Phone etiquette rules every professional should follow

Do you have to deal with clients or customers on the phone? With so much attention being placed on online communication, whether it’s via email and social media, phone etiquette is becoming a lost art. However, answering the phone is still a big part of the experience for many businesses. Therefore, presenting a professional image, both on the phone and in person, is very important. 

To help you improve your phone etiquette, Business Insider has created the following infographic. It highlights basic phone etiquette that everyone should practice, regardless of their profession. These eight guidelines are based on advice found in The Essentials of Business Etiquette, a book written by career coach Barbara Pachter. Tips include simple things like answering the phone and stating your name or not leaving long-winded voicemails.

Whether you need advice or just a simple refresher take a look at the infographic or learn to improve your office bathroom etiquette.

Infographic: 8 phone etiquette rules every professional should know

Top 8 phone etiquette rules

Announce your name when answering the phone

Use a greeting or say your full name. Using your first name alone can sound too informal for every professional call; using only your last name can sound too abrupt.

Be aware of your speaking volume

Some people just don’t know how loud they are, especially when their attention is focused on the person on the other line. Be aware of your surroundings. You never know who’s paying attention to your conversation.

Don’t answer your phone when you’re meeting with someone

If you take a call, you’re effectively communicating with the person you’re meeting with that someone else is more deserving of your time than they are. If you’re expecting an important call and there’s no way to reschedule it, let the person you’re meeting with know ahead of time.

Don’t put your phone on the table when meeting others

For some, this is a way of showing the person you’re meeting with that they’re not worth your time. Even if you don’t answer the phone, it can still be distracting.

Respect quiet zones

If you’re in the middle of a meeting or conference, it’s rude to have your phone go off and disrupt the speaker and everyone else. Put your phone in silent mode or turn it off.

Choose a normal ringtone

Do you really want your colleagues to hear music blasting on your cellphone while you’re fumbling to silence it? Consider your ringtone and how others may react to it.

Let the other person know when you have them on speaker phone

If you must put someone on speakerphone, make sure you immediately let them know if there’s anyone with you.

Don’t leave long voicemails

Leave a short and straightforward message. Speak clearly and let the other person know why you called. If you leave a phone number, say the numbers slowly.