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Student Worker Training Guide: Telephone Etiquette

Tips for Great Telephone Etiquette

Always greet your caller:

"Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, Warner Library, this is (your name), how may I help you?"

  • Smile--try saying the introduction with a smile and without one. You can hear the difference in your voice, even without being able to see the other person.
  • Be polite and courteous.
  • Repeat caller's question for clarification and provide an answer.
  • Always be polite--"please," "thank you," and "I am sorry."
  • When the caller is speaking, listen to what he or she has to say without interruptions. 
  • If transferring a call, let the caller know before transferring the call. Tell caller, in the event there is a disconnection, the number to reach Mr./Mrs. (name) and their extension.
  • To transfer calls, click on transfer and key in the extension number, then you can hang up the receiver. Do not use the extension buttons.
  • If the librarian is unavailable, please take a detailed message and place in librarians mail box or speak with the librarian when he/she is available.
    • Name of caller
    • Date & time of call
    • Caller's phone number
    • Detailed message
    • Your signature

Suggested Statements when Answering the Phone


When a person is unavailable

  • (Person's name) is away from her/his desk. May I take a message or is there something I can do to assist you?
  • (Person's name) is not in his/her office at the moment but he/she is in the building. May I take a message?
  • (Person's name) is out of the office today. Is there something I can help you with?



  • I don't know!
  • He/She is not here.
  • They left and I don't have a clue where they are.