By Nancy Friedman, Speaker, Customer Service Expert & Engagement Specialist. Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

A recent email we received below gave us some good ammunition for this blog.

While the industry, as you can see, is in the legal profession, believe me, it can happen in every industry. Read on: It’s from an attorney (no jokes, please).

“Around 1:00 p.m. today I returned opposing counsel’s telephone call from this morning. The first person that answered the phone took my name and asked me to hold while she checked to see if she was back from lunch.

After a short hold she came back on the line and transferred my call. At that point opposing counsel’s assistant answered the phone. She took my name for the second time and put me back on hold.

After holding a couple of minutes, opposing counsel’s assistant came back on the line and asked if I could call back in twenty minutes! I am sure that her assistant is telling opposing counsel that I am a jerk because I answered, “No, I am calling her back now.”

It’s a well-known fact that the first voice you hear and what they say when you call a company sets the tone and mood of the call. It makes the first impression and welcomes the caller. It starts the rapport-building process and the all important ENGAGEMENT. Few will argue that point.

While there are several “faux pas” in the above email we received, which do you think is the MAJOR one? I’ll share the answer in an upcoming BLOG, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

However to help you, here’s an easy four step process for handling a simple incoming call:

1. Use the Telephone Doctor 3-part greeting:

    * A buffer (that’s the ‘Thanks for calling or good morning’ part)

    * The company name (Steinberg Law)

    * And then your name (This is Nancy.)

Then STOP!

“How can I help you” is NOT necessary in initial greetings. You are there to help. That is why you answered the phone.

2. Putting a caller on hold. “Hold on,” CLICK is not effective. Neither is “Hang on a second. I’ll be right back.” Learn to ask callers if they are “able to hold” and then WAIT for a response.

3. Monogram the call. If the caller gives you his name, use it immediately. It speeds the rapport building process. And if possible, use it once again in closing the call.

4. Leave a good lasting impression. Seems as the opposing counsel’s office didn’t do that. Remember, more people will tell you about a bad experience than a good one.

And the biggest faux pas? Coming soon! Let’s hear what you think. Read it again. It sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

Answer in next blog.

Nancy Friedman , president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is a featured keynote speaker and subject matter expert on customer service and communications skills at franchise, association and corporate meetings. She has appeared on OPRAH, Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and hundreds of other radio and TV shows. She has been published in Wall Street Journal with her column, “Don’t Strike Out with Your Customers.” Nancy is the author of eight books on sales, communications skills and customer service. She is the spokesperson in the popular Telephone Doctor customer service training programs.

For a demo and full keynote speaking packet of Nancy call 314.291.1012 or visit

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Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.