Telephone Conversation Complied by Ms. Terri Yueh Focus on Communication Telephone Etiquette Prepare well before pick up the phone. Check the international time differences to know the time of the locale you are calling. Be sensitive to the customs and ways of the person and culture you are calling. Send a message or an e-mail before you call, if possible. The simpler the language, the less chance of misunderstanding. Keep a positive atmosphere and be efficient. Be enthusiastic, but slow down the pace while speaking over the phone. Make your sound and tone work for you --Smile as if you were meeting in person! Concentrate when you listen and never interrupt someone on the other line. Ask for confirming your message and the contact number when dealing with a message taker. Try to return message calls in the same business day. Send a follow-up mail or fax to confirm the things agreed by telephone or to check that there has been no misunderstanding in the conversation. Focus on Communication Tips on handling voice mails and answering machines Leave a clear, brief, and purposeful message. Speak confidently and naturally. An ideal message is less than 30 seconds. Give the time and date you called. Give your name and number, country and city code for an international call, both at the beginning and at the end of the message. Some Useful Expressions The Caller To call / ring / phone / someone To give someone a ring / a call To call someone up To make a (phone) call to…. The Receiver To receive a call To answer a call To get a call To have a call Some Useful Expressions The Calls A direct /outside / land line. A telephone call A local call A long distance call An international call An internet call A conference call A cold call (selling) Some Useful Expressions Getting through I’d like to speak to …. Is …there, please? Could I have the Customer Service Department, please? Could you put me through to …? Extension 2207, please. I’ll connect you. I’ll put you through. I’m putting you through now. It’s ringing for you now. Some Useful Expressions Excuses I am sorry, she’s on another line. / I’m afraid the line is busy. His line’s engaged. No, I’m sorry she’s not available (at the moment). I’m sorry, she’s out of the office this afternoon. Sorry, she’s on vacation / holiday. Sorry, she’s away / not in / in a meeting / in Seattle. He’ll be back soon. / She won’t be back until this afternoon. Call Back I’ll call back later. I’ll hold. Some Useful Expressions Communication Difficulties: Sound Can you hear me? Sorry, I can’t hear you. Can you speak up? Can you speak up a little bit, please? It’s very noisy here. I can hardly hear you. It’s a bad / terrible line. I’ll call you on a land line /I’ll use a payphone. Some Useful Expressions Communication Difficulties: Mobile phones My battery is nearly out / low. I’m losing you. The signal is too weak. Call me later. There is a really bad echo. I’ll call you back. There are some problems with the net. Some Useful Expressions Communication Difficulties: No Connection I’m breaking up. Do you want to hold? The connection was broken. I tried to call you but I couldn’t get through. I can’t access my voicemail. We had problem with our system all day. Some Useful Expressions Ask for Repetition Sorry, I didn’t catch (your name / your number / your company, etc.) Sorry, could you repeat that? Could you spell (that / your name), please? I’m sorry, please speak more slowly. Sorry, I didn’t understand. Sorry, I didn’t hear you. What did you say? Some Useful Expressions Leaving a message Can I give him a message? Can I leave him a message? Could you give him a message? Could you ask him to ring / call me back? Could you tell him I’ll call again after lunch? Please tell him …. Please ask him to ring me later. Taking a message Can I take a message? Would you like to leave a message? Shall I ask him to call you back? Would you like him to call back? / Does he have your number? I’ll call back later. Study Points Fill in the gaps using ask, say, and tell. ask (tell)Peter to call me. 1. Could you _______ tell 2. Could you _______ him I’ll be late. say 3. Could you _______ I’m leaving at 4:30pm. say 4. Please _______ I’m very sorry. tell the good news. 5. Please _______ ask (tell) 6. Please _______ her to wait until next Tuesday. tell 7. Could you ______ her I’ll call back later? (tell)him to ring me back? 8. Could you ask ______ ask 9. Could you ______ her for the prices? Sample Dialogues Situation 1: A receptionist (operator) answers and directs telephone calls. R: Good morning. Allan Designs. How may I direct your call? J: Can I speak to Mr. Martin Allan, please. R: Surely…Just a moment. (the telephone rings several times but remains unanswered) R: I’m sorry. No one is answering. Would you like to leave a message? J: Certainly. R: I’ll connect you to Martin Allan’s voicemail. J: Thank you. Sample Dialogues Situation 2: Asking for information thru a call . J: Hello, can I speak to Mr. Marley, please? M: Speaking. J: Hello, this is Johnny Lin from FJU. I’m calling about the workshop next month. Is it possible to send me some information? M: Yes, Of course. Could you give me your email address, please. J: It’s email@example.com M: Could you repeat that, please? Sample Dialogues Situation 3: A receptionist at Buick China connects the caller who thinks he has directly dialed a friend within a company. R: Buick China, What can I do for you? C: Is this Sandy? R: No, This is the receptionist. C: Oh! Do you know if Sandy is available? R: One moment, please. I’ll check. If Sandy isn’t in her voicemail, service will come on to this line automatically so that she may return your call. Sample Dialogues Situation 4: A secretary answers but Dan has left for lunch. Plastic Flowers, Dan Jackson’s office. May I help you? Is Dan in? Who should I say is calling? Julia Frost. This is an international call from Taipei. Just a moment. I’ll put you through. (I’ll connect you now.) S: Sorry, He’s just left for lunch. May I take a message? J.F.: Yes, Can you tell her that Julia Frost from China Communications called. S: Okay. Ms. Julia Frost called. I’ll make sure he gets your message. Goodbye. S: J.F.: S: J.F.: S: Sample Dialogues Situation 5: Sally returns a call. S: This is Sally Wang. My secretary said you called, so I’m returning your call. Is this a good time to talk? F: Thanks for getting back to me so soon. What I wanted to talk about was to check and see if our meeting with new clients has been arranged. S: Yes, it has been scheduled on Nov. 9. F: Great! I’ll check the detailed information later. S: If you like, I can go over the agreement with you now. Do you have a few minutes to talk about this now? F: Actually I was just on my way to a meeting. Is it alright if I call you back in an hour? S: Sure. Talk to you later. F: Thanks. Bye. Practice the calls… Choose one of the following situations to make a telephone conversation with your partner. Practice and record your dialogue. 1. 2. 3. Ring a company to ask for product details or prices. Ring a hotel to book a weekend accommodation. Ring a travel agent to ask about travel information you would like to know.