By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; Founder & Chairman, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

Every day we’re all reminded of how phones are answered. Such a simple thing. And yet, it’s not often given its due respect. I know because of the mystery calls I make. It’s usually too painful for my clients to do their own.

Not sure there’s a best way or only way. I do know there is a more effective way to answer a business phone.

And that’s what Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training has been sharing for over 30 years. The most effective way.

Point #1 – Use a BUFFER

A buffer can be “Hi,” or “Good Morning,” or “Thanks for calling.” (Merry Christmas, Happy New Year – something that warms the call.) But every call needs a buffer. Just spitting out “ACME TRAVEL” is cold and rude. Use a buffer to warm the call. We like: “Thanks for calling.”

Point #2 – Company Name

Relatively easy. It’s your company name. Using the buffer helps make the company name stand out.

Point #3 – Your name

“This is Nancy.” (Use your own name. LOL) THEN STOP! Anything after your name erases your name. And it’s not “Nancy speaking.” It’s “This is Nancy.” Nancy Speaking is married to Bob Speaking. They have 2 kids – Judy Speaking and Joe Speaking. Well, you get the picture. Callers will remember the last thing we say. We want it to be our name. Not ‘speaking.’

Point #4 – Speed

We’ve all called companies where the greeting sound like the sequel to Gone with The Wind. Way too long. And like the 3 Little Bears, just blurting out “ACME” is way too short. And cold and rude. Watch the speed and tone of voice. It’s critical.

Point #5 – How can I help you?

To use or not to use? We suggest NOT TO USE! You are there to help. That’s why you answered the phone.

Whoops I lied . . .

Point #6 – SMILE

It can be heard. It MUST be heard.

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.