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									                      Wk 3 Topic 3: Telecommunications &Telephones services

    1. Using the telephone
The telephonist is judged by the caller to be representative of the organization which she is employed,
and if a telephone inquirer does not receive a clear and courteous greeting he immediately forms a poor
opinion of the organization as a whole.

What you say and the tone in which you say it can influence the response you receive from the caller.
Time is money in business, especially when it is spent on the telephone, and it is important to guard
against conducting unnecessarily long conversations.

When speaking on the telephone, you should always try to sound friendly and helpful. You should listen
to, and show an interest in, what the caller has to say and speak clearly, unhurriedly not loudly.

Take special care when pronouncing words and also when quoting figures, names and unfamiliar words.
The telephone alphabet should be used to spell out words which the caller may have difficulty in

Avoid the use of ‘slang’ expressions such as ‘hang on’, ‘ok’, etc which do not give a good impression in

Matters overheard on the telephone must be treated in the same strict confidence as the contents of any
correspondence dealt with by the receptionist.

You must have a good speaking voice. Learn to recognize all who use the telephone in the organization
by sight, name and voice.

You can only handle calls efficiently and connect callers instantly to the right sections if you are familiar
with the core business of the organization and the specific roles played by each executive, section and
    2. When answering the telephone
       Always answer promptly when it rings and announce your identify. If the caller is received via
        your switchboard operator give your name and department (if necessary). If you are receiving an
        incoming call direct, state the name of the establishment, e.g. ‘Brown and Company. A greeting
        such as ‘Good morning, Brown and Company’ has a pleasing effect. If an internal call is being
        received, state your own name and position, if necessary; e.g. ‘Dean’s Office, this is Jane
       Avoid saying ‘hello’ as this wastes time, is unprofessional and does not help the caller.
       Do not keep the caller waiting. It there’s a long delay in connecting the caller, kindly advice that
        you will ring him back. Don’t forget to take down all his details before he hangs up (the caller
        always hangs up first).

   Have a message pad and pencil/pen on hand so that you can write down a message.
   When an incoming call has to be transferred from one extension to another, convey the caller’s
    name and request to the new extension so that he does not have to repeat his message.
   If a delay occurs before a caller can be connected, keep him informed of the action you are
   If an incoming call is disconnected, replace the telephone receiver as the person making the call
    will re-establish the connection as soon as possible.
   If you receive a call which is a wrong number, do not slam the phone abruptly. Accept the
    apology politely before replacing the receiver.
   Always try to make a conscious effort to greet people cheerfully, even at the end of the day, and if
    you know a caller’s name, do not hesitate to use it when addressing him.
   You are responsible for seeing that each caller is connected to someone who can deal with his
   A caller who wishes to speak to an executive absent from his office should not be kept waiting but
    asked whether he would like to:
        o     Speak to someone else
        o     Be called back by the executive
        o     Ring again later or
        o     Leave a message
    Whatever the answer, always note the caller’s name, business address and telephone number.
3. Taking messages
    Calls and messages should never be entrusted solely to memory, which may well prove
    unreliable, and the important facts should be written down they are being received.
    The following important points should always be noted:
             Date and time of the call
             The name of the person for whom the telephone call was made
             Caller’s name, address and telephone number
             Precise details of the message received
    Repeat the message back to the caller to make sure that you take down the correct message.
    Leave the message as soon as possible on the executive’s desk.
4. When making a telephone call
             Check the number before dialing.
             If you have dialed a wrong number, apologise promptly before you put down the phone.
             When the phone is answered, introduce yourself and ask for the person you wish to
              speak to.
             If you are connected to a wrong number, remember to apologise (it’s not your fault
              neither is it the fault of the other person)

           Prepare what you will say before you make the call to ensure the caller receives the
            correct message the first time.
5. Telephone numbers
   Always maintain a complete and up-to-date list of all extension numbers with the sections and
6. Switchboards
   Modern private telephone exchange switchboards incorporate microprocessor technology and
   are operated electronically to provide fast and efficient communication links both within the
   organization and externally. Facilities provided by digital exchanges may include:
           Internal and external calling from all terminals – internal and external calls are
            distinguished by different ringing signals and calls can be made within press-button
           A memory stores the last number called and will reconnect the caller at the press of a
           Automatic dialing from a directory of stored ‘frequently used’ numbers
           A call can be held ‘on line’ while you make an inquiry by ringing another number or
            transferring the call to another extension
           Telephone conferences can be arranged with several extension users
           Incoming calls are automatically placed in a queuing system so that the operator can
            answer them in order.
           Music on hold – music is played to callers while they wait to be connected to their
7. Telephone answering machines
           Telephone-answering machines may be used when the office staff are not available to
            receive telephone calls.
           The machine can be fitted to the telephone to provide a continuous telephone answering
            and recording service.
           These machines are suitable for businesses in which urgent messages are delivered at
            all hours of the day and night, such as with television, servicing, motor vehicle repairs,
            import and export.
8. Voice mail
   This is a telephone-answering machine which uses a computerized ‘mail box’ for recording
   spoken messages when staff are not available to receive calls in person.
           It is linked to an existing telephone system and a caller’s message can be played back by
            dialing the voice mail number and keying in a personal code.
           Each extension user is allocated a number which is usually the same as his extension

          Messages can be reviewed, deleted and, if necessary, re-recorded before being
          Urgent messages can receive top priority treatment by automatically being placed at the
           front of all other messages in the mail box.
          Voice mail ensures that messages are delivered quickly and accurately without the
           harassment of making repeated telephone calls when people re not available to receive
9. Videophones
   A device which connects the telephone to a TV monitor to enable the callers to see each other.
   This facility is also now available on most mobile phones.
10. Telephone alphabet
   When it is necessary to emphasise or identify any letter or word it can be done by using a
   telephone alphabetical code, an example of which is as follows:
    A for Alfred                             J for jack                         S for Samuel
    B for Benjamin                           K for king                         T for Tommy
    C for Charlie                            L for Lucy                         U for Uncle
    D for David                              M for Mary                         V for Victor
    E for Edward                             N for Nellie                       W for William
    F for Frederick                          O for Oliver                       X for X-ray
    G for George                             P for Peter                        Y for yellow
    H for Harry                              Q for Queen                        Z for zebra
    I for Isaac                              R for Robert
11. Internal telephone systems
   The various offices of an organization are usually connected by an internal telephone system or
   ‘intercom’ which provides an efficient means of communication. A good internal communication
   system is essential for dealing with inter-departmental business and for conveying information
   from one office to another.
   An intercommunication system may operate from a central instrument in the executive’s office
   where the caller’s voice is amplified and, by pressing a key, the executive can speak to any of this
   staff without having to handle a telephone receiver.
   Staff may be located while they are away from their offices and moving around the premises by
   loudspeakers operated from the switchboard or by pocket paging.
12. Sources of information on telephone services
          Telephone directories – lists in alphabetical order, all telephone subscribers in a locality,
           together with national and international codes and charge rates/bands.
          Yellow pages – lists all business subscribers under their respective trade or profession,
           for example, office equipment dealers, solicitors, etc.
13. Telepcopiers

          Desk-top telecopiers commonly known as ‘fax’ use the telephone to transmit, within a few
           seconds, any form of printed, typed or handwritten matter, drawings, diagrams and
           photographs from one location to another.
          It enables replicas of documents to be sent any distance with complete accuracy by
           combining the speed of the telephone with the reproduction facility of the office copier.
          Equipment of the same type has to be in use at both sending and receiving ends.
          Operation of the equipment is simple and in the more sophisticated models loading is
           automatic; the originals to be transmitted are stacked in a loading tray and after making
           telephone contact with the recipient, the operator presses the start button and the copies
           are transmitted automatically.
          Complicated and detailed orders can be sent with complete accuracy.
          Engineering drawings can be distributed to braches
          Advertisements can be transmitted to printers
14. Audio conferencing
   Telephone audio conferencing is a telecom service which is communication by two or more
   groups of people at different locations.
   It is an efficient and economic way to run meetings without the expense of travel and hotel
   Organisations requiring regular teleconferences will normally acquire their own equipment but for
   occasional conferences, the telecom company may be used to link the participants by their
15. Phone cards
   Card phones, which use a plastic card instead of coins, provide the public with a coinless
   telephone service. The cards are purchased from post offices and certain shops.
16. Emergency calls
   The procedure for making an emergency telephone call should be clearly understood as, in times
   of trouble; an emergency call efficiently conducted could be a vital factor in saving a life.
17. Freefone
   This is a telephone service which enables customers, clients, agents or employees to telephone
   an organization without cost to them. It encourages customers to place orders by telephone and
   it can also be used by representatives and employees to save them the time and trouble of using
   coins and claiming refunds for calls made to their company.
18. Miscellaneous telephone services
   Various additional telephone services are offered by TFL which include directory inquiries, alarm
   clocks, weather forecasts, etc.


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