How to Create a Winning Telephone Answer Script

Last updated August 11, 2020 written by Tetiana

What are the first words a potential client hears when they call your business?

That first impression has a huge influence on your potential customer’s opinion of your company. Your team needs to have a professional plan for answering your phones.

A short, simple telephone answer script is all you need to make a great first impression.

It gives the person answering your phone a script to use whenever they get a call. To be effective, your script needs to be informative while still feeling natural.

Before we tell you how to create a standout script, let’s look at the goals of a telephone answer script and explore some phone answering script samples.

How to Create a Winning Telephone Answer Script

What Your Telephone Answer Script Should Accomplish

Your answer script only has to do a few things—

  1. Greet the caller in a positive way
  2. Show them that you value their call and their input
  3. Identify who is answering the call
  4. Offer help
  5. Keep it short and simple

If your answering script can achieve this, your calls will give the perfect first impression and provide great call answering customer service. So, how do you accomplish these 5 things in a short phone call? 

Let’s dive in.

Reinforce Your Script with Action 

It’s not just the words in your script that count.

Studies have shown that 84% of your message over the phone is your tone of voice. If you don’t have the right tone, the words won’t have the impact you need them to.

So, how do you get the tone right? One of the best ways is to smile.

The “smile and dial” technique is so common it’s almost a cliche in telecommunications at this point, but there’s a reason why it endures.

When you smile, it actually changes the tone of your voice and makes it sound more friendly and warm. That’s no surprise when you remember that smiling has been proven to lower your heart rate and reduce your stress response. Physiologically, smiling raises the soft palate at the back of your mouth and makes the sound waves more fluid. This further improves your tone of voice.

So, make sure “smiling” is included in your answer script. Whether it be a receptionist who answers or another employee, they should smile while talking!

Keep It Short and Simple

Okay, you’ve got the tone down. So, let’s handle what you need to say. 

Think back to the 5 goals of the answer script. Let’s see how we can apply them here.

Altogether, here’s what it looks like: “Good morning/Good afternoon. Thank you for calling [our business]. This is [Name], how may I help you today?”

You have set a polite tone, shown value, given your name, offered help, and kept it simple. It has all the components of a winning telephone answer script.

The Final Pieces

The greeting is important – but there’s still a few more missing pieces to a winning telephone answer script.

  • The transfer. When transferring, you should ask for the caller’s name, and let them know the name of the person to whom you are transferring the call.
  • The “hold” (if necessary). If you absolutely have to put a caller on hold, make sure to ask them, “May I put you on hold for a moment?” When you come back from the hold, thank them for their patience, and ask how you can help them.
    •  If you put them on hold for more than three minutes, make sure you’re checking back and letting the caller know you’re still working on solving their problem. 
  • The name pronunciation. Make sure you use the correct pronunciation of their / their company’s name. If you’re not sure, ask again so you get it right! 
    • Taking the extra time to do this will build trust with your caller. 

Nail these, and you’ll master the perfect telephone answer script!

Now you have the telephone answering script: can you handle all the calls?

You have a solid outline here for handling new callers, but what happens if you’re missing those calls? If you’re busy running your business, there’s a good chance you’re not able to fully focus on answering your phone. If you’re a small business, you most likely don’t have the resources to hire a receptionist.

Consider outsourcing your calls to an answering service. Nexa virtual receptionists work with your script and answer as an extension of your business. 

“Our customers commented that when they first spoke with Nexa, they were surprised because they thought they had spoken with our in-house office staff,” said R.T, a Nexa customer. 

Let Nexa handle the calls while you handle your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does phone answering really matter?

We live in the age where business reputation makes a huge difference for their bottom line. Showing potential customers a professional image and ensuring that there is always someone to answer their phone call and help them out with the necessary information can make all the difference, and prevent someone from picking up the phone and calling another local business.

How do I handle phone calls out of hours?

This is a common issue for modern businesses. Even in the US, Eastern Time and Pacific Time can mean that business hours vary. Rather than just close the phone lines and disappoint customers if they call at the wrong time, you can keep hours open 24/7 by using a virtual receptionist.

Can virtual receptionists answer specific queries?

Some receptionist phone script examples go into incredible levels of detail, providing the receptionist with an answer for a variety of different queries. Rather than just have to take a phone number and other contact information so that someone can call a customer back, the receptionist can usually deal with their query over the phone. Nexa’s virtual receptionists can schedule appointments and manage a company CRM, too. Your receptionist script can be set up with as much detail on specific scenarios as you would like.