The Basic Etiquette of Transferring a Business Call

Proper business telephone etiquette can make a positive impression on your clients and customers. Transferring a telephone call is more than just knowing what buttons to push on your telephone system. The business telephone etiquette that you and your employees use directly reflects upon the image your business portrays. So don't just throw your employees on the phones cold and unarmed. Here are a few tips to guide them and help them make a great first impression for your company. 

Explain Why You Need to Transfer the Call

Business man on phone walking in city.
Credit: Betsie Van der Meer/ Stone/ Getty Images

Politely explain to the caller why you need to transfer the call. Reasons can include that the caller reached the wrong department or wrong extension, that he has questions only another department can answer, or that you don't have the proper authority to make the decision the caller is seeking. Regardless, make sure the caller knows "why" and that you're not just passing the buck.

Give Your Information First

Beautiful woman talking on a phone in the office. Credit: Musketeer / Getty Images

Always give the caller your name and extension in case you get disconnected. This will give let him know that you're personally concerned about the caller's situation and he won't have to start all over again from scratch, explaining his situation once more, should something go wrong. Then tell the caller the name of the person or department where he's being transferred to, and give him that extension number as well. And remember – always be pleasant.

Ask Permission to Initiate the Transfer

People working at conference table in office. Credit: Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

At this point, ask the caller for permission to initiate the transfer. This will give him a chance to ask any other questions or express any other concerns he might have. It will give him a sense of control.

Wait for an Answer

Black designer working at desk. Credit: Roberto Westbrook / Getty Images

Don't blindly transfer the call as soon as you hear the other phone ring. Wait for the other person to answer and explain to her why you're transferring the call. This will give her a chance to prepare for the call as well, and it will help prevent the caller having to explain his situation or problem all over again.

Make an Introduction

Closeup of a call center employee with headset at workplace. Credit: Yuri / Getty Images

Return to the caller and announce the name and/or the department that you're transferring the call to. Thank the caller for his patience and ask if there is anything else you can do for him. 

Complete the Transfer

Businesswoman using telephone at desk in office. Credit: Hero Images / Getty Images

Complete the transfer by connecting the caller with the other person or department. Remember to end your connection by hanging up the phone or disconnecting your headset.

How to End the Call

Woman sitting in a office. Credit: Portra Images / Getty Images

There are several reasons that you may need to end a phone call professionally after you've picked up the phone. The most common is that the "long-winded talker" is really consuming your time. Another less common reason is that the caller is using abusive, threatening or vulgar language. Consult your company's policy and procedures on how to handle this type of situation in order to avoid any legal ramifications. And remember, it's always better to put the caller on hold while you seek advice than to say something you might regret later.  More

The Importance of Phone Ettiquette

The telephone is often your customer's or client's first contact with your business. You want his experience to be the best. You don't want him hanging up and calling your competitor instead, so it's worth it to invest some time in training your staff.