Telephone Excellence

Telephone Excellence – Be the “Manager of First Impressions” for Your Business

The real bottom line on telephonic client service is not technology or policy. It’s about one person with a problem talking to another who is supposed to solve it. At that point your technically advanced website, advertising, branding, or public relations don’t mean a thing!

It doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, for the client your company comes down to a voice on the phone. That voice IS your company to your customer. So it had better be soothing and effective in solving problems. Client support is as good as the person handling the call.

Customers want to be heard, heeded and helped!

The way you handle your phone is as important as a face-to-face meeting. Take the time to go over some of these basics. Here is our “top” phone skills list


  1. Let’s start with enthusiasm – positive attitude shows from beginning to end that you care about the person you are talking to.
  2. Use the right tone of voice to create atmosphere on the phone – your tone and voice inflections will create an impression and help the person on the other end understand what you are telling them.
  3. Be sure to smile – even though you are on the phone the other person can sense a smile from you.
  4. Say “Hello!” (or good morning, good afternoon, etc.).
  5. Have a warm greeting or opening – welcome people into the conversation. Don’t make them feel as if they are an interruption.
  6. Courtesy politeness, showing respect: friendliness, thank-you etc.
  7. Understanding the Customer – you are treated as an individual with specific needs and requirements and a specific personality and way you like things done. Stand in the customer’s shoes (have empathy).
  8. When talking to a customer, avoid company or technical terminology they may not understand. Technical terms and industry “buzz-words” can put a customer in an uncomfortable position.
  9. Don’t get angry, even if the customer is – be an empathetic listener. The customer is angry at the situation not you.
  10. When transferring – ONLY ONCE! if you are transferring to someone else, make sure that person is available.
  11. Control the “hold” button on your phone – customers hate being put on ‘hold’. In providing customer service, there are really only two reasons to put someone on hold: to transfer to someone else or to get information.
  12. Returning a call – if you are going to make a customer wait on hold, for any reason, let them know how long they will have to wait. Preferably call them back giving a specific time.
  13. Say “Goodbye.” Have a strong closing At the minimum, be sure to say goodbye before hanging up the phone.

Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We present public training courses at corporate venues in:

  • Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
  • Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
  • Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
  • Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
  • Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer

On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises

For further information contact:
Julie Shoobridge
Tel: +27 11 704 0720


10th Anniversary Logo - disc sml

“Shedding Light on Skills Development”