AIBU to think someone answering the phone for a business should say more than just "Hello"

(72 Posts)
JeewizzJen Fri 01-Feb-13 22:18:14

Is it just me who gets annoyed when a call isn't answered with some indication that you've called the place you think you have? When someone just says "hello" I then panic thinking I've misdialled and called some residential number! And then I have to ask them if I've called the right place and they sound all "well, duh, yeah!"

A minor annoyance perhaps, but it just bugs me! Anyone else?

Yes, it annoys me. Especially because cold callers do that annoying thing of not telling you who they are and just launching into their spiel, so anyone else who doesn't give their name sounds the same.

Mind you, I have been ticked off by my landlord for not answering my phone with 'Hello, this is LRD' and just 'Hello'. hmm Given that 90% of calls I get are from my mum because everyone else uses my mobile or skype, I felt that was a bit off.

TheFowlAndThePussycat Fri 01-Feb-13 23:38:57

Just after I got married I answered the phone at work a couple of times with "hello, MyWorkPlace, this is errrr....um..." I'd forgotten my own name. blush

I now work mostly from home so it's not unusual for work callers to get Dd1 answering the phone! Fortunately I'm not really customer-facing. grin

Pendeen Fri 01-Feb-13 23:44:24

Well my practice is the same as my name so answering the 'phone used to be quite easy but over the past 18 months I have been so inundated with nuisance calls (cold adverts and heavy breathing perves) that I always leave the answering machine to filter out genuine clients and enquiries from the dross.

Currently running at about 7 dross calls to 2 genuine ones...

catgirl1976 Sat 02-Feb-13 00:52:14

At work, I just say my name

"Catgirl 1976" I don't give any greeting / hello at all. Just my name

But I'm not in a role where people ring unless they are ringing internally or my direct line IYSWIM

Reception answer "Good Morning xx company. How may I help you?"

If I rang a business and they just said "Hello" I would assume I had the wrong number

SomethingProfound Sat 02-Feb-13 01:25:13

YANBU, it really pisses me off as well!

I used to work for Hard Rock Cafe and we had to answer the phone "thanks for call Hard Rock Cafe city name, how can I rock your world?"

Cringe!

StuntGirl Sat 02-Feb-13 01:30:21

<Hands prize to profound>

I thought mine was bad, yours takes the biscuit. I will gratefully blurt my spiel out at work tomorrow thinking "Thank fuck I don't work at Hard Rock"!

Did they make you say any cringey things to customers when you served them or was that the limit of their corporate genius?

MsAkimbo Sat 02-Feb-13 02:37:43

YANBU. It's basic professional etiquette and it's a shame some people can't be bothered.

A former boss used to instruct her children to answer the phone as such:

"Good evening, Smith residence. Jane speaking."

Extreme, maybe, but the children were possibly the most professional people working for her.

SomethingProfound Sat 02-Feb-13 02:59:24

Oh stunt girl, that is the tip of a vast iceberg! For two years I had to act like I was SO FUCKING HAPPY. it was like Disney on Prozac.

JeezyOrangePips Sat 02-Feb-13 07:11:36

Usually I answer with a simple 'hello, business name' at my work. Although I do have to figure out which business I'm at so it can take a moment. I occasionally answer the phone on auto-pilot and just say 'hello' at work - Not often, and it is a mistake.

I also have a very small self employment, based at home using the home phone, that just gets answered 'hello'.

I think a lot of small local traders just use their home phone, so just a 'hello' is fine.

quesadilla Sat 02-Feb-13 07:18:17

YANBU but I hate it when people go to the other extreme and give you an entire sentence when they answer the phone. A simple "hello, (business name)," will suffice thank you. I don't care if your name is Jane, really...

CarpeJugulum Sat 02-Feb-13 07:31:13

My work line is internal but can be phoned from externally if you know the direct number which is not publicised - and we don't give it out as all calls are to go through the switchboard, so any calls I get should be internal transfers. "Hello" usually suffices, but I do occasionally get external calls by accident - which is just confusing for everyone!

RuleBritannia Sat 02-Feb-13 07:44:29

I think the proper way to answer a business telephone is, "Good morning/afternoon, X company." The Good Morning helps the caller realise that he/she has got through after a long ringing session and then the name of the company is heard.

Those long sentences, - Good morning, X company, Jennifer speaking, how may I help you - are annoying.

(a) The use of words is eating into the time being paid for by the caller.
(b) I am not interested in what your name is. If I need to know who has been giving me information and it's been rudely given, then I'll ask for the name.
(c) I wouldn't be ringing if I were not going to say what I wanted to talk about.

HindsightisaMarvellousThing Sat 02-Feb-13 07:47:59

I phoned up a law firm once - a big Magic Circle firm - to speak to one of the solicitors there.

I was greeted by "And what the fuck do you want now?" which wasn't the approved method of greeting clients. I'd have been happier with a simple hello to be honest.

TheSmallPrint Sat 02-Feb-13 07:53:30

Hmm I agree with you but as someone who works from home without a separate business line I tend to just answer 'hello'. I always think it sounds unprofessional but we get so many calls (or so it appears) from companies to do with home stuff that I don't like to answer with a company name. Seeing as it annoys you all, I may just answer with my name in future as its part of the company name.

At work we have one number (small company) that rings at the admin manager's desk first then through to the rest after 5 rings so I only occasionally pick up calls, they are never for me, I think I have received one call in 2 years. I just say Good Morning, Comapnyname and proceed to cut most of the callers off trying to transfer them to other extensions. If it's an internal call direct to my desk I just say hello, so does everyone else.

At home I was brought up by my parents to read out the town name and number every time you answer the phone, I stopped when i was about 14 and realised no one else did it, still just say Hello. My parents still do the reading out the town and number, drives me nuts, I'm still convinced no one else in the whole world does it.

StuntGirl Sat 02-Feb-13 08:16:07

Haha hindsight grin

Profound I can imagine. I actually hate the forced jollity of big companies. As long as the server doesn't scowl and throw my purchase at me I don't actually care how much they're smiling or how chatty they are. Let us both get on with our day in peace!

StuntGirl Sat 02-Feb-13 08:17:30

Whoknows that's amazing! I admit I've never heard anyone else do that!

HecateWhoopass Sat 02-Feb-13 08:20:08

blush I did that the other night. Someone called me out of hours on my mobile and I just said hello, without thinking. They were a bit confused about whether they'd called the right number.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 02-Feb-13 08:26:09

When I worked on the phone for a bank it was a nightmare.

Good morning you're through to Mrs Keith Richards at bank name customer services, can I take your sort code and account number please?

Total piss take because they had already put them into the automated system but the details were never transferred to us.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 02-Feb-13 08:28:08

Whoknows my grab and grandad used to do that!

TwoCatsAndABabyBump Sat 02-Feb-13 08:35:38

I work for the local council in an area office. One number at work is similar to a local banks. We answer "good morning/afternoon nameofcompany TwoCats speaking, how can I help you." and still get people trying to give us their card details or telling us they want to transfer some money.

People don't tend to listen when you have to say a long spiel.

A DIY store I worked for, similar long spiel as above and the person who had called said "is that the Rumbleintum cafe?"

You can't win. I hate it when people just say hello, and callers ont tend to listen to a long winded greeting.

HecateWhoopass Sat 02-Feb-13 08:39:21

Yes, my grandma used to answer the phone with her number. Not the town, but her number.

FruOla Sat 02-Feb-13 08:46:56

When I worked for an estate agents, it was a small office and all phones rang - there wasn't any hierarchy about who answered the call, just the first person to pick up and we didn't have any rules about what we said, just as long as we used the company name. Us oldies tended to answer with CompanyName and usually a good morning/afternoon - I noticed that the younger members of staff also added "TheirName speaking".

The funniest times where when the caller had intended to call another EA - despite the fact they'd heard us or probably not listened say our company name, they'd start talking about about a property being marketed by the other agent - they'd then get very indignant when we told them they'd phoned the wrong agent, despite the fact we had announced our own company name when we answered confused.

TheFowlAndThePussycat Sat 02-Feb-13 08:52:07

The father of someone I went out with years ago used to answer the phone with 'village 123' where 'village' was the name of the telephone exchange, not the village where he lived and '123' were the last 3 digits of his number. Totally incomprehensible.

chinup2011 Sat 02-Feb-13 08:57:30

Small Print BT offers a service where your same home phone line gives a different ringtone for business callers. That way you know if you need to answer with a ' hello' or a different greeting. It is called Call sign.

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