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How to Use an Office Phone

Understanding the basic features of your company phone is an essential skill for all employees.  The company, corporate, or office phone is your gateway to connecting with your fellow colleagues and coworkers.  It makes communication easier and more efficient and removes barriers to resolution.  Learning how to use an office phone is one of the top skills you can learn and will help your success at any company.

Although the use of the office phone has declined, with many employees opting to utilize instant messaging platforms such ass Skype, Google Hangouts, or Slack, it remains an integral part of the corporate ecosystem.  The office phone, though, is still mainly used for dialing and connecting into phone meetings.

Basic Phone Features

Regardless of the amount of usage you expect to put into the office phone, you should learn how to utilize the basic functionalities from the beginning of your time at the company.  Most companies will provide basic phone training to ensure that you are comfortable and understand how to utilize the basic functionalities.

Some common features and functionalities of an office phone include:

  • Dialing an internal line
  • Dialing an external line
  • Dialing into a phone meeting
  • Hold and mute features
  • Call transfers
  • Three-way conferencing
  • Voice mail setup
  • Call forwarding
  • Call waiting

Basic Phone Skills

Nearly all corporate employees will need to have at least a surface level understanding of their company phone system.  This will help you to better connect with internal and external colleagues, vendors, and clients.  You should take advantage of the training offered by your company to ensure you have a solid understanding of the phone system.

In addition, you should practice basic phone skills and tasks.  This includes learning how to answer the phone in a professional, respectable manner and learning how to greet the caller.  You should also learn how to place the caller on hold in a manner that is considerate.  Lastly, learning how to place the caller on hold or transferring the call will help you to establish yourself as a professional.

When talking with either internal or external colleagues, you should use some basic phone etiquettes.  This includes using a dedicated phone headset, which will reduce outside noise and help the caller to better hear you.  A headset will also be less distracting to your neighbors and will allow you to multitask while on the call.

Lastly, ensure that the microphone is positioned directly beneath your mouth so that you will be clearly heard.  You should speak in a clear, enthusiastic manner and one that welcomes the caller or colleague.  This will help to ensure the proper amount of information is passed along and that you are relaying the information.

Additional Tips to Learning How to Use the Office Phone

The best time to learn your company’s internal phone system is immediately upon hire.  However, if you did not get an opportunity to, there are still ways that you can learn.  The first is looking up the manufacturers manual online, these manuals will give you a good overview of how to utilize thee system.  You can also search within your company’s intranet system for additional guidance.

If you do not find much information in either space, you can practice with the phone yourself.  Feel free to dial a friend or family member for practice.  Alternatively, you can practice with a fellow coworker or colleague to get a better feel for the system.

Lastly, feel free to call yourself or use your personal cell phone to call your work phone.  This will help you to get a better understanding of the system and how it works.  Plus, you won’t get offended if you accidentally hang-up on yourself.

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