Phone Etiquette Part 1

We constantly get callers who don’t know how to use the telephone with the correct etiquette – or manners as it’s more commonly called. Here’s a list of some of the more common rude mannerisms.

1) The Hollywood Actor
We’ve all seen the films where some actor or another has to use the phone. They never hold it correctly. The receiver is always held with the hand around the phone. If it’s the conventional landline then the hand is around the mouth piece at the bottom of the phone. If it’s a mobile their hand is usually around the whole phone especially the bottom part where the mouth piece is. They don’t worry – they’re actors and not actually making a real phone call. But many people – wannabe Hollywood actors – do exactly the same thing when they’re making a real phone call. Result? All we hear is a garbled, muffled sound. We haven’t got a clue what you’re going on about so there’s really no point in you phoning us. Go away.

2) The Nervy Type
This is the person who is so nervous about phoning in that they actually haven’t stopped to think about what they’re phoning for. All we get is a load of stuttering, uming and arghing, and then a story that is so disjointed it makes no sense whatsoever. Result? We are literally left speechless. Although we have a lot of sympathy for nervous people – we don’t bite – we would much rather you think about what you want before phoning us. Write it down if it helps. Or talk slowly until things come back to you.

3) The Ill Person
We really have no business knowing about your ills and woes. It has nothing to do with us. You may be really sick – we do have sympathy and feeling towards people. We are human after all. But telling us a sob story about the 16 different types of illness you have will not get you a discount. Then there’s the people who have coughs and colds. Now I know we are all prone to these annoying maladies, and we all have to continue our normal daily stuff (accept if you have man flu and then the rest of us have extra chores). But when you call someone it is a very good idea to give your nose a good blow before phoning. Also have a good cough before calling. Keep a glass of water handy. Coughing down the phone, sniffing down the phone, or blowing your nose while on the phone certainly won’t pass the virus to us, but it makes us feel nauseous. We are not going to sit at our desk and start vomiting. Being made to vomit is against our health and safety therefore you will get cut off.

4) The Chewer
It’s definitely not cool to phone someone while you are chewing or eating. It sounds disgusting. Slurping down the phone is not trendy or fashionable. Why not put the food down or chuck the chewing gum when you make a phone call? It’s bad manners to eat down the phone, it sounds sickening, and you deserve to be cut off.

5) The Shouter
Trust me on this. If we can’t hear you we will tell you. There’s no need for you to assume that we are deaf. We work in a call centre and so far I have not met anyone in there who has hearing difficulties. If you, the customer, has hearing difficulties please don’t assume that we do also. We don’t. You do not have to shout. We can’t do our job properly if we have the hold the headset a foot away from our ears.

Here’s just a few to get started. Part 2 coming up…

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