View Full Version : Best way to answer the phone

12-19-2003, 06:07 PM
My job consists of mainly answering the phone day in and day out, and of course we have a standard opening (Thank you for calling blah blah...)

However, this is not enough (on many levels). I need more interesting ways to answer the phone before I go completely sideways with boredom. Suggestions?

12-19-2003, 06:18 PM
"beeeep" - you've reached XYZ Company - please press 1 for ________, press 2 for ________, etc

ala - Kramer doing Moviephone on Seinfeld.

12-19-2003, 06:46 PM
This is my standard way of answering the phone at work:

Good morning ( afternoon, or evening )
Thank you for calling XXXX.

I am always cheerful when I answer the phone. It makes a big difference. I could answer the phone for a living.

12-19-2003, 06:51 PM
I'm always partial to "Bueno!"

Or, according to my Italian boss "Pronto!"

12-19-2003, 06:52 PM
What insurance company do you work for misstee?

12-19-2003, 07:31 PM
When I worked for a Chinese restaurant, I usually answered like so: "Restaurant Name?"

But when I got bored, I'd make it a little more professional, even though we weren't a chain restaurant or even very professional: "Thanks for choosing the Valley Restaurant Name, home of General Tso's chicken. Would you like to try a combination meal?"

I like the Moviephone idea...

"Thanks for calling Business Name. We are located on the north side at 12345 N. Madison. Please listen carefully to the following options, as our menu has changed. For sales, press or say 1. For accountz receevable, press or say 2. If you know your party's extension, press or say 3. Otherwise, stay on the line and I will be with you shortly."

12-19-2003, 07:45 PM
I have a friend who answers his home phone as such:
"Good evening, Lady Lydia's Latex Lair of Love, how may we service you this evening?"

He manages to say it incredibly fast and smoothly, and it's a great way to get rid of telemarketers ;) His friends know he answers the phone that way, and it's great for getting rid of parents and other assorted weirdos.

12-19-2003, 07:53 PM
[Monty Burns]"Ahoy-hoy!"[/Monty Burns]

You can only get away with this when really, really old people call though.

12-19-2003, 07:54 PM
A friend of mine used to answer the phone
"Cook County Morgue, you stab em, we slab em, how may I help you?" telemarketers and sales people hung up instantly, the rest of us would just say,
"Hey Verg, hows it hanging?"

12-19-2003, 08:37 PM
Damn you voguevixen - you beat me to it!
Oh, well.

12-19-2003, 09:59 PM
Happy Harry's Whore House, Where the Customer Always Comes First-this is Harry, how may I please you?

The irony of this is that I improved that line during a party at a friend's house when the phone rang, and she told me to answer it. The caller was her Mom. :eek:

Mom was not amused, but we all had a good laugh afterwards.

12-20-2003, 12:02 AM
I'm in customer service too, so I answer the phone "CityUtilitiesthisisCCarolhowc'nIhelpyou?" (I have to fight a tendency to answer the phone this way at home, too.) One of these days, though, I'm going to snap, and answer the phone by snarling "Yeah, whaddaya want?" It'll get me fired, but I think it'll be worth it.

12-20-2003, 12:22 AM
"Smith's my name, guess you know yours."

"Melmo Uranium, whatcha need?"

"I told you never to call me here!"

Never say, "yes" on the phone until you know who you're talking to. That's how slammers change your phone service. "Is this Mr. Nott?" It is. "Is your address 2323 Street Ave?" That's the place. "Do you still live there?" Sometimes.

12-20-2003, 12:33 AM
"Joe's Mule Barn. Head Ass speaking."

Filters out the telemarketers and collection agencies.

12-20-2003, 12:44 AM
I was, for many, many years a Secretary/Receptionist for the Executive Suite in a Government Department. I was always complimented on my phone manner. You know what the secret is to having a pleasant telephone manner? It doesn't mean so much what you say, just always make sure you're actually smiling while you're talking on the phone.

It really does make a big difference to how you actually sound to the caller.

12-20-2003, 01:40 AM
Instead of saying "hello" I say "yellow".

12-20-2003, 01:51 AM
Some of my favorites:

"Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles"



"Mhmmm?" (Think Slingblade)

12-20-2003, 02:20 AM
Similar to myrnajean's:
County morgue, you kill 'em, we chill 'em.

Dizzy Fingers
12-20-2003, 02:22 AM
Or you could use this old standby from "Calvin and Hobbes":

(phone rings, Calvin picks up)

CALVIN: Hello, I'd like to order a large anchovy pizza.

CALLER: What?! I. . .

CALVIN: Oh, I'm sorry. You must have dialed the wrong number.

(hangs up)

12-20-2003, 02:28 AM
For a while I used to answer the phone with "Hi, can I speak to Gavin please?" - then I'd wait while the gears crunched.

12-20-2003, 02:56 AM
Rosemary's Center for Unfortunate young Girls, How may I help you?

rubber baby buggy bumpers
12-20-2003, 03:20 AM
Hello covers it. Anything else is not making conversation but just delaying conversation.

12-20-2003, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by scout1222
I'm always partial to "Bueno!"

Ditto. In a low voice. Confuses my friends.

12-20-2003, 03:46 AM
Though I've never answered my phone this way, I've heard of folks who have...

"County abortion clinic. No fetus can beat us!"

12-20-2003, 04:00 AM
"Hill County Morgue and Barbecue. You kill 'em, we grill 'em!"
Or, more usually,

12-20-2003, 04:01 AM
I always enjoy answering with "It is I" in as deep a voice as I can manage.

~ Isaac

12-20-2003, 04:10 AM
It's your dime...

12-20-2003, 06:01 AM
While in college my roommate answered the phone three times and each time it was the wrong number. On the fourth time, I picked up the phone and said, "Ann Arbor Police Department" I heard a gasp and a dial tone.

Between about 6 and 6:30, my wife answers "Dinner time"

12-20-2003, 06:57 AM
"Bob's House of Drugs, we got what you need to get off, Bob Speaking..."
always fun when answering pay phones in the barracks.
"Yobo Say Yo"
Korean for hello
Turkish for Sir

12-20-2003, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by danceswithcats
Happy Harry's Whore House, Where the Customer Always Comes First-this is Harry, how may I please you?

The irony of this is that I improved that line during a party at a friend's house when the phone rang, and she told me to answer it. The caller was her Mom. :eek:

Mom was not amused, but we all had a good laugh afterwards.

Ahhh, time for MY trip down Memory Lane...;)

I was 17, a senior in high school, living at home with my mother and stepfather. One afternoon I was on the phone with my best friend, but she said her father had to use the phone and she'd call me back in five minutes. I said OK and we hung up.

Five minutes to the second later, the phone rang. I picked up the phone and answered it, "City Abortion Clinic. You rape 'em, we scrape 'em." -- and it was my stepfather's grandmother!!!

My mother was furious when she found out (Step-grandma did not hesitate to tell her) and Mom screamed at me. "When you're out on your own, with a job, your own place and your own phone, I don't care how you answer it. But in THIS house, you say 'HELLO' when you answer the phone, or you don't answer the phone at all!" I obeyed.

I got out of the house when I was 18 (praise Ratness) and over the years I had numerous unique ways of answering the phone. Most of them were twisted and related to whatever my "passion" was at the time (electronic music, Star Trek, microbiology, rats...).

Alas, none of my past phone-answering phrases actually apply anymore, and I haven't been able to replace them with anything good that would apply (my zest for living has seriously diminished over time) -- so when my phone rings, I'm stuck with that ever-so-boring "hello." :(

12-20-2003, 11:06 AM
Had a roommate once who answered the phone, "House of God, may I help you?" :)

12-20-2003, 01:13 PM
While in school I worked a semester as night security guard at the Delta Delta Delta sorority house, where one responsibility was answering the phone. I had to quit before the temptation to answer "can I help ya, help ya, help ya?" overwhelmed me.

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