How do you answer the phone when clients call?
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:35
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 19, 2006

How do you answer the phone when agencies/clients call?

"Hello" seems way too informal while "This is Alex speaking, how may I help you?" or "Technical Translations, this is Alex" can seem too awkward or pedantic when you have an established relationship with an agency or project manager and they know you are working at home as a self-proprietor.

[Edited at 2006-09-19 20:31]


Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
German to English
+ ...
Name + greeting Sep 19, 2006

I usually answer in German (seeing as I am in Germany) with Sarah Downing, good morning/afternoon/evening.

It works for me and I think it's pretty neutral.

Have a nice evening!



Mariam Osmann
Local time: 03:35
English to Arabic
+ ...
About name + Greeting Sep 19, 2006

On individuals' level here, we are used to wait till the caller asks about the person"May i speak to" then we answer: ya speakin', how can I help....?
then he presents himself or his company.

I've learned recently in a soft skills course that I've to answer with my name & greeting asa I hang up.

Unless the phone number doesn't give a sign about whether the caller is a client, this way of answering is not working since my cell phone number is available for the clients as well as friends & family.

It's not common here. Once, some1 thought that a kind of automatic answer machine was answering!!


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:35
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Depends on who is calling Sep 20, 2006

I only use GSM, and if my phone recognises the caller, I can adjust to it. If its the long-time customer from Austria, with whom I'm on first name terms, I might answer with my first name and "Grüß Gott, Irene", or just my first name.
Callers from outside Scandinavia and Germany are not used to it, that the call is answered by the name directly, they usually ask again to may to speak to Heinrich Pesch, and when I repeat my name, they perhaps not yet understand it and ask again, because they pronounce it differently.
So if the calling number is apparently from such exotic countries like the US or Italy, its better just to say hello.
To us I'm afraid this habit of waiting with the mentioning the name seems silly, because the caller has the intention to call a specific person, he should be told at once who is answering. In Finland if I dial a wrong number and the answer is "Pekka" instead of "Sari", my response is "Sorry, wrong number" and press the cancel button.
Another culture related habit.



Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, maybe their number is on the display Sep 20, 2006

As Heinrich says, you might already know from the display who is calling. That is very useful.

In cases where it is not obvious, the tradition in Germany is to just state your surname in a friendly voice, whoever it is. That is quite practical.



Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Say your name and initiate conversation Sep 20, 2006

TampaTranslator wrote:
How do you answer the phone when agencies/clients call?

I say "Hello; Samuel speaking", then I listen for cues from the client or potential client to find out what they want from me, and I coax them into giving me the required information for me to make up my mind on whether I might be of assistance to them.

Ideally, I should say both my name and surname, but old habits die hard. I might add that I use a cellular phone for my freelance activities. If I had had an office with a landline, I would probably go for something like "Hello; Samuel Murray Translations," and take it from there. If I had a secretary, I would tell her to answer with "Samuel Murray Translations; how may I help you?".


Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:35
English to Greek
+ ...
Call recognition... Sep 20, 2006

on both my landline and cell phone, have simplified things for me.

Since both are available to clients, family and friends... I wait to see who's calling and reply accordingly.

Clients: "Good (morning / afternoon), Nadia speaking"

Family & Friends: "Hello (name of caller)"

Technological progress is sometimes fun and useful!!


Timothy Barton
Local time: 03:35
French to English
+ ...
In Catalan... Sep 20, 2006

I usually give the Catalan "Mani'm". Literally "Command me", but a standard answer to the phone. In Spanish they say "Dígame", which is literally "Say to me".


Trevor Butcher
Local time: 03:35
Uh.. yah? Sep 20, 2006

"Dzien dobry!"

Then I wait a moment and see if they respond confidently in Polish and if so I try and decode what they say and try to see if I recognise their voice, if they pause then I add 'Trevor speaking" and hope this separates the English speakers from the rest.



Silvina Dell'Isola Urdiales  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:35
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Pronto! Sep 20, 2006

Hi everybody,

since I live in Italy, this is the normal way of answering the phone....

I'm very informalicon_smile.gif with usual clients which search me via phone




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