Receptionist Telephone Etiquette

‘The customer’s perception is your reality’ and that perception can also be set through a phone. Receptionist telephone etiquettes are simple but mean a lot. It is important because it helps set the tone for further conversations. Here are some of the best etiquettes that a receptionist can follow to improve the client experience. A receptionist’s best friend is a visitor management app, that takes care of a lot of functioning of the front desk

before a call - receptionist phone etiquette

Before Calling Or Accepting A Call

Keep a tab on these receptionist etiquettes before answering a call or calling somebody.

Answer On Time

It is important to pick the calls up at the right time. The key to picking up calls on time is not being too early and not being too late either. Pick the call up too early and the caller is left off-guard and is not completely ready to speak. Pick the call up late and the caller will be angry as well as stressed. The best time to pick up a call is after two rings.

Noise & Distractions

Always check the level of noise that you have in your surroundings. If there is a radio in the office, the sound of it should be lowered. It is important to avoid any noise or distractions while picking up a call, as it can worsen the caller’s mood and think of them as unimportant.

Food & Calls don’t go together

A receptionist must know that food and calls never go together. If there is a call which is to be attended, then the receptionist must stop whatever is being done to attend the call. The last thing any caller would want to listen to is the sound of a receptionist munching over food.

Always Be Ready To Take Notes

Some callers give information which is meant to be taken down and possibly forwarded to someone, and so it is important to always have a note and a pen ready whenever there is a call. The best part about taking notes is not forgetting things. Taking notes is one of the best habits a receptionist can have.

Verify the taken notes

We, humans, are prone to make mistakes and making a mistake when taking down some important piece of information is no exception, and so it becomes increasingly important to verify the information that the caller has provided.

during a call - receptionist phone etiquette

During A Call

There are certain receptionist telephone etiquettes to follow when on a call and speaking to a caller.

Greet And Give

The first thing that a receptionist has to do after picking up a call is to greet the caller with a positive greeting and immediately after the greeting the receptionist should mention their name followed by the name of the place that is being called.

Smile And Speak

It might sound dumb but there is science behind it. When a call is being taken and if the human smiles and talks then the voice is much more pleasant. Even if the caller is a little rude, the pleasantness of the voice will calm the caller down and will feel much comfortable talking to the receptionist.

Tone Of The Speech

A receptionist should always take note of the tone of speech. The tone should always be comforting and friendly. The tone should also be a little slow that the caller can clearly understand and the receptionist doesn’t have to repeat what has already been told. The key to a good tone of speech is not being too loud and not being too low and just being balanced.

Listen To What The Caller Has To Say

Every good receptionist knows that the key to being a good receptionist is always listening to what the caller has to say before talking. A receptionist should always know that it is not a good practice to interrupt the caller when the caller is talking.

Holding Up Calls

A receptionist should always notify the caller whenever they have to hold the call and also mention the waiting time for the caller. If the caller has been waiting more than the specified time, then it is advisable to take the call off hold and inform the caller of the further delay.  

before disconnecting - receptionist phone etiquette

Before Disconnecting A Call

Don’t Rush

Some people just rush to put a phone down as soon as the conversation has ended, but a receptionist should never be in a hurry to put the phone down. The caller must always be the first person to put down the phone, and in the case of the receptionist putting down the phone first then they should not bash the phone while keeping it on the receiver.

Thank You Note

A good receptionist always leaves a thank you note at the end of every conversation no matter how rude and impatient the caller has been in the conversation. This leaves behind a positive note about the receptionist as well as the company.

Follow and practice these 13 receptionist telephone etiquettes to be a well mannered, efficient, and a friendly receptionist.

After a Call

Prompt Information

Receptionists are sometimes required to pass on messages or information due to some reason. After a call, the receptionist should make sure that the information to be delivered has reached the concerned as soon as possible, such that necessary action can be taken by the receiver of the information.

Return Calls

Whenever a receptionist cannot pick up a call or the call goes to voicemail, they should return the call as soon as possible. The receptionist should be prompt and attentive to return the voicemails so that the caller doesn’t think that their voice is not being heard.


Receptionist telephone etiquettes are just one among the many skills that a receptionist must have on their skillset. A receptionist has to take care of the visitors, manage visitors and arrange meetings.

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