By Nancy Friedman, Founder/President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Customer Service Expert, Keynote Speaker


Who doesn’t want to get great service when you call a company?

So much business is done over the telephone. First call, in between. Or ends up in a phone call after a chat or online experience.

Before delivering a presentation, be it keynote or workshop, one of my ‘things’ to do is to make a few mystery calls to the company that has hired me. Not to make anyone feel bad or to embarrass anyone (I don’t tell the audiences: “Hey, I called some of you the other day and it was terrible.”)

That’s not why I do the mystery calls. I call so I can hear what their customers are hearing. And while often it’s not very pretty or very good, I can always bring them Telephone Doctor GOLD STANDARD customer service techniques.

I probably haven’t called your organization, large or small yet, so I’ll share one of our GOLD STANDARD techniques we provide to our clients. It always brings me a great deal of pleasure when I can tell my clients, “Your folks are super!”

We only need 3 things when we answer the phone.

A BUFFER. That’s the greeting we use to welcome the caller. It can be:

* Thanks for Calling

* Good Morning

* Good Afternoon

* Happy Monday (etc)

* Happy Holidays.

* Etc… etc.

And I’m always asked, “Well, what do you all use, Nancy, at Telephone Doctor.

We use “Thanks for Calling.”

“WHY DO YOU USE THAT”? We use “Thanks for calling” because I was tired of hearing the folks answering the phone saying “Good morning” when it was 4 pm and “Good evening” when it was 9 am. One day I asked the folks answering the phone, “How would you like to never make a mistake again when answering the phones with the wrong time of day? They agreed they’d enjoy that. Now we use, “Thanks for calling.” Now we’re always right!

And then comes the Company Name: Telephone Doctor’s office.

Then the Identification: This is Nancy. (You use your own name, OK?)

Those are the only things you need when answering a company phone. YOU DO NOT NEED: “HOW CAN I HELP YOU?”

You are there to answer the phone. You are there to help. I called a bank the other day and a woman answered with “How Can I Help You?”

I said, “Yes, I hope you can, my statement is wrong.” And without missing a beat she says, “Well, I can’t help you.” So, I said, (without missing a beat), “Well, you just said you could!”

Why use that comment when you aren’t able to help 100% of the time? Boggles my mind.

This all being said, if you chose to use “how can I help you?” you’ll be OK. You’re just saying something that may not be true and isn’t really needed.

Try the Telephone Doctor’s GOLD STANDARD 3 Part Greeting.

“Hi, thanks for calling (COMPANY NAME). This is (YOUR NAME)” brightly, smiling and happy. Then STOP!

All the tag lines after your name might sound great to you as the owner or manager; however, it ERASES the name of the person answering the phone. The caller doesn’t need all those extra words, phrases, promos etc. Some folks use what sounds like a sequel to Gone With The Wind.

You only need 3 Things when answering the phone.

A Buffer, The Company name and the person answering the phone. Then STOP.

 Plain old common sense. Getting it right every time.

Telephone Doctor GOLD STANDARD Common Sense. Don’t be fooled by imitations or imitators.

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.