everything on the call for the record and the next person to handle the process with this contact.

Never Interrupt

Once people start interrupting, the threads and continuity of a call can get snarled quickly. In addition, it’s rude, and makes the contact you’re talking to feel run over and objectified. Interruptions will anger people, when letting them have their say will defuse frustrations. Use your pen and paper to jot anything that comes to mind rather than interrupt, and then convey it when it’s your turn.

Understand Your Equipment

Nobody appreciates being hung up on. Trying to reconnect causes more delay and increases tension. Hold, Transfer, and Disconnect are three buttons easy to mix up, and nothing will upset people faster. Know how your equipment works and use it well.

Ensure A Quiet Environment

Phones aren’t always very discriminating about the noises they pick up on, and they can fuzz out parts of the conversation. It’s polite to turn off as much entertainment as possible, mute notifications, and ask people to not come in. Whether in the office or working remotely, the person you’re talking to shouldn’t be able to tell about your background.

Use Voicemail Properly

People forget to set up their voicemail with a professional, pleasant message that conveys all relevant information. Make it easy to leave a message, and have a plan in place to check those messages and follow up on them.

Keep Callers Updated

The person you’re on the phone with can’t see what you’re doing with your hands. If you’re helping them via computer, give them a running update on what you’re doing as you do it. If you’re sending them on to talk to someone else, give them the direct number to that person in case you get disconnected.

Be Proactive

It’s not always possible to fully resolve every issue on a single phone call. If the situation calls for multiple communications, be sure to lay out a plan with your contact for going forward. Make sure all parties understand and agree with the steps as laid out.


By ensuring that you and your team are well versed in business phone etiquette, you guarantee your customers and contacts excellent service every time they contact you. Building trust and smooth problem solving ensure that more and more people want to work with you.

Contact us to custom fit your phone system to your business needs and improve your communication today!

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