Answer the Phone With a Smile in Your Voice


Answer the Phone With a Smile in Your Voice

by Nina Sunday © All rights reserved.
July 29, 2022

In the eyes of your customer, every contact is a moment of truth. A moment of truth, because with every phone call your caller might be deciding whether to do business with your organisation or to even continue to do business with you.

Have you ever rung a company, and by the way they answered the phone you felt as if you were an interruption?

How well are your people managing all the moments of truth occurring in your organisation every single day? Is each customer touchpoint enhancing your image and reputation; or are your people squandering the relationship?

Customer service best practice dictates you should have a standard procedure for answering the phone – and here it is.

When you hear any telephone ring

  1. On the first ring, stop whatever you are doing. Focus, ready to answer the call.
  2. On the second ring, put a smile on your face. Smiling changes the shape of your face and resonance of your voice. Customers can literally hear you smiling through the phone.
  3. Answer after the third ring, and never let it go to four rings.
  4. Say your company name or division, then your name; for example: ‘Asset Services, this is Jim.’

How memory works

Memory is a fragile and curious thing. Saying ‘Jim speaking’ is not as effective as, ‘This is Jim’. Speaking as the last word interferes with remembering the person’s name. If you make your name the last thing you say, it makes it easier for your caller to remember it. This is because of the Recency Effect – people better remember the last thing they hear.

Using your first name as the last thing your client hears gives them a chance to build a relationship with you as the brand ambassador for your organisation

Action Summary

  1. First ring – stop whatever you are doing.
  2. Second ring – put a smile on your face
  3. Answer after the third ring with, <Your company or division>,
    this is <your name.>


For quality Customer Service training for around 7 – 20+ staff at your workplace Australia-wide, or a speaker at your conference, visit our web page


10 Phrases To Make Your Writing More Persuasive

Ever composed an email to persuade your reader to take an action or motivate them to agree to something? And did you ever wonder . . . is there a secret language of influence? The answer is yes! Keep reading for some simple ways to make your writing more persuasive.

Here are suggestions re language that has proven effective to achieve a desired outcome.

Instead of a commanding tone, use a tone of possibility.

Firstly, you will need to avoid words like:

  • you must
  • you should
  • you ought to
  • you have to
  • you need to

They come across as ‘bossy’. They force the reader to obey. Humans respond more positively when given the perception of choice.

These phrases work better:

1. I suggest . . .
2. I recommend . . .
3. You might like to . . .
4. Please . . .

This language makes you appear a trusted advisor, (not a police officer.)
You can also try these sentence starters to strengthen your influencing effect:

5. If you do decide to . . .
6. Would you be willing to . . .
7. Are you open to . . .
8. I’m wondering if . . .
9. I don’t know if . . .
10. If you can . . . (describe the action) . . . please, I’d appreciate it.

You might like to test how using these sentence starters result in a better response in your recipients.

Are you looking to learn more about persuasive writing? Contact us to discuss how we can help you ignite your team’s service performance, or visit our Business Writing training web page.

Copyright © Nina Sunday. All rights reserved.




How To Reduce Wordiness by 30% Using Active Voice

Business readers prefer direct and concise writing, using as few words as possible. Did you know you can reduce the number of words used overall by as much as 30% by using active voice? Try it and see.

Here’s a simple example: ‘John hit the ball.’ (4 words) – Active voice takes the form of ‘A does B’. ‘The ball was hit by John.’ (6 words) – Passive voice takes the form of ‘B is done by A’.

How To Spot Them

Tell-tale compound verbs like ‘were ordered’, ‘was written’ are clues to passive voice. Often there is an extra preposition, usually ‘by’, for example: ‘The house was built by Smith Brothers’.

You can quickly search for every occurrence of a specific word or phrase using your document’s ‘Find’ function.

Look for any sentence with the word ‘by’ in it. Re-read and if it is in passive voice, recast the sentence in active voice. You will reduce the number of words and make the tone more confident, direct and energetic.

Tip: do a word count before and after this process to determine how many words you were able to delete, simply by switching from passive to active voice.

When Is Business Writing Too Abstract?

Using nouns instead of verbs makes writing abstract and hard to read. It’s called nominalisation, and too much of it is a bad thing.

Compare the sentence: ‘They conducted an investigation.’ with ‘They investigated it.’

The first sentence doesn’t have nearly as much impact, does it?

Avoid changing verbs into nouns. Use the verb more often; it’s more dynamic

• instead of: ‘We made a decision.’ write – ‘We decided.’ That’s vigorous English.

• ‘We reached an agreement.’ is better expressed as ‘We agreed.’ • for ‘The introduction of …’ use ‘By introducing …’ • ‘… to submit an application …’ becomes ‘… to apply for …’ • instead of ‘… conduct an assessment …’ simply use ‘… assess …’

In summary, a simple step for clearer writing is to use more verbs, fewer nouns.


Locate any abstract nouns in your writing and turn them back into verbs. Clues to look for? Look for words ending in -ion, -tion, or -ment.

Copyright © Nina Sunday. All rights reserved.