General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Talking to someone, then the phone rings...

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strawbabies:
If you are at work speaking with a client face to face, what's the polite way to handle an incoming phone call?  Is it rude to ask the person you're speaking with in person to hold on a moment while you answer the call?  My employer wants as few calls as possible going to voicemail, but I think it's inconsiderate to the person standing in front of me.

Seven Ate Nine:
I think if it's a client in front of you that the call should go to voicemail.  If it's a coworker then you're good to answer the phone.

Lynnv:

--- Quote from: strawbabies on January 13, 2014, 04:36:40 PM ---If you are at work speaking with a client face to face, what's the polite way to handle an incoming phone call?  Is it rude to ask the person you're speaking with in person to hold on a moment while you answer the call?  My employer wants as few calls as possible going to voicemail, but I think it's inconsiderate to the person standing in front of me.

--- End quote ---

As a customer and when it is me, I think it is much better to let the call go to voicemail.  However, your boss has nixed that idea, at least for most calls.  I think it is okay, although not ideal, for a CSR say "Excuse me a moment, I just need to take a message."  At least that makes it clear that you are not going to engage the caller and are just going to take a message and then be right back to the person in front of you. 

However, your boss is the one who needs to tell you what s/he prefers.  I feel that the person in front of you should be your priority and voicemail is the better option.  However, it is up to the boss at any given business to make decisions about which customers take priority and which ones take a temporary back seat.

Mikayla:

--- Quote from: strawbabies on January 13, 2014, 04:36:40 PM ---If you are at work speaking with a client face to face, what's the polite way to handle an incoming phone call?  Is it rude to ask the person you're speaking with in person to hold on a moment while you answer the call?  My employer wants as few calls as possible going to voicemail, but I think it's inconsiderate to the person standing in front of me.

--- End quote ---

Has your boss specifically addressed this situation?  I ask because I understand why he/she would want to avoid calls going to voicemail, but it makes no sense to answer a phone while in a face to face meeting, especially with a client!  Clients pay the bills.

What if you interrupt the client only to take a marketing call?  That doesn't work too well.

AstiTheWestie:
In my office, if I am with a client face-to-face, all calls go to voice mail. IMHO, I think it is rude to put a "hold" on my meeting to answer a phone call. I do understand that there are exceptions to that rule, but that is what I prefer.

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