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Customer Service Phone Etiquette Tips

April 11, 2012 by Dr. Jon Warner in Customer Service

Customer Service Phone Etiquette Tips

Every one of us has experienced poor service on the telephone. This may have been with a shop, an insurance company, a bank, a garage, a Government agency etc. Whatever the environment, most people would recognize the poor service as being characterized by someone that was:

  • unresponsive
  • rude
  • unwilling to help
  • distracted
  • lacking in knowledge
  • officious
  • curt
  • negative
  • dismal
  • complacent.

And sometimes, many of the above can be experienced all at once!

Conversely, as everyday consumers, most of us will have also experienced good service (although perhaps less frequently than bad service it seems). In these circumstances, it is almost an unbounded pleasure to find someone that is:

  • quick
  • warm
  • responsive
  • friendly
  • positive
  • competent
  • obliging
  • focused
  • complimentary
  • pro-active

And, on some rare occasions, all of the above.

Such experiences are usually very pleasurable for the recipient and highly rewarding for the service provider. The fact is we’d all like to get better service, particularly over the telephone. While it might be hard to find, perhaps the first step is to try to give others the sort of service that we would like to get ourselves. This is particularly important, because we would take our business elsewhere if someone fails to give good telephone service to us (and the customer will adopt the same approach of course).

5 customer service phone etiquette tips

The key to effective service excellence on the telephone is consequently to make every call count in terms of enhancing the caller’s positive perception of their interaction. Apart from exhibiting the positive characteristics in the list above, perhaps one the best ways to create good impression is to adopt the following simple telephone etiquette:

  1. Always treat the customer’s time (to take the trouble to call) as valuable
  2. Be as competent and professional as possible at all times
  3. Be highly motivated and enthusiastic in your attitude and tone
  4. Convey that you can be trusted to listen and be action-oriented where necessary
  5. Treat the customer’s issue as your most important concern while talking with him or her

This simple 5 step process will make a huge positive difference on how your customers feel.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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One Comment

  1. Customer Service Phone Etiquette Tips | ReadyToManage « Customer Service MaxMay 11, 2012 at 2:54 am

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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