Intro to Business Communication

Telephone Etiquette

Communication today has no limitation due to the availability of so many sources of conveying them. One that you see glued to every person these days are phones. Which is why here we are discussing telephone etiquette in this chapter.

Browse more Topics under Intro To Business Communication

Suggested Videos

previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow



These are some basic manners that everyone in Business should follow because what you say represents you, your organization and your ideas. All of these deserve to be portrayed in the best possible manner. There are certain thumb rules that we go by in Business. As a fun activity, a group of you could do a role play for learning this.

telephone etiquette

Common telephone etiquettes:

  • Keep a pleasant voice pitch. Use warm wishes like “good morning, “how are you, good sir?” and such. First impressions are the last impressions. So make them last.
  • Know your audience: It’s important to know who you are speaking to set the tone and use relatable language with them.
  • Never call any person at odd hours like early morning or late nights as the person will definitely be sleeping and will not be interested in talking to you.
  • If you are the one who has called, before starting the conversation, introduce yourself first ad=nd then definitely confirm whether you are talking to the right person. Example – Hello ma’am. Good morning. My name is Pratyush, I am calling from Am I speaking with Neha?”
  • Make sure your content is crisp and relevant. Don’t play with words, come to the point directly and convey the information as required. If you the one dialing, first prepare your content thoroughly and then only pick up the receiver to start interacting.
  • Re-check the dialed number to avoid unwanted confusion and mistakes.
  • Remember you are making a conversation. Be a good listener and always ask for feedback to know whether you have the other person on the same page as you. Also, when the call is done, always ask politely to the person on the other hand if that is all? Then end with pleasantries.
  • Always speak each and every word clearly. The person on the other end can’t see your expressions so remember your tone should be apt to express your feelings in the correct form.
  • Another very important telephone etiquette is to never put the second party on very long holds.  It is rude and may cause irritation to the person on the other end.
  • If there are disturbances around like TVs, radios, etc., it’s telephone etiquette to turn it’s volume down so you are audible to the person on the line.
  • If you are eating and it is a formal phone call, it does not sound good. First off, all calls must be scheduled on non-lunch hours. If there are unplanned calls that are business related, either ask for pardoning you till you finish eating or maybe take a break from eating and finish the call first. Not only do we sound funny when we speak on the phone while eating, but we can also be not clearly understood.
    It is hard to concentrate on the person on the line if you are focusing on other activities like watching a video, reading a book, eating, playing video games, etc. It may very well come off as irresponsible and disinterested to some.
  • One of the important telephone etiquettes is to not take too long to pick up a call. If you miss the call, make sure you give a call back as the other person might have an important message to convey. Avoid giving missed calls at workplaces as it irritates the other person. Be professional and always approach first if you are the one in need.
    Do not leave your phone numbers on your emails for them to call you if you are the one approaching for work.
  • In professional talks, never keep the conversation too long as the other person might be busy. Always keep the content crisp and relevant and do come to the point after formal greetings.
  • If you are not the correct person and the speaker needs to speak to your co-worker always politely say “one moment please- I will call him/her in a minute”. If the colleague is not in the office premises, always take a message on his/her behalf and don’t forget to convey to him when he is back. Also, it is best if you do not discuss these messages with others as some information could be sensitive too.
  • If you have network issues between a call, deal with it patiently and wisely. People tend to raise their voices when the network is the issue. If it’s a patchy network, even a raised voice is going to sound patchy. So do not resort to yelling. Moreover, it causes disturbance to others around you. Check your network, if the issue is at your end, politely tell them you are disconnecting the call to find a better spot to call back from.
    Chances are they won’t be able to hear it, but you have no choice. If re-connection takes to long, leave them a message with a re-scheduled call. In case the network disturbance is from the other person’s end, politely tell them that you are facing difficulty in hearing them. Kindly ask them to find a network zone.
  • Wrap up: The final telephone etiquette is to tie all loose ends of the conversation in your final wrap up. One may also relay the important highlights of the conversation to make sure everyone is on the same page. If this conversation was a conference with a larger group, take everyone’s final say and make sure everyone has put their point forth without hesitation.

Maybe have some dialogue exchanges as a fun activity to role play and absorb what we learned about telephone etiquettes above.

Solved Questions on Telephone Etiquette


State true or false against the following statements:

  1. You should talk on the phone to a professional contact while you are eating or chewing something.
  2. It is advised to say pleasantries at the start and end of the call.
  3.  It is okay to call people at odd hours.


  1. False
  2. True
  3. False
Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download the App

Watch lectures, practise questions and take tests on the go.

Customize your course in 30 seconds

No thanks.