The 5 trickiest telephone situations and how to handle them professionally

Auch wenn Sie als Sekretärin täglich viel telefonieren, gibt es sicher manchmal Situationen, in denen Sie ungewollt Anrufer in Unsicherheit versetzen. Hier 5 knifflige Fälle, die Leserinnen Jean Lennox geschildert haben – und ihre Empfehlungen für Sie.

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Impolite callers, difficult questions, sensitive information – these are just some of the many things you are up against on a day-to-day basis as a secretary, personal assistant or receptionist. I have collected the five trickiest telephone situations Secretary Today subscribers have described to me over the past few weeks. Here they are – with ideas for how you can solve them.

Your 5 most difficult telephone situations

Situation no. 1:Callers are often offended if I ask them for their name or for a number where they can be reached. What can I do?

Jean Lennox comments: In Germany, people introduce themselves when they make phone calls. Also, before they transfer a call, they ask for the caller’s name and the reason they’re calling. This isn’t always the case in other cultures. In fact, some people say it’s impolite when a secretary or assistant asks them why they’re calling. Remember this, and don’t be too direct!

Here are some polite and indirect suggestions.

  • If you’d like to tell me your name, I’ll see if he’s there.
  • And may I tell him what it’s about?

Situation no. 2:I never know what to answer when a caller asks, ‘How are you?’ Do they really want to know?

Jean Lennox comments: In Germany, people tend to take things literally. But don’t be tempted to answer the question ‘How are you?’ in too much detail. It is really just another way of saying ‘guten Tag’. You can respond by saying:

  • Fine, how are you?

Situation no. 3: When my boss wants to call someone about a delicate situation, how do I find out if it’s convenient for the other person to talk right now?

Jean Lennox comments: Here are two phrases you can use for most situations:

  • Mr Meyer needs to make a call with some questions about … Is now a good time?
  • I have Fabian Schneider on the line for you. He would like to know if now would be a good time to talk about …

Die fehlenden kniffligen Telefonsituationen und die passenden Formulierungstipps finden Sie in der aktuellen Ausgabe von English Today.

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