Answer the Phone With A Smile!

When I make phone calls to venues or to other vendors, it never ceases to amaze me how rude some people sound. I know that I'm not always Little Miss Sunshine, but if someone is calling your business don't you think that you should make an effort to be polite?

I have to call venues all the time to arrange delivery details. Sometimes I know the person who answers the phone, and sometimes I don't. I tend to be a little phone-phobic, and I'm not tremendously chatsy, so when I call I don't want to have to call back if I can get everything straightened out with one attempt.

Here are some tips for people who answer their own phones:
1. Don't pick up if you can't talk. If you're in the middle of something, let the answering machine take a message and call back as soon as you can.
2. For pete's sake, just fake a smile. Even if it's phony it will make your voice sound better than someone who's frowning.
3. Put a little energy into it. I get enough mumbling at home from my teenager, I don't need to listen to a mumbler when I make a call. If I have to ask you to repeat yourself then you need to speak up, or at least put the phone receiver somewhere in the vicinity of your mouth.

Here are some tips for people who have other people answer their phones.
1. Look at tips number 2 and 3 above. Tell your employees to read them.
2. Don't pretend to know the answer if you don't. I'd rather leave a message and talk to the person who really knows what's going on than someone who says "Yeah, I think that would be okay" but who has no idea if it is.
3. Don't transfer me to someone else if you know that person isn't in their office that day and I'm going to get their answering machine. I'll just be calling back to find a real person to answer my question, and I won't be as happy the second time I have to dial the phone to talk to you.

Does anyone else have any tips or tricks they'd like to suggest? Please feel free to add anything you can think of. If it helps one person to answer the phone in a professional manner then you'll be doing a public service.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and