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Business phone etiquette is not especially complicated, though it is certainly important, and many of the rules that apply to proper phone etiquette for personal calls can apply to business calls. There are, however, certain exceptions and someone should not typically demonstrate the familiarity on a business call that he or she might show while talking to friends. In general, someone should speak clearly into the receiver, be polite while on the phone, and also thank the other person for their time at the end of a call when appropriate. Business phone etiquette also typically takes the roles of each person on the phone into consideration as well, since an employer during a call may have different obligations than an employee.
There are not necessarily any hard and fast rules to cover every element of business phone etiquette, but there are some general guidelines that can be considered while on a business call. Many of these tips, however, depend a great deal on the roles of each person on a phone call. For example, if someone is calling to talk to a prospective employer about a job interview or is speaking to his or her boss, then there are different power roles in place. One person is in a subordinate position to the other and should be especially careful to remain respectful and polite during the call.
The person in a position of power during a business phone call may not be as beholden to observe aspects of business phone etiquette, though it is commonly considered polite to do so. Politeness, in general, is a basic aspect of business phone etiquette and someone making a business call should be sure to remain polite and respectful toward the other person. Someone calling another person for a business call should also introduce himself or herself, whether a brief identifier for someone calling another person he or she is familiar with, or a more formal introduction for an initial call.
Proper business phone etiquette also typically includes one person thanking the other for his or her time at the end of a call, again often dictated by the power positions of each person on the call. A good general guideline is for someone to try to treat another person as he or she would like to be treated during a phone call. Someone should typically not put another person on hold during an important business phone call since this can indicate that something else is more important than the business being conducted over the phone. Speaking clearly is also an important aspect of business phone etiquette to avoid miscommunications, and is especially vital for conference calls or calls made over a speaker phone.