How Calls Should Be Answered – The Three “P’s”

People Answering Phones

How Calls Should Be Answered – The Three “P’s”

Anyone who answers phones for your company should keep three things in mind at all times. It doesn’t matter if this is a dedicated receptionist, an answering service, or a CEO. These factors remain important no matter who is on the other end of the line, and you should ensure that anyone answering phones for your company keeps the three Ps at the forefront at all times: Promptness, Professionalism, and Politeness.


Answering the phone promptly is a great way to get a call off to a positive start. If a customer has to sit on hold for more than a few seconds, they’re going to start getting antsy, and already have a negative impression formed of your company.

In addition, you don’t want calls ever going to voicemail if you can avoid it. This is becoming increasingly true as people get more accustomed to the speed at which everything can be done online. Essentially, if his or her need can’t be met in a few minutes or less, a customer is unlikely to wait around for satisfaction. That means that people are less likely to leave voicemails, and more likely to just hang up and call one of your competitors instead. You can avoid lost business by having enough people on your phones so that all calls are answered promptly within two rings.


Being professional with anyone who calls your business plays a critical part in their forming of a good impression about your company. Staff that is knowledgeable and well educated about your products and services plays a large role in this perception. However, it is also important that staff have an upbeat attitude, and that they always stay respectful. Sometimes a customer may call in and be frustrated or even angry, and it is important that staff never match the customer’s energy when it is negative. Instead, they should stay cool and helpful, and do their best to help the caller even under difficult circumstances.


If you’ve ever called a company and been met by someone rude on the other end of the phone, you know how long-lasting of an impression such an experience can make. You don’t ever want that to be the case at your own company, and a great way to avoid this is to use standardized answering scripts. By sticking to a politely worded script, you avoid having anyone even accidentally offend a customer.

A final thing to remember about politeness is the power of thanking the customer. People working on the phones should be sure to always thank the customer for their call, their business, or even their questions, to remind the customer how much their engagement with your organization is valued.

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