Be Pro-active! Answer the phone after two or three rings with a friendly, business-like greeting Hello, Jesse Lugar Speaking.
Smile Callers can tell, even if they can’t see you.
When answering the phone for a colleague: Ask, politely, for the name of the caller. You could say “May I say who is calling”. Ask the caller if you can place them on hold before transferring them. You could say “One moment please. May I place you on hold?
HOLD ON! If at all possible, try not to leave a caller on hold for more than 30 seconds. …it can get old.
They don’t need the whole entire story. If the person they have requested to speak with is not available because.. they’re out at the restroom with the worst diarreha that you’ve heard of in a while! And then they’ve got to go get an “emergency” tire change because their tires have dry rotted and then when they get back they’ve got a meeting (that they’re not looking forward to at all!). So, I don’t know how long it might be; it might be two hours, or even three or four! …they don’t need to know all of that! -Simply say “My colleague is out of her office at the moment; I can take a message and have her call you back”.
Setting up your incoming voice mail. Make your voice mail short and professional. Example: “Hi, you’ve reached Chuck Norris. I’m not available to take your call at this time, but if you leave your name, phone number, and a brief message, I will call you back as soon as I can.”
Setting up your extended leave voice mail. Make this voice mail brief and professional as well. Give instructions on alternative ways to reach. You may also include the date at which you will be returning to the office.
General Advice Alexander Graham Bell-First telephone