Customer Service Closing Statements: End a Call Professionally

The Basic Business Etiquette of Ending a Phone Conversation

There are several reasons that you may need to end a phone call professionally. You may be on the phone with a "talker" whose desire to continue to engage with you is consuming too much of your work time. Whatever your reason, it's always important to end the call politely and professionally. Put these six business phone etiquette tips to work to ensure that you always do your best to leave your callers happy.

1. Think First

Mature businessman on phone in office
Credit: Thomas Barwick/ Stone/ Getty Images

Before you decide that you need to end a phone call, make sure the "business" part of the conversation is complete. You don't want your caller to think that you are avoiding the business at hand.  For example, ask, "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

2. Always Be Professional

Choose your words carefully. Don’t be condescending in your words or your tone of voice. Avoid making statements or asking questions that will prolong the conversation. Be assertive, but avoid being rude or impolite.

3. Set a Time Limit

Part of every successful business is building relationships with your customers and it is nice to hear about their vacation or their grandchildren. When you are sure the business portion of the call is ended, look at the clock or call timer on your phone (if equipped) and give the caller another 3 or 4 minutes (or less).

4. Seize the Pause

Wait for the caller to pause in their conversation and jump in immediately with a pleasant call end statement. For example:

  • "I am glad to hear about your grandchild but I have to take another call. If you need any further assistance, please do call back."
  • "I appreciate the additional information, but I must attend to an urgent matter.  Thank you for choosing and please call again."
  • "Your business is very important to us and I need to enter your order into the system. Is there anything else you need?"

5. Offer Alternatives

You may have methods other than the phone that people can use to contact you. These could include email, texting, web chat, or even your secretary or assistant. If you phone call would be better served by one of these alternative forms of communication, pivot the conversation.

For example, if an email would be an easier way to receive this same information, then request that they caller follow up in your inbox:

"If you have any further information you would like to share with me, please send me an email at myemail@company.com"

Or, if need be, let them know how they can contact your assistant or the person who can handle the caller's concerns. Better yet, offer to transfer them directly to that person or have the other person will contact them. 

6. Use Technology

If you have Caller ID, write the offending caller's phone numbers on a list and keep it near the phone. When you see them calling, let it ring through to voicemail and return the call via email.

When the Caller is Threatening or Abusive

Though hopefully rare, you may one day experience an angry or inappropriate caller who is using abusive, threatening, or vulgar language. To be prepared to handle that unique situation, consult your company's policy and procedures in order to avoid any legal ramifications and feel more confident should the situation arise.